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Intervention of H.E. Mme. Soline Nyirahabimana, Ambassador of Rwanda to the UN

Summary of the Ambassador's intervention :

The loss of key elements of traditional culture which established respect and order in Rwandan society, as a result of the impact of colonisation, was a substantial factor in a level of disorder and complete lack of moral restraint which expressed itself in the horror of genocide. The natural order of society of which family plays such a central part should be and is now protected by the state so that families can flourish.

The Ambassador paid very meaningful tribute to the many projects initiated by Rawanda’s First Lady and her commitment to engage, educate and empower through initiative sin education, health and employment. The Guardian Angels project which encourages remarkable adults who have shown remarkable compassion by caring for vulnerable children and the Unity club which brings together women survivors of the genocide and the wives whose husbands are in prison or exile as a result of their part in committing the atrocities.They discovered they were all victims of the tragedy and facing similar problems in overcoming traumatic loss and caring for their families.

The following are the Ambassador's notes for this intervention :

I thank the organisers for organising and for the invitation. I thank them for all the good work they are doing in Uganda: what they have done and still doing .

Families, human development and governance are the hinge on which society is based.

However, though education and religion play number one role, culture plays a secondary but significant role.

Families are breaking down, kids are growing up in broken families with single parents.

Mothers generally have too much love hence they can hardly bring up a disciplined kid single handedly.

A father is needed for disciplinary action.

According to the research done on the London riots, 90% of the youths who burnt down London and committed barbaric atrocities typical to a third world riot were from broken families.

Hence people from bad families: abusive, broken, unhappy families tend to be ungovernable.

Michael Jackson in the US had a lot of psychological problems.   The family said that their father abused them when they were young.

An unhappy kid cannot concentrate at school and in turn he will also become an abusive person.

By family I hope we all mean man and woman

There is now lack of a common definition of a family: it should be as per the Biblical teachings of a man and a woman, as done by God.

How can a gay couple be allowed to adopt kids? They will inculcate wrong elements into the kids!   This will kill the family. Human Rights are stretched too far!

Culture refers to norms, values, beliefs upheld by a community as an ideal way of doing things in a given community or society.

I’d like to amend the topic: the values of our culture on families, good governance etc… given the global influence because no culture apart from the Aborigines in Australia, the bushmen in Kalahari and some few extreme and unfortunate cases, no culture is independent. A culture has to influence now within the global setting.

E.g., formerly parents/families negotiated marriages on behalf of the children and it was the norm.   It was a taboo to marry from some families!   Now it is no longer possible. People meet at university and marry. However, parents and relatives may boycott the wedding (a sign of curse), or refuse to approve of the relationship and some children fear their parents and they follow that.

Children’s rights : Formerly a kid belonged to the community and had to respect everybody, greet everybody with girls kneeling down, and could be beaten/disciplined by everybody but now teachers are taken to the police if they beat the kid, you cannot beat someone’s child, etc.. a value lost !

God is key in our societies even before the coming of missionaries: gods were respected a lot and feared and sacrifices were offered to them. When Pope Paul VI came he said those people are poor but they have faith. The cultural background played a role.

Family is extremely important. Discipline is very key. A kid’s character is formed between 0 and 5 years. One Professor said that if by 10 years a kid does not understand then he will never understand! Some parents do not discipline their kids or bother. The church example where I looked at the kid playing around and parent doing nothing about it.

Divorce has brought a problem, single mothers can hardly discipline because of too much love.

There is too much familiarization with the kids hence they can no longer fear you!   Do not play too much with them. They know you will do nothing to them!

Also, a girl who grows with a single mum will not value a man much because she knows she can live on her own that is why it is always better to look for a girl from an unbroken family! Sorry!

Our conscious life is like a tip of the iceberg. 95% of what we do we do not know why we do it. It is in the unconscious which is formed slowly by the environment we go thru. What we pass thru turns into remote control from the back of our minds.

You should never marry a person who does not respect her parents! If she does not respect them who are you?

A person from an abusive family is also not good to marry because if the boy’s father always harassed the mother the boy will see no value in the girl!

Also it is good to marry from a family which prays and practices the faith. Pope John Paul’s statement : leave to your kids not only the worldly heritage but also the religious : good example of praying, going to Church on Sundays, receiving sacraments etc...

One boy said : for 18 years nobody talked to him about God ! just imagine.

The greatest injustice you can do to a person is not to tell him about Christ.

Now imagine your kid !

Why families break is because when getting partners God is usually not involved plus due diligence :

There are 3 types of crosses :

One, God imposes on you like a hereditary sickness like sickle cells Another you bring upon yourself like going out with a sick partner despite serious warnings.

The 3rd we share with God e.g. we have to marry but the way you get a partner determines the % of God. If you get him/her from the street,

God’s % is small but if you pray about it, you consult, search in the right places, you increase the % of God.

Parents are the first teachers. Do not send a spoilt child to the teacher, he will do little!

You should annoy your partner to get to know his or her real character.

You can never know one’s character unless you annoy him or her.

All responsible citizens come from responsible training parents.

A mother spends 90% of the time with the kids hence be careful with whom to marry!

American laws are not helping families: very unfair to men which breeds violence

Sharing property at divorce is becoming the aim of marriage

If parents fight infront of kids you can imagine the type of kids they will bring up

Schools should start courses on marriage early enough to prepare kids for marriage, boys to respect girls, not to see them as sex objects.

Parents themselves are the best violators of family human rights

Educated women are feared by men because of too much emancipation

We men are weak when it comes to beauty so in marriage we compromise character with beauty

Both parents are needed in bringing up kids, mothers are too soft

Families are not only for the good of kids but also adults. With a bad home you cannot work well, concentrate. Behind every successful man there is a woman

A kid from an abusive family will be cruel

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