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5 February 2024 - News

Parenting Without Violence Sessions Bring Positive Change to Nakivale Refugee Settlement

A group of foster parents in Nakivale refugee settlement, known as Mugaano, have experienced a profound transformation in their parenting approach through "Parenting Without Violence" sessions.

Facilitated by Save the Children with funding from BPRM, these sessions have not only changed the dynamics within families but also contributed to a significant reduction in child protection concerns in the community.

Before the sessions, children in Nakivale were subjected to violence as a form of discipline, often denied basic needs, and faced challenges in communication with their parents.

"We never considered dialoguing with our children to understand their well-being and issues that affected them even when it was in their best interest. We believed that when a child does something wrong, they deserve a beating to teach them a lesson," says Afia Ntakirutimana, a community member.

To address these issues, Save the Children identified parents facing challenges in Rubondo village and enrolled them in a 12-week "Parenting Without Violence" program.

Members of the community were trained to become facilitators and mentors, disseminating knowledge on positive parenting and the importance of ending violence against children.

"The sessions helped to strengthen the relationship in our homes. Our parents understood that denying us our rights or using abusive words as a form of punishment is wrong," shares Elia, a 15-year-old participant.

Another participant, Furaha, adds, "My grandmother and I can now sit on the same table to discuss issues affecting me and resolve them together with her, unlike before."

Positive changes extend beyond the children, as parents and caregivers also benefit.

"Our relationship with our children has greatly improved. We now have respectful communication between us because we are all involved in decision-making, especially on matters affecting them. Caregivers/parents are now more accountable to the children," says Bisija Ndikubwimaana, a parent.

The success of the program extends beyond the initial 40 families, with these transformed families becoming advocates for positive parenting within their communities.

Save the Children's comprehensive child protection program, supported by funding from BPRM, has effectively addressed underlying causes of child protection issues across various refugee settlements.

"Our observations indicate a notable decrease in child protection concerns within the communities where we have implemented the 'Parenting Without Violence' sessions," says Shallot Atwongireho, Child Protection Officer.

This success underscores the program's effectiveness in addressing root causes and empowering parents and caregivers, showcasing the transformative power of empathy and non-violence in fostering stronger bonds within the Nakivale Refugee Settlement.