Gira Isuku Program in Muhanga, Rwanda (Press Coverage)

Youth in the Muhanga District in the southern province of Rwanda launched a campaign called GIRA ISUKU aimed at protecting the environment as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The GIRA ISUKU campaign is a project developed by five youth among 20 that were trained by Rwanda Youth in Solution (RYSO) and AYANA International in August 2018. The organizations worked to empower youth to create sustainable solutions. The campaign was launched in the Nyamabuye sector of Muhanga District on January 10th, 2019.

While launching this campaign, these young boys and girls have placed three dustbins at three locations in the Nyamabuye sector targeting locations where many people meet, such as at the bus stop. The dustbins are part of the effort to protect the environment in addition to promoting hygiene and sanitation in their community.

Dr. Vincent Ndebwanimana, the Executive Director of Rwanda Youth Solutions, said that RYSO has partnered with AYANA International to support Rwandan youth to contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals. The campaign launched by these youth as their project is in line with the 13th Goal of SDGs, which aims to tackle effects of climate change on the environment.

He explained that RYSO and AYANA International trained 20 young people from different parts of the country and all trained youth were divided in four groups, each made of 5 members who have chosen among SDGs which they will work on through their own identified project.

“It is in this regard that on 10th January 2019 we joined youth in Muhanga District to launch their GIRA Isuku project whereby they will allocate dustbins in various areas of the District as part of the Environment protection, Hygiene and sanitation promotion among communities," he said.

Officials in the district commended such initiative as a trigger to other youth to contribute their role in the sustainable management of environment.

Bon Pasteur Alain Celse, 15, is one of the five children leading GIRA Isuku Campaign in Muhanga District.

He said that despite their age, children can also make a difference in the country’s development.

"We thought about this project because we have understood that we can contribute to the environment protection by improving hygiene in our district at the same time protecting the environment. This can be an urgent solution to hygiene in our area. That’s why we developed this project by starting little and we hope the project to have big impacts in the future,” he said.

The project is being implemented with the support from Rwanda Youth Solutions and AYANA International. AYANA International empowers young people in developing countries to improve their communities through human-centered design. The organization revolutionizes humanitarian work by allowing youth members of developing communities to speak for their own needs and identify the most effective solutions.

The article above was initially published in Top African News.

We are immensely grateful to our local community partner, Rwanda Youth Solution Organization. Specifically, Vincent Ndebwanimana has been responsible for overseeing the execution of SDG Superheroes and the funding distribution for the youth-led projects. You can find out more about RYSO here.