The reintegration of street children during Covid 19 Pandemic has been among activities to promote Child rights within Uyisenga NI Imanzi. This is a comprehensive approach to protect children from risky behaviors. The activity remained operational in Kigali, Nyanza, Rwamagana and particularly in Rubavu.
UNM is running Rubavu transit/ rehabilitation center where it is doing a great job, to reintegrate children into their families and community. Our model based on narrative therapy and intensive follow up is giving a positive impact where more than 150 children have been fully reintegrated in their families.
UNM is also following up 183 children reintegrated from streets and centres in Kigali City, mainly with Gasabo district thanks to the support from Rwanda Rehabilitation Services. We provide food and hygienic materials to them to address difficulties during Covid Pandemic. Psychosocial services are also offered to parents and children for the prevention of recidivism.
With narrative therapy, several healing sessions are used in the process to externalize the problem that causes emotional instability mainly with children and parents. The approach consists in a friendly approach by Professional Therapists, which helps the individual to find/explore available resources for a better life. It is a process of self discovery and the evaluation of all resources. Almost 6 sessions in the reintegration process are conducted: Identifying and naming the problem, location and isolation of the problem from the brain to a concrete state so that we can fight it and being free from it. It is based on diagnostic, treatment and graduation.
Street Children issue can remain a major problem since we are not deeply looking into all its causes. We will be careful to avoid the risk of treating the effects of the problem within the families and communities instead of the root causes. For instance, family conflicts and other social problems affect children to the extent of pushing them away from their home to the street, becoming a threat to the society and facing different threats themselves . So a successful program will deal with street children and family conflicts.
After a certain period in working with street children for the sake of protection, we know that the real solution to this problem will not just be their reunification, but also teaching and reminding to parents that their responsibility is key in the protection of their children. A solid reintegration and follow up.
Children need role models, they imitate things and behavior surrounding them and when they are not positive, they get affected mentally and may be pushed away to a hashing environment. They lose their belonging groups and drop out from school without concern of their future.
Let us all of us promote children’s rights and focus on the family, making it more caring, more protective and friendly. Children need to grow up in safe and caring family environment.