BUJUMBURA March 30th (ABP)–The ministers in charge of human rights and education, Mr. Martin Nivyabandi and Ms. Janvière Ndirahisha respectively, declared in Bujumbura on Thursday March 28, 2019 that men and women must be concerned, at the same level, by the supervision of children. This was disclosed during an exchange workshop on the role of the women leaders in the fight against the negligence towards the children.

Organized by the Ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender and the NGO World Vision, the workshop brought together the representatives of women leaders of certain associations and religious denominations. Indeed, to combat this scourge, the partners in the protection of the children’s rights are invited to work in synergy to give a hope of blooming to the Burundian children.

Considering the problems children face in a family, Ms. Ndirahisha appealed to teachers not to be too harsh on children who are absent or late. She advised them to be flexible and to analyze cases. Minister Nivyabandi said he is optimistic about the expected results of the workshop, urging participants not to be discouraged for commitments made, but difficult to put into action. If men and women get involved at the same level, there is the possibility of a gender equality project, he concluded.

The legal representative of the NGO World Vision Burundi, Ms. Marthe Mbengue, indicated that women have an opportunity to make a change in family. She also stressed that poverty is not a reason to abandon children or leave them on the street. For her, children’s rights protection partners must act in synergy to give this chance to Burundian children. On behalf of the Women’s Forum, Minister Ndirahisha said that working in synergy will pay dividends for children.

Different presentations showed how some children are neglected. Some are threatened by small fleas (very small insects dwelling under the heel’s skin, under the toes of the foot and cause constant pain), wear dirty clothes, lack health care even for diseases that are easy to treat. The speakers of the day insisted on returning to the proper way that characterized our ancestors; caring for the children of neighbors and relatives. Every family should care for one child at least, they wished.

The participants were unanimous on the need to organize awareness campaigns for everyone, emphasizing hygiene in the family, the supervision of children by both parents, the sharing of housework between children, without distinction of sex. The fight against unwanted pregnancies, the family planning so that families are able to ensure their supervision and respect for mores, were among other recommendations made for the Burundian child to be protected. Participants took the opportunity to commend the changes introduced in the education system regarding rules of conduct, especially the prohibition on wearing miniskirts, behaving as adults with long hair and other physical aspects that those responsible for education have seen fit to exclude. Minister Ndirahisha took the opportunity to announce that she has started a fight against tattoos among students.

The participants’ proposals and commitments to successfully educate children are, among other things, the establishment of detoxification centers for children who have taken narcotics, a chat with the family, the sensitization of parents and children by the administration and the churches on hygiene and other acceptable behaviors, the mobilization of the entire community to banish the negligence to children forever, the speed in the processing of family-related cases and property, the fight against illegal marriages, polygamy and early marriages, and the reporting of child neglect behaviors. On the latter point, there have been reports of shelters housing young adolescent girls from the interior of the country who are subsequently indulged in prostitution, without knowing how to withdraw from it.

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