Ange Sonia Umubyeyi, 21, is a fresh secondary school graduate who is waiting for her results from the 2019 national examinations.
Instead of staying idle in the last two months, she decided to join 380,000 youths in the national Youth Volunteers in Community Policing (YVCP) program to help her community in crime prevention.
One of the crimes in her area code in Muhima sector, Nyarugenge district in Kigali city is increased early teenage pregnancies and drug abuse, which are some of the national social concerns that government is struggling to curb down.
In order to do a good volunteer job, Umubyeyi started with her female friend who was consuming a lot of alcohol and had already had two children at age 22.
For her this was a starting point, to change the one person she cares for.
“I started by encouraging her to join me in the company of proactive youth activities and events, where we get empowered; instead of going to the bars, to risk a third pregnancy,” Umubyeyi told KTPress.
Umubyeyi’s actions prevented other unwanted pregnancies of which statistics stand at a 7%.
According to the Inspector General of Police, DCG Dan Munyuza, the youth have done a good job in providing information to security organs which has led to reduction of crimes, bursting rogue networks and plans, but also reduce traffic offenses.
At the fourth Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing congress this Thursday IGP Dan Munyuza set a new target for youths to recruit at least one million volunteers by the end of this year as a way of improving community policing efforts.
He said that by attaining this targets in number more crimes at the community level will be reduced.
“We need more volunteers so that youth can be at the forefront of making this a secure nation with no crime and enable Rwandans to be peaceful. We need an action plan on community policing to get one million volunteers countrywide by end of this year,” Munyuza said.
Currently, there are 380,000 youths in the YVCP program adding to other community based security networks such as: 74,000 in Community Policing Committees (CPCs), 3,200 anti-crimes clubs and general anticrime ambassadors- who include officials in government, organizations and companies.
Regis Bayisenge Twahirwa, the Secretary General of YVCP said that the one million volunteers target can be reached with a strategy dubbed “Xplus2”- in which each volunteer is required to recruit two more in the program.
“Recently we enrolled 30,000 secondary school graduates and our target is to have at least 700,000 youths who are willing to do two things, to have a secure and developing community,” Twahirwa revealed.
The program plans on sourcing these youth volunteers from a pool of about seven million youths from the estimated 12 million Rwandan populations.
The logic behind this enrollment of youth in fighting crimes may look like it is just numbers but according to Twahirwa and Police, having the number of youths committed to not committing crimes like drug abuse is in itself a massive achievement in fighting crimes.
For State Minister for Youth and Culture, Eduard Bamporiki, these numbers have to come with quality and practical action that can change the youth themselves and community.
“First change comes with the individual to know who they are, what they want, why and their purpose to the nation. That way, you can have entered the battle field to make a positive impact on other youth,” Bamporiki said.
To ensure more youth contribute positively, Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba used the opportunity to caution youth to desist temptation of joining illegal armed groups, saying that it would be a wasted future for them.