The “Forum pour la Mémoire Vigilante, FMV”, joined the rest of the world in celebrating the Day of the African Child last Sunday, June 16, 2024.

Based on this year’s theme “Education for all children in Africa: the time is now”, FMV took the opportunity to salute its initiative with its education partners.

Indeed, over 60 pupils and schoolchildren have completed (and several continue to complete) their primary and secondary education thanks to FMV funding, granted by its main partners in this sector, namely “Burundian Community of Texas, BCT” and “Flaming Chalice International, FCI” since 2019 in Rwanda.

They come mainly from the impoverished families of Burundian refugees.

According to UNICEF, most African countries are not meeting their commitments to allocate 20% of their national budgets to education, as recommended in the Framework for Action for the Sustainable Development Goals for Education.

Nine out of 49 African countries (less than one in 5) have allocated 20% or more of their public spending to education, while 24 countries have committed to allocating at least 15% of their national budget to education, and six countries have allocated less than 10% of their national budget to education.

Yet education is essential to developing the human capital needed for the continent’s prosperity. Education funding is a major problem on the African continent, leaving millions of children unable to acquire the fundamental skills needed for their future prosperity and that of their country.

Low learning achievement remains a major concern: in Africa, four out of five children aged 10 are unable to read and understand a simple story.

In the world of refugees, the figures are alarming, and FMV is far from bridging the gap, even if it tries to do its best.

To mark the occasion, FMV organized a virtual meeting to discuss the challenges and introspection involved in bringing its education support project to a successful conclusion.

Through the presentation made by the Education Program Director, Mr. Vincent Nzisabira mentioned that FMV’s expectation is that “at least 120 of the most vulnerable urban refugee children in primary school and 85 in secondary school could benefit from school support”.

However, this goal has not yet been reached. According to him, the main reasons are:

“The project is facing a problem linked to insufficient funds. Although they meet the eligibility criteria, some requests are not granted, the instability of funds granted by donors already received, the low level of cooperation from parents often linked to their living conditions, the high cost of schooling and the lack of sufficient means to ensure proper monitoring of the project”, he enumerated.

Faced with all these difficulties, and with the progress of the activities in general, the person in charge of the school education sector made a number of recommendations.

To the Executive Board of the Forum pour la Mémoire Vigilante (FMV):

Continue advocacy work, as the number of refugee children in need of help continues to grow;

To plead for these children who often become “victims” of their performance, which leads to them being sent to expensive schools when they cannot afford them;

To advocate for those children who complete secondary education who encounter difficulties in facing university, and thus to institute a regular follow-up plan for these children in order to increase the project’s chances of success.

To our partners:

To Increase the budget allocated to this project, as the educational needs of the beneficiaries continue to grow;

To support FMV in its search for financial resources to ensure the proper periodic monitoring and supervision of the assisted refugee children, in order to improve the project’s performance.

The Executive Director and FMV representative, Révérien Gahimbare and Ferdinand Ndayiragije respectively, stressed the ultimate urgency of helping children from impoverished families to continue their studies.

“The celebration of the Day of the African Child “DAAC” is not a simple commemoration on June 16, but rather a long celebration where all actors should undertake various actions and measures related to the educational development of the child. As a result, FMV is now focusing much more on education, given the various educational challenges facing refugees. Moreover, the focus on education follows on even from the key factors highlighted after the needs assessment carried out by refugee representatives in Rwanda some 4 years ago,” said Mr. Révérien Gahimbare. 

“Education is a powerful vector for development and one of the best ways of reducing poverty. And paying for the schooling of a single child means saving an entire generation, and hence an entire nation. We appeal to potential partners to contribute to the education of refugee children wherever they may be”, said Mr Ferdinand Ndayiragije.

Both thanked FMV’s partners in education.

FMV is based in Muhanga, in the south of Rwanda, and operates throughout the country. In education, the children supported are from the Districts of Muhanga, Huye, Nyarugenge, Gasabo, Bugesera and Musanze. FMV covers school fees and materials.  This NGO would like to extend its list, especially as the needy are more numerous.

Established in Rwanda since 2017, the Forum pour la Mémoire Vigilante (FMV) is a national NGO, based on the values of Memory, Education and Prevention.

FMV is also a partner of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience ICSC, an American NGO founded in 1999 and which is the only global network of Sites of Conscience present in over 65 countries including Rwanda, “Spirit In Action” (a California-based NGO) and “Africa Solidarity Centre”, a charitable and non-profit organization founded in 2000 by a group of activists from the African diaspora in Ireland.



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