Lighting up Rwanda
By Hormisdas Ndagijimana, One Light Rwanda – 22nd December 2017
Since Rwanda recovered from Genocide, people have been involved in developing the country and the government has emphasised and developed many programmes including health programme. The country had been degraded and everything was destroyed, for that reason many efforts and commitments have been put together for sustainable development. Many programmes have been implemented and the lives of people considerably changed by time.Although lives in Rwanda have been remarkably changed the gap is still there especially in terms of behaviour change, as statistics shows, most of deaths are caused by lack of information on many diseases. This gap is now filled by TME lessons and trainings which are carried out by One Light Rwanda, a small organisation which is based in Northern Province and its correspondents in 5 Provinces of Rwanda. The contribution of TME is great and this is a success for Rwandans’ behaviour change. All lesson made by TME are of great importance because Ministry of Health has approved them to be relevant and rich of information to help people.
Rwanda people got the chance to know Thare Machi Education through their lessons.
From January 2014 TME lessons have been shown in Rwanda, students, young, adults, old men and women have watched/seen TME lessons. TME lessons are now popular in Rwanda health centres, where more than 20 lessons have been seen and discussed.
In 25 districts of Rwanda TME lessons have been seen by more than one million people (1,237,457) from January 2014 to Dec 2017*.
This number increases day by day because people talk to each other to spread the message to other friends. This target has been possible thanks to Rwanda Ministry of health, Health workers program and Rwanda Biomedical centre.
TME lessons have been key elements in Rwanda daily life of the people upcountry and towns, what is impressive is that there is interactions during sessions, where people discuss on the response which is correct or false. For instance Uwiminana Claudine said:
“We knew that feed breasting is good but we ignored it as we wanted to have breasts of small size to stay young, we preferred to give powder milk to babies instead of breast feeding.”
Hakizimana Frederic (mother of 16-year-old daughter said:
“Talking to my daughter about sex, it is a curse because it is not Rwanda traditional, but after seeing the DVDs being a woman, I change my mind, I start immediately arriving home.”
TME lessons are needed all over the country, especially in Hospitals, Health Centers, and villages, at schools, churches and Youth centres, the only challenge is the lack of sufficient DVD players. TME Rwanda started a campaign to look for one family in village which can help villagers to watch DVDs. This moment, people and local authorities request TME DVDs copies to show more people in villages, because the message from TME lessons are clear and simple to understand, the impacts is seen immediately.
* The population of Rwanda is about 12 million. This means that roughly 10% of the entire population of Rwanda have had the opportunity to see a TME lesson during the current programme.