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Leadership Nursery Club ! Raising Future women and girls Leaders

Due to the low number of girls & women in decision-making processes at the local level, the leadership mentors, women champions, and National Women Council initiated the collective action by establishing leadership nursery clubs in secondary day schools as a way of empowering young girls to become leaders through encouraging them and build their self-confidence from the early ages to participate in decision-making processes in future. As of now, leadership nursery clubs established in 47 schools with 50 approximately girls in each club. It is without a doubt that empowering young girls is securing future social-economic and political advancement.

Through field visits conducted in GS St Joseph Dahwe localized in Ndora Sector of Gisagara district ; PFTH met these girls who are 11 to 15 years old ; the launch of the club held on 22nd May 2022 with 47 girls’ students today they increased to 60 girls. The school has in total of 164 students whom 99 are females.

Jamilla is the president of the club ; she told us how the club was established, and the situation before and after the club establishment.

“Before we were unconfident, shy, etc. unable to lead the class, only boys were many times elected as class leaders ! I’m not talking about cleaning classes, even among us, we thought that some works are for girls like sweeping, etc. but after joining the club, many things have changed, I am chieftain of the class in S3, and we participate equally in all activities without saying that this is for girls and this is for boys” : said Jamilla

Jamilla, The president of leadership nursery club

When we visited them, we found these words on their board (values and qualities) of leaders :
-  Self-confidence
-  Honesty
-  Hard working
-  Respect
-  Role modeling and
-  Not being corruptive

The club meets every Wednesday from 3- 5 pm ; where they discuss and learn about the specific selected topic chosen by themselves and facilitated by their mentors !
We wanted to know how they live with other boys and girls who are not in clubs ; they answered us in these words ; “during recess or lunchtime, we approach each other and tell them the good things about being in the leadership club ; because if we don’t do so they discourage us and we strive to be a role model for them in different areas like academic performance, obedience, hygiene, discipline and this goes beyond, we even start influencing some parents who are still guided by stereotypes and cultural norms, who are not allowing their children from coming to school because they are girls. We are building friendships and relationships with our parents for a brilliant future. “ Said by Anita Ingabire.

Another initiative taken by these girls includes organizing dialogues with other students from their neighborhood during the holiday by teaching them about SRHR, Teen pregnancy prevention, etc. As a result, the school counts no early pregnancy in the period of 7 months !

Their mentor has told us that the club members become very active and responsible ; leading, and preventing the environment (here we can say that they plant trees for climate change mitigation), and they are planning school trips to show others what they have achieved so far !

For example, they participated in the meeting organized by UN Women at Park inn hotel, in the City of Kigali where they made an inspiring presentation and interact with different people ; they promise that the club will take them further than where they are now.

The main challenge the club is facing is a lack of mentorship materials, PFTH has agreed to provide the guide as soon as possible !

The visit has been closed by the headmistress of the school : Madame Florence Bucyedusenge ; she thanked the partners, stakeholders and children in the clubs for being flexible and promising changes in their behaviors and she reminded them that the goal is to work hard and thus bring lasting results.