Children’s Voice Today (CVT) in 2019 Kirehe Public Accountability Day known as “JADF Open Day”.
Quick view on the Action Development Forum (JADF) and JADF Open Day Events in Rwanda.
The Joint Action Development Forum (JADF) is a multi-stakeholder platform that was put in place to facilitate and promote full participation of citizens in the decentralized and participatory governance and improve service provision processes, it was established by the Ministerial Instructions No. 04/07 of 15/07/2007 with the mission of ensuring a sustainable socio-economic development and improved service delivery for Rwandan communities through active participation, dialogue, and accountability by sharing information, effective coordination of stakeholders’ interventions in decentralized entities.
JADF members come from institutions and organizations operating at District level including public, private, local and international non-government organizations, faith-based organizations and other development partners, thus the Children’s Voice Today (CVT) is one of JADF members in 10 districts among 30 Rwandan districts including: “Bugesera, Burera, Gasabo, Gatsibo, Kirehe, Muhanga, Nyarugenge, Nyaruguru, Ruhango and Rutsiro district.”
Every year there are JADF Open Day events that bring together different stakeholders and actors in different sectors or programs of intervention in each District where JADF members showcase their activities in the Districts in which they operate in order to:
- Enhance Accountability where individual organizations present to participants what they have achieved and what they intend to achieve;
- Promote the culture of competition and in the end improve the livelihood of the local people and awarding the best performing district partners;
- Promotes Information sharing between different stakeholders, beneficiaries and within District authorities;
- Advocate from participants and exhibitors some of the challenges that they encounter and how best they can collectively or individually address barriers to service delivery;
- Document best practices and success stories by different stakeholders thus providing room for improvement and spirit to work hard and better;
- Is an opportunity for district authorities and Central Government authorities to give advice and clear orientation on how services offered can be improved by exhibitors.
CVT in the Kirehe district Public Accountability Day known as JADF Open Day.
The JADF Open Day of this year 2019 in Kirehe district was under the theme that encouraged district partners to promote home Initiatives/Solutions for sustainable development (“Duteze imbere ibyiwacu Duharanira Iterabere Rirambye”), in his remark during the opening of two-days JADF Open Day held at Nyakarambi Car Park from 20th up to 22nd February 2019 the Mayor of Kirehe District MUZUNGU Gerald appreciated the efforts of all district partners in helping to achieve the development of the district including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) like Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) as well as local businesses and cooperatives operating in the Kirehe district.
CVT attended the open day in Kirehe district as one of its implementation district of the “Accountable Governance that Protect and Deliver Children’s Rights in Rwanda (AGDCR)” project which has been implemented since 2017 in four districts including Burera district in the Northern province, Kirehe in the Eastern province, Nyarugenge in the City of Kigali and Ruhango district in the Southern province with the main objective to ensure that the Government of Rwanda adopts changes in legislation, policies and practices in child rights as a result of Civil society organizations (CSOs) and children advocacy. In facts, most of the project activities have engaged children themselves to advocate for their rights in the community. This project is being implemented by CVT in the partnership with the Save the Children International Rwanda under the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The AGDCR project key achievements are among others:
- The project has created and operationalized 22 community-based children’s groups in Nyarugenge, Burera, Ruhango and Kirehe districts. The project provided each group with various equipment in order to support their advocacy initiatives on issues affecting them in their communities;
- Radio and TV shows on children’s rights related issues have been produced in order to support and engage the media to mobilize children to voice out their issues;
- The project produced a child-friendly copy of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (OPT3);
- Organized budget consultation session between children and parliamentarians for the first time in Rwanda.
The open day was a good opportunity for children to advocate for issues that affect them, the project facilitated them to attend the exhibition during the two days of the JADF Open Day by providing them with transport refunds and also provided them an opportunity to meet with exhibitors, visitors including, parents, their fellows children, stakeholders and district authorities where they have actively participated in sharing message through copies of flyers and posters contains message to fight against violence against children in all settings that were available in our booth.
Figure 1: During the Kirehe JADF Open Day Children were happy to gain copies of our flyers with messages that promote child rights.
The JADF Open Day for the Children’s Voice Today was also an opportunity to showcase the results of working with children grassroots groups by explaining JADF Open Day audience about our approach we use in ensuring that children are actively participating in promoting child rights from grassroots level.
Our strategy in Promoting Children’s Rights in Rwanda:
Children’s Voice Today creates children’s grassroots groups at the community level and empowers children to lead, learn, decide and implement their own activities that promote children’s rights.
Since 2001 we have put a lot of time and efforts into the promotion, protection, fulfillment, respect, and enjoyment of children’s rights in Rwanda.
We organize, community outreaches sessions, trainings, workshops, press conferences, roundtable discussions, campaigns, exhibitions, study tours, Radio and TV shows to advocate children’s issues and to empower them to advocate their challenges on their own.
In Kirehe District Children’s Voice Today have operationalized five children grassroots groups in different sectors including Gatore, Kirehe, Kigarama, Nyamugri and Mahama sector in those sectors CVT work closely with children representatives of others in the government established children’s forum committees in promoting children’s rights in Rwanda.
The activities done during the Kirehe JADF Open Day that engaged children representatives of others.
The main activities done during the Open day were:
- Explaining to the audience what CVT do in promoting child right with a focus on child participation;
- Discussing with the district authorities and other stakeholders our implementation progress vis a vis signed performance contract between CVT and the district;
During the Kirehe JADF Open Day, Innocent Ntakirutimana CVT Project Coordinator with a child representative of others in children grassroots groups explaining to Kirehe district authorities and stakeholders how Children advocate their issues through Magazines.- #ChildParticipation.
- Collecting feedback for our interventions in the district from our beneficiaries;
- Explaining/Encouraging parents about children’s grassroots groups activities;
- Providing children with an opportunity to read child friend magazines and gain copies to bring into their households.
Figure 3: Children from Kirehe District reading CVT child friendly booklets during the JADF Open Day.
During the conclusion event of the two-days JADF Open Day of this year 2019 was under the theme that encouraged district partners to promote home Initiatives/Solutions for sustainable development (“Duteze imbere ibyiwacu Duharanira Iterabere Rirambye”), the Mayor of Kirehe District MUZUNGU Gerald in his opening remarks, he appreciated the efforts of all district partners in helping to achieve the development of the direct.
The JADF Coach Eastern Province SABITI ATAHE Fred in his closing remark of the JADF Open Day event urged the partners to always implement what they pledge, and he emphasized on the role of partners in the district development, and he recommend the district to encouraged others partners who were not represented in the open day to come to attend the next JADF Open Day event as one of big the public accountability day aimed at promoting the culture of accountability between the district, its partners and citizens.