4: Young in Rwanda
Being young in Rwanda presents challenges. Many lost their parents at a young age, either in the genocide, or as a result of diseases such as HIV / AIDS. There are therefore many child-run households , where the oldest of the children is responsible for the family. For these children, it is especially difficult to go to school, because the family needs money and many would rather work than get an education.
In the families where there are adults, it is girls who have the greatest difficulty in getting an education, and it is also those who are responsible for the greatest drop-out rate among those who actually start school. The reasons for this are many: Girls’ education is not seen as important enough in families, and many use girls in the household at home.
In addition, sexual harassment, from both teachers and fellow students, is part of Rwandan girls’ everyday lives. Many girls also drop out of school when they reach puberty, since there are no separate latrines for boys and girls.
Through changes in attitudes and concrete financial support, Operation Dagsverk 2011 hopes to create structural changes and ripple effects. By giving girls faith in themselves, we believe that more people can gain access to education, and through education we believe that young people in Rwanda can take part in the work to implement the regime’s ambitious goals.
To sum up Rwanda’s situation, it is a country that is very marked by its history , both from recent times and all the way back to colonial times. Yet it is a country that has recovered quickly from a catastrophe of incomprehensible proportions. It is a developing country, but which still has problems on several fronts.
Through this year’s NPD projects, many of the country’s young people will have an opportunity for both education, commitment and a future. Despite the fact that both Rwanda and other countries on the African continent have their problems, there is optimism and development on many fronts – that is why this year’s Operation Dagsverk has the slogan “Don’t look so black on it!”
5: Operation Day work – by, with and for young people
Operation Dagsverk is Norwegian students’ own solidarity action and one of Norway’s largest information campaigns aimed at young people. For almost 50 years, Norwegian school students have annually used one day of their education to raise money so that young people in other parts of the world will have the same opportunities as in Norway.
In addition to the NPD day itself, one of Operation Dagsverk’s most important priorities is to disseminate information on international issues . This is done through International Week, which is the campaign week for Operation Dagsverk. During this period, lectures will be held at several hundred schools in Norway, and this year’s project will be made known to the participants using textual and audiovisual material. All this takes place under the auspices of Operation Dagsverk. We do this so that the students will learn to understand the projects before they themselves make a decision on whether they want to participate, ie to work on the NPD day. This is exactly what makes Operation Dagsverk a solidarity action.
In the weeks before the NPD day, those who want to participate work to find an employer on the NPD day. On the NPD day itself, they are out working a working day. What the students work with varies – from street musicians to assistants to Storting politicians. Every year, about 120,000 young people work on NPD Day, and in recent years around NOK 30 million has been earned each year.
Every year, there are representatives of the students in the upper secondary school and in upper secondary schools who choose which project will receive the funds from Operation Dagsverk. It happens at the Student Organization’s national meeting, the Student Parliament . Several hundred representatives of the students in Norway meet there. This year, the choice fell on Plan Norway’s projects in Rwanda.
6: Project 2011 – education in Rwanda
1.The overall goal of this year’s project is to increase the number of school places for young people in Rwanda by building and equipping two new upper secondary schools. Through this alone, 1100 new school places will be created.
2. The second point this year’s projects will ensure is to improve attendance and results, as well as to increase the number of students who complete upper secondary schools in Rwanda, as a country located in Africa according to collegesanduniversitiesinusa.com. The focus will be especially on girls, because girls for various reasons are downgraded when families decide who should go to school. Through campaigns aimed specifically at girls, separate motivation groups for girls and scholarships for girls who are extra vulnerable, we hope that this year’s NPD funds can have a positive effect on girls’ status in school. Of the more general measures to increase the implementation rate, the NPD funds will contribute to the education of teachers as well as the construction and equipment of school libraries. Teacher education will largely go to improving English proficiency among Rwandan teachers.
3. The third point of this year’s campaign is to increase the opportunities for Rwandan youth to organize, express themselves and participate in social processes in the home country. Great emphasis will therefore be placed on rights education. Among the measures are general training in what rights young people have, establishment and strengthening of student councils and media groups as well as annual educational meetings between young people, organizations and authorities.
Support will also be given to annual national campaigns to raise awareness of young people’s right to education. In addition, the NPD 2011 will support programs at various youth centers that offer courses in areas such as sexuality, health and nutrition. In the projects, great emphasis will also be placed on opportunities for disabled young people for participation and education.
7: Collaborating partner 2011 – Plan Norway
This year, it was Plan Norway that won the competition to get NPD funding. Plan Norway is part of Plan Internationa l, which is an international religiously and politically independent aid organization, working in 66 different countries. Plan works on the basis of the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and aims to provide all children with an educational and health service. Plan has eight core areas they work with:
- water and sanitation,
- child participation,
- sexual health and HIV / AIDS,
- emergency aid
- financial security.
Plan Norway currently has 117,000 sponsors.