From 20th June to September 2020, ActionAid Rwanda in collaboration with Rwanda Girl Guides Association through Speak Out Project is organizing a weekly session on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) via the National radio station which reaches almost all parts of the country.
The 15 minutes young girls’ radio session on SRHR is aired on Radio Rwanda every Saturday, from 3:00PM - 3:15PM.
In each radio session, two of the Speak Out Project’s mentors lead the session on radio while young girls especially safe space members listen through their parents’ radio sets from their respective homes.
This is done to ensure that young girls continue to receive the required education on Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention, GBV response and SRHR from their respective homes, as well as cope with the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Since March 2020 when COVID-19 outbreak was recorded in Rwanda, schools were closed and are expected to reopen in September 2020. Because of this, all students returned home and young girls‘sessions commonly called “safe spaces sessions” were put on hold as these sessions are normally conducted in schools whereby young girls meet with peer mentors and share freely their experiences and trainings on GBV prevention and response, as well as SRHR.It is in this context that ActionAid Rwanda adopted this new way of conducting the young girls’ sessions on SRHR and GBV through radio. The young girls’ radio sessions on SRHR are supported by Speak Out Project with funding from the UK aid.
Bandebe Claudine,18 years old, is in Senior 6 at a school located in Gisagara District. Claudine is a member of a safe space at her school, however as safe spaces sessions are on hold due to COVID-19, she participates in radio sessions conducted by Rwanda Girl Guides Association in partnership with ActionAid Rwanda. She notes that listening to the young girls ‘radio sessions on SRHR helped her to learn more information on menstrual hygiene management.
“Through radio sessions on SRHR, I learnt more information about menstruation periods and how to behave during that particular period. No one can give me wrong information about menstruation now because I am well informed about it. After acquiring that information, I also shared it with my colleagues who are less informed about menstruation,” Claudine said.