Globally, children do not meet their developmental potential yet grace is to a strong beginning that brings about children’s healthy life, provision of entire access to early learning, good nutrition, sanitation, and protection.
The Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health, in close collaboration with UNICEF and NECDP (the National Early Childhood Development Program), officially launched an ECD sermon guide based on Holy Bible and Qur’an scriptures so as to commend for greater participation of religious communion, this event was held at The Marriott Hotel on 7th October 2020.
Photo : The ArchBishop of Kigali and Chairperson of RICH, the NECDP Coordinator, the executive secretary of RICH , the Mufti of Rwanda (Vice Chairperson of RICH) and the UNICEF country representative launching the ECD sermon guide based on Holy Bible and Quran
RICH keeps ensuring the increase in participation of religious leaders in promoting healthy practices among which the Early childhood development, in this context there are more than 120 religious leaders and denominational networks who have been trained by the Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health, they have been great advocates of ECD whereby 244,712 people were reached through preaching, couples counseling, mothers, and fathers for resounding community engagement, and through other channels
The chairperson of RICH, Archbishop Antoine Kambanda said that “focus group leaders will continue creating space for dialogues and tend a listening ear to children and their families”.
PHOTO 2: Archbishop Antoine Kambanda, Chairperson of RICH Board of Directors
The chairperson thanked the government for its continued collaboration and support, which provides an enabling environment to participate in the development of religious community members which is leaders’ primary role; furthermore, he also encouraged fellow religious leaders to get more engaged in issues affecting the community, from the denominational level to the decision-making level.
PHOTO 3: Lindsey Julianna, UNICEF Country Representative
Speaking at the launch of the ECD Sermon Guide, Lindsey Julianna, UNICEF Country Representative; stressed that, “UNICEF has enjoyed a successful partnership with Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health for over a decade”
In her remarks, Dr. Anita Asiimwe, the National Early Childhood Development Program (NECDP) Coordinator said,” I’m grateful to see this milestone attained and looking forward to our continued collaboration as we jointly work with parents and parents to be, increasing effort of investing in the early years of our children.”
PHOTO 4: Dr. Anita Asiimwe, NECDP Coordinator
Dr. Anita Asiimwe added that fathers need to help take care of children not just for the kids’ sake but fathers also benefit from a strong relationship with their children.
In Rwanda, the government has demonstrated its sincere commitment to the promotion of ECD through ensuring that its servicess reach all children and families including the most vulnerable. It is in this context that comes this sermon guide, it will help enhancing ECD pillars among the Rwandans with a back up of biblical and Qur’an scriptures.
Photo 5: Group photo of the members of the Board of directors of RICH together with some invitees during the launch of the ECD sermon guide