Who Are Friends of Family?
Since 2015 the government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) with the National Commission on Children (NCC) established a community-based child and family protection group of volunteers known as Inshuti z’Umuryango (IZU)/Friends of the Family composed of one man and one woman with main responsibilities of promoting child rights, protecting children from violence, abuse, and exploitation, mobilizing against early pregnancies and school dropouts, and promoting equal rights of children with disabilities. In addition, Inshuti z’Umuryango are supposed to protect children from being separated from their families and work on returning lost children to their families(reintegration). Village residents elected in each village to serve as Inshuti z’Umuryango are 29,674 volunteers in all Rwandan villages and they report to their respective village chief/leader and to their representative in the cell and sector, up to the district, which follow up on all reports for an inclusive child protection system.
How Do We Work With Friends of Family?
The collaboration between children grassroots groups and Friends of the Family has visibly increased and this working together relationship becomes more and more strengthened and beneficial for all children in the district of intervention. Inshuti Z’umuryango and some village leaders take time to visit children’s groups where they meet every Saturday or Sunday and ask them any issues they have and deal with those issues they reported to them through and they set some prevention mechanisms.