UN Resident Coordinator Pays a Courtesy Call on H.E. Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda
Kigali, December 21st, 2012 – Accompanied by the Regional Representative of UN-Women for Central Africa, Ms. Diana L. Ofwona, and the Senior Economist of UNDP, Ms. Amata S. Diabaté, the Resident Coordinator of the One UN-Rwanda, Mr. Lamin M. Manneh, paid a courtesy call on the First Lady of Rwanda, H.E. Jeannette Kagame. This is the first official meeting between Mr. Manneh and the official First Lady since his assumption of the functions of Resident Coordinator of the One UN/Resident Representative of UNDP in Rwanda three months ago. Apart from the introductory statements, the two delegations also discussed the support of the One UN to Imbuto Foundation.
Imbuto Foundation is an institution which supports the improvement of the livelihood of the most vulnerable communities, such as orphans, HIV-infected/affected people, the youth, women, and children. The institution, which was founded and is chaired by H.E. Jeannette Kagame, was first established in 2007 as a successor to PACFA (Protection and Care of Families against HIV/AIDS), a project which mobilized resources for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Rwanda. As the First Lady explained, “Imbuto” is the Rwandan word for seeds and fruit, that illustrates the fundamental goal of the institution, which is to support the development of a healthy, educated and prosperous society. Today, Imbuto Foundation’s projects focus on 3 areas, namely health, youth empowerment, and education.
After being formally presented to the First Lady by Ms. Diabaté and Ms. Ofwona, respectively, Mr. Manneh addressed H.E. Jeannette Kagame by saying “You have designed and overseen the implementation of important initiatives through PACFA and IMBUTO Foundation in the areas of the fight against HIV/AIDS, prevention and support to HIV infected people, child development as well as in the area of youth inclusion and development in Rwanda. I wish to commend your efforts towards gender equity and empowerment, particularly for the caring support provided to young girls who are now getting, through you, the greatest inspiration for their lives”. Mr. Manneh also noted that the First Lady’s crucial supporting role to H.E. President Kagame should be acknowledged, given that President Kagame’s exemplary leadership has resulted in a rapid transformation of Rwanda within just a few years after the tragic genocide against the Tutsis in 1994.
During the visit, a presentation was made on the performance of various projects of Imbuto Foundation which are supported by the One UN, namely: 1) The Early Childhood Development project, which ensures that each Rwandan child is healthy, well-nourished and safe and that their parents and communities receive integrated early childhood development services; 2) The Promotion of Girls Education Project, which encourages primary and secondary school girls to excel in their studies. Every year, the First Lady accompanied by exemplary women leaders, awards the best performing girls nationwide, as a way of encouraging them to always excel; 3) The Promotion of the Reading Culture, is an initiative which encourages children to read from an early age. With the opening of the Kigali Public Library in October 2012, Imbuto Foundation organized reading festivals nationwide, and awarded the best participants; 4) Malayika Murinzi (Guardian Angel) project aims to promote traditional African values for adults to take on the responsibility of treating every child as their own. Every year, the First Lady rewards with cows people all over the country who have shown compassion for vulnerable children by adopting, protecting and caring for them; 5) The Family Package Programme, aims at preventing Mother-to-child-Transmission of HIV/AIDS through the provision of treatment, care, and support to HIV positive pregnant women and their families; and 6) The Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Program, which provides a platform for the youth to contribute sustainably to the development of the country. Within the One UN, support to these programs is provided by UNDP, UN-Women, UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO.
In her concluding remarks, H.E. Jeannette Kagame formally welcomed Mr. Manneh to Rwanda, encouraged him to feel at home and wished him all the best in his assignment in Rwanda. She also commended the partnership between One UN and Imbuto Foundation and added that it is a pleasure to work with people who believe in Rwanda’s progress.
At the end of the meeting it was concluded that the full details of the One UN’s support programme to Imbuto Foundation for the period through June 2013 and the EDPRS II period (2013-2018) will be presented to a subsequent meeting with the participation of the concerned Heads of Agencies.