Nyirabashumba Letitia is the second born in her family and she is 19 years old, she belongs to a family of 6 members, father, mother, 3 girls and 1 boy. She stays in Kayonza District, Kabarondo sector and Kabura cell, she completed senior three and had a training of tailoring.
The women space facilitator shared about the project and the selection criteria, good enough she was fitting the criteria set for selection and she was selected as a girl champion at Kabarondo women space. Relatives and neighbours would tell Letitia’s parents that girls are of no importance and this would affect also parents because they felt of less value in the community.
Letitia and her sisters grew up feeling that they are of less value, the only valued children in the family and society are boys. Letitia and her fellow sisters would try their best to do the chores and activities that were commonly done by boys in the society like riding a bicycle, using the axe to get fire wood (kwasa)so that they can be understood by the society and reduce being undermined by the parents, neighbours and entire community. “We have been struggling with how we were born since childhood trying to convince people that we can also make it”. Letitia said.
After joining the Rwanda Women Network in May 2018, she had a five days training on life skills which unpacked power, gender, GBV, SRH and VSLA methodology, the most interesting topics were power and gender where Letitia understood that she has power within herself that can change her life, the tree of life session where everyone got time to share her life story also helped a lot, the session on gender helped her to understand that the inequality differences between boys and girls on roles and characters is shaped by society they belong in except the biological difference, this session gave her courage and determination that she can do anything that the boys can do.
This training removed on her back the burden that was on for years. This helped her not to give value to the mirror the society surrounding her was looking her through. In the program we are encouraged to do group savings which is done monthly during monthly coordination meetings and Letitia also saves in the cell group for girls where she facilitates dialogues on life skills but she says that the good thing in this program is that we first set goals for our savings and we save towards achieving the goal. Letitia has bought a hen from the savings made which after some time had chicks and when they grew up she sold them and topped up then bought a pig. So far she has a hen and pig from the saving she is made and has gone on to believe she can achieve her goals, be in control of where her life is going, collaborate with others and develop meaningful friendships.
The Kvinna Kvinna supported program has improved relationship in the family between parents and children, no more harassment from parents like before where any slight mistake we would be abused and told that we are useless, if our parents would see any misconduct of the girls around we would be abused and told that we will end up like that but now things have changed because they are seeing the progress in the work we are doing.
The parent’s conversations on positive parenting facilitated by women space facilitators have contributed to improve the relationship at the family as we now also have conversations with the parents. At the moment Letitia is now reaching out to facilitate conversations of 30 community girls at the cell level on life skills which is different from when she joined the program, before she wouldn’t manage to stand in front of 30 people and share anything and now she is confident and able to speak her mind. She is very thankful to the Girl champions project and having the opportunity to join others in the women space initiatives.