Calls for church leaders and members of their congregations to uphold family values and pay particular attention to the most vulnerable ones in the community, namely children and the youth, took centre stage as the Mothers Union Rwanda chapter marked 50 years, on Sunday.
From the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, to Dr Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda (PEAR) and Lynne Tembey, Mothers’ Union Worldwide President, one key statement was emphasised; a need for Church leaders to take lead in upholding family values and inspiring more responsible childcare practices.
While giving a keynote address, at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Mothers’ Union at Kibagabaga Anglican Parish of Gasabo Diocese, Mrs Kagame noted that a good family allows children to live happily to exercise their full potential – consequently acting as a backbone of a more prosperous and peaceful nation.
“You (Mothers’ Union) have been here for many years, you have equally done a lot, but we still have a long way to go, and, as such, still a lot is needed of you,” Mrs Kagame said.
“You have done great exploits, especially when it comes to fostering family values; because we all know that building a good home can be compared to making heaven on earth. When couples live in peace – with each one equally fulfilling their responsibilities – the family gains a strong foundation, able to withstand life challenges.”
The First Lady noted that Rwanda is seeing some of its youth falling victim to drugs, promiscuity and sexual abuse, dropping out of school, but also a number of children with no homes and parental guidance, who now live in the streets.
“I urge you to champion childcare reforms and promote good family values by encouraging parents to give birth to children they can afford to raise. Let’s join hands as churches and government to protect our youth. We need to be watchful of our family practices so that we uphold the kind of values that translate into positive actions for the wellbeing of our entire community,” Mrs Kagame said.
She observed that, when married couples join efforts, this also eases the family’s socio-economic development.
The First Lady recognised the role of parents, specifically mothers, in Rwanda’s post-Genocide rebuilding, saying ‘mothers often naturally stepped in as counselors’ providing the support needed by communities to start healing, in the absence of enough trained psychologists. “As such, associations like Mothers’ Union that focus on the wellbeing of the family, play an important role in helping rebuild our societies.”