View of participants

KAYANZA December 3rd (ABP) – The Permanent Executive Secretariat of the National Social Protection Commission (SEP / CNPS) and the “Merankabandi” project have organized, in Kayanza (north),  since Thursday November 29, 2018, an information and training workshop for journalists under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender. The objective of the workshop was to enable the media family to learn about the importance of social protection, the content of related programs, the strategy for its implementation as well as the extension of the “Merankabandi” project, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.

However, the governor of Kayanza reported that implementation-oriented initiatives of the National Social Security Program were made in that province, including the organization of capacity-building meetings for local social security committees and service managers, the medical care of elderly and poverty-stricken persons, the creation and monitoring of community health mutuals, the growth of the provincial economy, especially in the agro-pastoral sector, and many others. Despite all these efforts, the problem of population growth remains a major challenge, he said. On the other hand, he is satisfied with the current fertility rate and the contraceptive coverage rate because, he pointed out, from 2015 to 2018 the fertility index went from 6 births to 5, while the contraceptive coverage rate increased from 19% to 42%. For Mr. Ndayizeye, this is the result of sensitization that will from now on continue without delay, on the airwaves of a community health radio.The governor of Kayanza province, Mr. Anicet Ndayizeye, commended the meeting in his province because, according to him, for such projects to succeed, it is necessary that stakeholders in the field can discuss the different challenges in order to find solutions together.

On his part, the permanent executive secretary of the National Social Protection Commission, Mr. Arcade Nimubona, who solemnly opened the workshop, said that the part of journalists and media professionals remains unavoidable in this field. As a result, he said that this meeting with the media professionals will allow to exchange on the most appropriate channels in order to sensitize the people to adhere to the social protection program and to convince the decision makers as well as the general public about the positive impacts of social protection, in order to get together and thus take steps to ensure access to education, support the elderly and the poor and provide insurance to employees in different services. Finally, Mr. Nimubona expressed confidence that after the workshop, journalists will be able to understand the importance of social protection and to provide the programs on the social protection as it is in the strategy of social protection policy.

The workshop, which saw the participation of administrative officials from the so-called pilot provinces of Kirundo, Karusi, Gitega and Ruyigi, was an opportunity to talk about the “Merankabandi” project, which is involved in assisting vulnerable people, especially women and children where once identified, each of them receives first a phone and after a salary of 40 000 BIF every two months to allow each beneficiary to change their living conditions. At the national level, 48,000 project beneficiaries have been enumerated and according to the forecasts they will receive their salaries before the end of this year. All this is part of promoting human capital investments, especially women and children, to enable them to escape poverty.

The project, which started in 2017, will end in 2022 and concerns only families with children. Regarding concerns about the insignificant salary paid to the beneficiaries of the project, the non-involvement of the Batwa who are vulnerable and the extension of the project in other provinces of the country, the trainers responded that the project could or not continue to be feasible even after the 2022 year depending on the impacts noted. Also, they continued, the project will enable the beneficiaries to escape from poverty with an advanced living condition, good health and assets. The coordinator of the “Merankabandi” project said that this salary encourages project beneficiaries to go about works and not to encourage laziness.

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