Rwanda holds children summit to promote positive parenting

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KIGALI, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — Rwanda on Thursday organized a national children’s summit to advocate positive parenting and protect young people’s rights.

About 488 children from across the country convened at the Rwanda parliamentary buildings in the country’s capital Kigali to participate in the 12th National Children’s Summit dubbed “Positive Parenting: Foundation of the Rwanda we want.”

The annual children’s summit is a consultative forum which brings together children’s delegates from across the country to exchange views and ideas on the issues at hand.

Addressing the summit, Rwandan prime minister Edouard Ngirente cautioned parents on irresponsible parenting which has resulted into drug abuse, alcoholism and teenage pregnancies among young people.

“Rwandan parents must groom their children to be responsible citizens for the better future of our country. The family is the foundation of the whole society where children should learn and inherit a legacy of cultural values which they will preserve and protect,” he said.

Ngirente urged young people to refrain from negative society influence that would drive them into drug abuse, alcoholism and teenage pregnancies.

The meeting highlighted positive parenting as the bedrock for the well-being of the Rwandan children into families by reflecting parents’ responsibilities toward caring for their children.

Claudine Uwera Kanyamanza, executive secretary of the Rwanda National Commission for Children, said that failing to intervene and invest in positive parenting of children carries a heavy burden for any society.

“It is very important to punish a child when needed. But this must be done in a way that doesn’t traumatize them. Children also have a responsibility to respect their parents,” she noted.

Among the issues that dominated the conference include positive parenting, child labor, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, alcoholism and school dropout.

At the summit, children requested the government of Rwanda to implement laws punishing parents who don’t take care of their children and ramp up campaigns about positive parenting.

Later in the day, children, parents, development partners and government officials participated in a walk for children’s advocacy from the parliament to Petit Stade stadium in the capital Kigali.

The children’s summit was first organized in 2004 with the aim of creating rights awareness among children and educating them on their obligations as well.

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