Rwamagana: REWU representatives trained on ECDs ahead of operationalizing them at the mining and quarrying working places

The Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU)’s representatives at companies’ level continue to be trained on ECD operations as they are scheduled to be built at Mining Sites across the country.

Being facilitated by ADEPE Rwanda, the training held at Deleva Hotel from 16 – 18th February 2022, attended by 45 REWU Trade union representatives in the companies operating in Eastern Province, was organized in partnership with Rwanda, Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), UNICEF Rwanda, the National Child Development Agency (NCDA) and REWU.

The training which was organized for REWU trade union representatives is focused on Early Childhood Development (ECD) program in the mining and quarry sector in Rwanda.

Trade union representatives also were taken through the rights of the children and their role in protecting children from any form of abuse.

Speaking at the workshop, the Secretary General of REWU Union, Eng. Mutsindashyaka Andre called on the participants to pay special attention to the training since they are going to be involved in ECDs operations as the latter are being established at the mining and quarry working places following the request made by employees especially women.

The pilots ECD centres are already present at  Gifurwe and NMB mines in Burera District in Northern Province.

The Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU) continues to focus on tackling child labor and promoting child protection at working place in partnership with UNICEF.

The initiative is geared up by Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), UNICEF Rwanda, NCDA and REWU.

Therefore, in order to implement the ECDs and monitor their performance, it is important that the participating union leaders are provided with knowledge on the functioning of the ECDs to increase the capacity of the program implementation Monitors as well as its sustainability.

In the recent interview with Eng. Mutsindashyaka Andre, REWU Secretary General, the Trade Union is currently working with mine & quarry companies, and various partners to build the capacity among Trade union leaders who are the union focal persons at companies to better understand their responsibilities in the operation of the ECDs at the working place.

He argues that the idea of advocating for the Establishment of ECDs in the mining and quarry companies was developed in order to protect the rights of the Children and women mothers while at work so that the child could find a place to stay and be cared for. On the other hands the income earned by women employee will be increased as the production increase too.

In mining sector, mine workers are remunerated by what they have produced, therefore it is very crucial that women need special facilities at working place for allowing them better working conditions including ECD at working places.

“Before, we used to face some cases of children dropping out of school to take care of their siblings or work to increase the income from production of their parents, while their parents were at work either in Mining, Quarrying, businesses such as laying bricks, sugar cane businesses, cross-border business, etc…. Although this challenge still exists in some companies / cooperatives that violate the law prohibiting that, we are confident that the efficient operation of ECDs will lead to a complete eradication of the problem in at working places.” Eng. Mutsindashyaka said.

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