Celebrating Healthy Families

Others, Education , Family

Contributed by: Wellspring Foundation for Education


Today is Family Day in Canada, so what better way to celebrate than with some stories from healthy families across Rwanda? Parents who are working through our Community Involvement modules are implementing the lessons into their own families and homes and are seeing changes for the better!

Through training in Asset-Based Community Development, and Life in Families and The Child’s Education, moms and dads are building a healthy foundation for students to grow upon as they create supportive homes and invest in their children’s education in meaningful ways. Here are some of their stories and experiences.

I will no longer treat my daughter as I was treated by my parents 

“My parents used to refuse to give me enough exercise books. In fact, because I am a girl, they would harass me and tell me that I had to leave school and work in their field. To them, they thought my only purpose was to become a wife and mother. They wanted me to drop out of school so they wouldn’t have to spend money on my education. As a result, I left the school. Consequently, I used to think the same way as my parents did about girls’ education. I did not provide more than three exercise books to my child. Due to a lack of enough materials, my daughter’s performance was not good. Her scores were lower compared to others. From the training provided by Wellspring on how parents should be fully involved in the education of their children—especially their daughters—I have understood and testified that I won’t treat my child again as my parents treated me. I have decided to change the way I am going to treat my children, especially my daughter. I will encourage her to pursue her education, and I will do my best to provide the school materials she needs.”
— Mother and Parent Connector from a Rubavu School

I have a role to play

“We live close to the school. When the school feeding program started in the schools, I didn’t support it because my daughter could come home to take her lunch. But sometimes she could not find food at home when her mother was not there. One day I found her crying and when I asked her the reason, she said that she couldn’t find food at home and I had not paid school feeding fees for her to have lunch at school like other children. She even added that she wouldn’t return to school until I paid for her school feeding. This challenged me, and I told her I will pay for her.  Since then her performance has improved. I was happy for her and from that day, I committed to being part of community mobilizers for school feeding.”
— Father from a Rubavu School

I cannot wait so long to change

“I used to be silent at home and never talked to my husband or to my children. We never made time to plan home activities together as a family. Our children never saw us parents sitting together and talking with joy. Anyone who met us could see our poor communication skills. This situation affected our children because they could not share with us anything about their lives and learning and we parents, never asked them. 

The very evening of our training by Wellspring on healthy families and communities, I decided to change. When I got home, I found my husband and greeted him. This was a big surprise to him! We sat and started to chat asking him how his day was. I shared with him also how mine was, and I told him that we learned the importance of increasing communication in the family. I also called our children, and we had a conversation. This surprised my children, but they were happy and committed to change. We all recognized that with such attitudes of not communicating we were afflicting one another. Personally, I confessed my weaknesses regarding family communication and promised to change and work for its betterment.”
— Mother from a Rubavu School

Celebrating Healthy Families

If family life is fractured by conflict and violence, if parents lack knowledge about healthy child development, if communication patterns are hurtful or if children are neglected, they don’t have the capacity to learn at school, and their future is at risk. Children who come to school from a nurturing, safe, and stimulating home are ready to learn, socialize, and self-regulate. But that’s no longer the case for these parents and families! Our Community Involvement training modules are resulting in healthier marriages and flourishing families that provide safer and more developmentally and emotionally supportive homes for girls and boys—leading to more consistent school attendance and a greater capacity for children to learn!


Originally published on: https://thewellspringfoundation.org/stories/celebrating-healthy-families/