GIF invests in social intervention which engages new fathers in Rwanda.

Apr 02, 2023

GIF has awarded a $1.8 million grant to the Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC) to support its innovative programme aiming to make men better fathers, reduce domestic violence and promote equality.

Called Bandebereho, which means ‘role model’ in Kinyarwanda, the programme uses fatherhood as an entry-point to engage men and their female partners. Through a 17-session participatory and structured curriculum led by community role models, it covers maternal and new-born health, violence prevention and unpaid care work.

One of GIF’s core objectives is enhancing the agency of women and girls and we apply a gender lens to all our investments. Our dedicated Innovating for Gender Equality fund aims to demonstrate how innovation can address gender power imbalances, filling a gap in impact-first financing.

To advance gender equality, there is clear evidence that meaningful engagement with men and boys is critical. Bandebereho is an innovation that both engages men as a primary mechanism in gender norms change as well as promoting equity in care work. This is why it is an excellent match for GIF, and a great addition to our gender portfolio which is already set to increase the agency of up to 12.8 million women and girls in the next 10 years.

Although Rwanda has enshrined gender equality in its constitution, gender norms are still holding back women and girls back in areas such as education, health and personal autonomy. Change at the grassroots level has been slow, especially in rural areas.

RWAMREC has collaborated closely with the Rwandan government to ensure its programme aligns with national priorities on gender, early childhood development and health outcomes. As a result, it has been asked to trial integrating its model within government health systems.

With a grant of $1.8 million, GIF is anchoring a larger $4.5 million investment over a period of five years. RWAMREC will seek to improve delivery via community health workers, assess the programme’s cost-effectiveness, increase uptake to at least three districts, and monitor programme outcomes and government integration. GIF’s investment is supported by Global Affairs Canada and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).