Education, Early Childhood Development, Gender Based Violence, Nutrition

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Students in class - Credit Alice Kayibanda


Rwanda is on track to achieve universal access to primary school education by 2015. However, disparities in education access between urban and rural populations and among income quintiles are apparent. To address these challenges, equity, inclusion and early learning and development are pillars of the education component of the UNDAP. EDPRS 2 highlights the need to ensure that those graduating from education institutions are equipped with the relevant skills and attitudes required for Rwanda’s current and future labour market, economic and social demands. Under the Productivity and Youth Employment pillar of EDPRS 2, the first priority deals with developing critical skills and attitudes among the youth, calling for ‘a careful review of the school curriculum to ensure that the key transferable soft skills that employers need are being provided to all secondary graduates’ (EDPRS II).

The UN programme focuses on building the national capacity for education policy, curriculum development and enhancement of education sector capacities to deliver inclusive quality basic education, including sexuality education. It supports the alignment of quality curricula with teacher training, classroom practices, quality assurance and learning assessments as well as further development of instructor capacities in teaching methodology and promotion of reading.


Early Childhood Development

The early years of life are crucial for a child’s development and growth. Children, who are well nurtured and cared for in their earliest years within a family environment, are more likely to be healthy, to develop problem solving, language, emotional and social skills and achieve their full potential as adults. However, in Rwanda, just over 12% of children between the ages of 3-6 have access to any type of early learning and development services, and these tend to be in urban areas, which are too costly for poorer families.

Interventions in the early years provide young children with greater opportunities and better outcomes in education, quality of learning, physical growth and health, and, eventually, productivity. The UN believes that a focus on “ECD and the Family” will not only give young children the best possible start in life but is also the best investment that Rwanda can make in order to achieve its national goals; including poverty reduction, reducing infant, child and maternal mortality, eliminating malnutrition and improving access to quality education.

In its support to the Government the UN applies a holistic and life cycle approach based on multi-sectoral strategies to sustainably improve the well-being and development of the young child and its family. Emphasis is placed on bringing UN expertise to bear on helping the Government to: design more effective strategies to reduce maternal and child malnutrition and mortality; promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health; replicate integrated early childhood development and family services; and support the Government’s vision of ensuring that all children in Rwanda achieve their full potential by equipping families with the relevant skills so they are able to nurture and care for their young children’s holistic development and well-being.


Gender Based Violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to persist in Rwanda: worryingly, nearly half of all Rwandan women aged 15-49 have experienced either physical or sexual violence at least once since age 15. Additionally reporting of GBV remains low, with less than half of all abused women being willing to come forward in reporting cases of abuse.

One UN focuses on assisting the Government in developing robust alternative care and protection systems for vulnerable women, children and youth to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse. In a bid to tackle GBV and Violence Against Children (VAC), support will be provided to scale up the One Stop Centre approach for the prevention and response to GBV/VAC. The One Stop Centre (OSC) model calls for 24/7 holistic multidisciplinary approach to address victims’ needs in terms of the provision of legal, mental, medical, psychosocial and safety requirements. This specifically involves attention to women and girls who have been victims of violence and abuse. The OSC has provisions for emergency contraception, HIV prophylaxis, STI prevention and other treatments.



One UN targets enhancement of good maternal nutrition, supporting the health and nutrition system to promote optimal feeding practices for pregnant women through messaging and support via ante-natal visits; strengthen the system and approach to support lactating mothers to consolidate and sustain optimal infant and young child feeding practices and promote appropriate complementary feeding practices of children between the ages of 6-23 months as part of the global 1,000 days campaign. The 1,000 Days partnership promotes targeted action and investment to improve nutrition for mothers and children in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday when better nutrition can have a life-changing impact on a child’s future and help break the cycle of poverty. See

Success stories

12 Jul

Rwanda celebrated World Population Day

Rwanda celebrated World Population Day with a commitment to invest more in sexual and reproductive health.

19 Jun

Breaking the habit for a better life

A report commissioned by the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) last year revealed that 52.5% of young Rwandans have tried a drug, including alcohol, and among them 5% tried an illegal substance, mainly mari­juana. The report revealed high lev­els of alcohol consumption (34%) and tobacco (8.5%) among youth aged between 14 and 35.  It is further estimated that one young man or woman out of every 13 is alcohol-dependent.

30 May

YouthConnekt Hangout officially launched

YouthConnekt Hangout is a platform that brings together various partners including UNDP, ADMA, Tigo Rwanda, Zilencio Creativo and HeHe Ltd to connect Rwandan youth to resources and opportunities for employment and business development.

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