I partnered with a female led NGO called Empower Rwanda. The goal of this NGO is to educate teen mothers on their sexual and reproductive health, and also give these moms the resources to continue their lives the way they intended. We traveled to two districts in Eastern Rwanda, Gatsibo and Nyagatare, where we visited numerous villages. We conducted surveys which gave us a feel for what problems were present in these communities. It was clear that education had in almost all cases halted, and women were also not able to practice proper menstrual hygiene. I used a portion of the grant money to buy many menstrual pads to distribute to teen moms. I planned on returning later in July to distribute more and also implement the solutions for other problems we witnessed, however the Rwandan government has issued a 6pm curfew and discontinued travel between districts due to COVID. Hopefully, these restrictions will ease up soon and we can continue our work.
-Songa Rwamucyo ’23