Rwanda’s First Lady Jeannette Kagame has asked Rwandan girls not to settle for less until they explore all life options and opportunities in education.
The First Lady was speaking at the celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) – an organisation which has spearheaded girl child education in Rwanda since 1998.
“You do not want to go through life, not living to your fullest potential and risking to live a life of regrets, by missing out on becoming an integral part of this beautiful nation, we call home-Rwanda,” Kagame said.
The First Lady said that this opportunity can only be given to a girl if she took the first step and supported by everyone believing in education as an agent of change to address current challenges in the country.
“You can and will achieve whatever it is, you set your mind to do – if you are focused, disciplined, relentless, tenacious and consistent. If you are in doubt just look at where Rwanda came from 24years. Education is for life,” Kagame said.
The First Lady also encouraged youth – especially young girls to speak up, embrace new ideas, explore science and technology and bring solutions to challenges the community face and the country.
“This sense of hope in education among girls for a better future has harvested some fruits which FAWE Rwanda is proud about in the last two decades. For example, over 7,000 alumni since 1998 now work in public services and private sector, armed forces and one pilot in the Airforce,” she told participants at celebrations that took place at Radisson Blu and Convention Centre in the capital Kigali.
Both girls and boys have been supported under FAWE with scholarship programmes offered to 14,294 girls and 6,200 boys totaling to 20, 494.
In this support and partnerships, Imbuto foundation – a philanthropy Organisation championed by the First Lady supported 2,000 students, teachers and mentors through learning clubs.
The organization also rewarded 4,800 girls who excelled in school and provided over 8,000 scholarships to well-performing but vulnerable students.
Fawe Regional representatives said that if Rwanda has managed to make this education possible, even other countries can.
The Fawe region has set a new agenda 2063 in accordance to the Africa Union (AU) targets, which was signed recently in Nairobi and to be disseminated to its member countries.
In celebration of the anniversary, Fawe girls performed a role play called ‘girl education for development’ which shows the potential that a girl can reach if educated.
At celebrations, three longest serving teachers were awarded.