This set of skills-building modules is designed to prepare Indashyikirwa community activists (CAs) to conduct community-based activist activities. Building off the foundation of learning from the Indashyikirwa Couples’ Curriculum, the sessions focus on specific skills that are necessary to do effective activism at the community level. There are 16 numbered topics, sequenced to foster progressive learning.

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The Couples’ Curriculum is a set of interactive trainings and take-home exercises designed to help foster a process of change to reduce gender-based violence amongst couples in Rwandan communities. As part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls initiative, the structure and content is built upon the latest learning from the field of GBV prevention about what makes effective GBV prevention.

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Gender-based violence has been recognized as a cross cutting issue affecting the lives of victims, families, and whole communities from diversity of dimensions including health, economy, culture, psychology, education, livelihoods and political participation. In fact, GBV is considered one of the critical areas of action in Rwanda. This presents a key opportunity for different players, including government agencies, NGOs, opinion leaders and all stakeholders to build an understanding on issues of GBV.

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This module is tailored to women trained women’s facilitators at community level to Foster positive change. The module was developed following the establishment of women’s spaces as safe venues for women at community level to interact and exchange of their day to day life challenges mainly on how they can prevent GBV and overcome its consequences. It is intended to improve knowledge, attitudes, skills, and actions of women; facilitate women to connect with other women on key GBV issues and support each other to collectively organize themselves for change. The training module also aims at creating an enabling environment for gender equality and GBV prevention and response in communities.

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This study draws on three case countries – Nepal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan – to address gaps in evidence and understanding on violence against women and girls (VAWG) during post-conflict transition. It highlights the potential for state-building and peacebuilding processes to address VAWG, and the effect this has in advancing sustainable peace.

This is the first time that a systematic approach has been taken to bridge the gap between VAWG and post-conflict state-building / peace-building policies and processes. The study was led by the George Washington Institute (GWI), CARE International UK and International Rescue Committee (IRC).

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This study draws on three case countries – Nepal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan – to address gaps in evidence and understanding on violence against women and girls (VAWG) during post-conflict transition. It highlights the potential for state-building and peacebuilding processes to address VAWG, and the effect this has in advancing sustainable peace.

This is the first time that a systematic approach has been taken to bridge the gap between VAWG and post-conflict state-building / peace-building policies and processes. The study was led by the George Washington Institute (GWI), CARE International UK and International Rescue Committee (IRC).

This policy brief summarises findings from the study for policy makers.

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This study draws on three case countries – Nepal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan – to address gaps in evidence and understanding on violence against women and girls (VAWG) during post-conflict transition. It highlights the potential for state-building and peacebuilding processes to address VAWG, and the effect this has in advancing sustainable peace.

This is the first time that a systematic approach has been taken to bridge the gap between VAWG and post-conflict state-building / peace-building policies and processes. The study was led by the George Washington Institute (GWI), CARE International UK and International Rescue Committee (IRC).

This policy brief includes an analytical framework, which is a practical tool that can be used by policy makers as a guide to designing fair, inclusive, and sustainable state-building and peace-building processes that include meaningful engagement with the issue of violence and women and girls.

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Rachel Kwizera CARE Rwanda

Indashyikirwa (Agents for Change) is an intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention project being implemented across seven Districts in the Western, Northern and Eastern provinces of Rwanda. The programme targets both partners of couples through a series of reflection sessions that challenge causes of gender based violence (GBV) and promote equality.
Ndabaruta Beatrice and Ndayambaje Godefroid are one of the couples that were selected to be a part of the five-month, weekly curriculum.
Beatrice spoke about the difference in her life and relationship before and after participating in the curriculum: “When we got married we didn’t own much, but as time went on, it got worse. We barely had any food in the home because even the little earnings we had my husband spent on alcohol. He always came home late and drunk and he often kicked the door open while hurling insults at me and the children. I became such a miserable person to the extent that I didn’t care whether I took a bath or not, I was not even bothered about body hygiene. I lived in that hopeless situation for seven years”.

The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in rural Rwanda. The programme aimed to reduce IPV, shift social norms and attitudes condoning violence, and provide more empowering responses to survivors.

This practice brief highlights lessons learned from the Indashyikirwa programme on working with couples to prevent IPV. These include the need to design a culturally appropriate curriculum with content that is relevant and appropriate for the target community, and recruit skilled male and female facilitators who over a prolonged period of time can build a rapport with and equip couples with the skills to build healthy, non-violent relationships.

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The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was funded by the UK department for International Development, with the aim of preventing and reducing intimate partner violence. The programme was implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in Eastern, Western and Northern provinces of rural Rwanda. One of the components of the programme included the training and engagement of opinion leaders to help create an enabling environment for social change.

This practice brief highlights lessons learned from – and assesses the value of – engaging opinion leaders as part of a comprehensive intimate partner violence prevention programme. In order for effective engagement to take place, there is a need to carefully map which key opinion leaders can and should be targeted, and maintain regular dialogue and communication. It is also important to engage them not just as opinion leaders, but also as people in relationships themselves.

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