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The Young Leaders Fellowship 2023 Focuses on Parenting

by Daniel Sabiiti
7:57 pm

The First Lady, Mrs. Jeanette Kagame has tipped young leaders and parents on how to raise a generation of God-fearing and upright citizens by being a living example in the life of children.

The First Lady was speaking at the annual Rwanda Young Leader’s Prayer Breakfast and Fellowship, where she was invited as a chief guest speaker to have a conversation with the youth leaders on parenting today.

Young Leaders Prayer Breakfast is an annual event organized by Rwanda Leaders Fellowship with the purpose of bringing young leaders in senior positions, and all walks of life to fellowship together, pray for the nation and share the Word of God.

To put everything in context Mrs. Kagame shared two inspiring poems  from ‘The Parenting Map’ by a renowned psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabary and ‘On Children’ by late poet Kahlil Gibran. She shed some light on how complex raising children can be a daunting task unless a parent is prepared to sacrifice.

Mrs. Kagame said that children should not be pushed down a path that parents believe they should pursue, but instead be pulled with a living example of parents achieving this fate themselves.

“If you want success for your children, endeavor to be successful yourself. Show them how attractive what you desire for them actually is,” Mrs. Kagame said.

“If you want happiness for your children, strive to be happy yourself. Perhaps this might require that you take things off your plate, that you allow yourself the same gentleness with which you peer upon your own bundles of joy.”

With these remarks, the First Lady stated that raising a child is not a subject that can only be learned in school, it is essential to take into account the four stages of a child’s growth.

These are: To train the child to behave properly – Discipline; Training and education of the child; To be a stimulus for reflection and improvement more – Coaching and Building a friendship with a child.

Mrs. Kagame acknowledged that it is not enough to make these pragmatic choices as these parental choices may or may not work especially for single parenting, however with the engagement of male parents to avoid the mental and spiritual damage that children can be subject to in the absence of their parent’s guidance.

She advised that the rule of three eights may be a good place to start to take full responsibility of caring for and loving children- that is; splitting every day into three parts – eight hours of good sleep, eight hours of hard work, and eight hours shared across friends, family and faith, health, and hobbies.

“However, it is your responsibility to ensure that this joy does not bleed into strains, for those you love. First, you have to take care of those you are responsible for,” She said.

In a world full of sin that is embodied in humans, Mrs. Kagame warned parents that everything they do, even when it seems normalized, can have a direct impact on children.

She said: “Your children are sponges; they absorb your commitment to virtue, wellness, and hard work, as much as they may absorb indifference and carelessness. The true nature of our choices will show themselves in our children,”

To Young Female Leaders, Mrs. Kagame asked them to refuse a life of purely enduring but know their worth as more than being tolerant, and to young men, she asked them not to let uncertainty about how, and what they will bring home, hinder them from providing in the first place.

To young couples, she advised that having faith in marriage, in each other, and faith in what God has in store is key, for your home.

Moses Ndahiro, the Head of Rwanda Leaders Fellowship said that children are at risk of various challenges in this century which include: conflicts, parents who don’t get enough time, alcohol, drugs, trauma, and depression, but also a lot of information from social media that is difficult to filter.

Ndahiro stated that young parents have the responsibility to raise and provide education suitable for the country.

“The fruits of a good education based on Rwandan culture, our parents planted us in, that is what made us the leaders of Rwanda today in this time, it makes many of us motivated to build our homes, we have children, we also have the responsibility of raising them.

Ndahiro told young leaders to rethink what kind of tree they are planting for the next generations and consider themselves as having the responsibility to raise upright children of the country.


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