On 17 July 2020, Initiatives for Peace and Human Rights (iPeace) provided food and non-food items to 70 teenage mothers to help them cope with COVID-19 effects they are currently facing alongside with their babies. This relief activity is a helping hand to teenage mothers to whom iPeace provides free legal aid services. This activity started with 50 teenage mothers identified as most vulnerable by local authorities in Muhima and Gisozi sectors (Kigali). Each of the beneficiaries received about 60 kilos of various items including sugar, salt, rice, beans, maize flour, porridge flour, cooking oil, face masks, bar soaps, baby diapers, female hygiene pads to name but a few.
Nzamukosha Jeannette, one of the beneficiaries, was very happy to receive this support. She said “I was impregnated by a boy who promised to buy me a cell phone. He did not give it to me and denied that he did know me. Ever since, I am struggling alone to raise up my daughter. I don't have a job and I live on petty chores. The outbreak of COVID-19 has strongly affected my life, and I was afraid I could lose my child because of hunger. But I am very happy that iPeace has thought about us. These items are most welcome, timely and will help us a lot”.
On her hand, the officer in charge of social affairs at Gisozi Sector, commended iPeace for selecting their sector amongst other different sectors in Kigali for this relief activity. She added that this action is a huge support to the efforts of the Government of Rwanda in mitigating the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on poor and vulnerable people. She took that opportunity to urge the beneficiaries to make good use of the given items in the best interest of their kids.
This relief activity is carried out under the framework of iPeace's Rapid Response to Covid-19 Project in partnership with GIZ-Rwanda. According to Mr. Paulin Muhozi, the Country Director of iPeace, COVID-19 has been having negative impacts on the entire World, and poor teenage mothers are at higher risks together with their babies. He said “Besides the free legal services that iPeace provides to vulnerable teenage mothers, it is paramount and human to think of their economic situation in these tough times of the pandemic. That is the reason we are now offering these items to the mothers to support themselves and their children in terms of food and sanitation.”
The distribution in Kigali comes a week before a similar activity targeting an additional group of 20 teenage mothers in Gisagara District.
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