HDI in full means Health Development Initiative. It works in Rwanda as a non-profit organization based in Kigali and registered under Rwandan law. Since it was founded in 2005, HDI’s vision is to have a society in which everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the highest standard and well-being, regardless of social, cultural or economic status. HDI works with public and private universities and secondary schools as well as other partners in terms of raising the awareness of the health of community members. It likes to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights, community health and development, human rights and the right to health for Rwandans.
Based on the theme “Amplifying our voices for Women’s Health and Rights in Rwanda”. On June 7, 2019 HDI organized a pre-selection debate competition among university students at INES-Ruhengeri where one debating team won the ticket for going to represent INES and participate in inter-universities final debate competitions at Kigali.
The great number of people has confirmed that the use of debate encourages active involvement and applying content in meaningful ways compared to passively absorbing information. Therefore, HDI organized the inter-universities debate finals hosted by Kigali Independent University (ULK) for two days; from 24-25th October 2019 on the theme of prevention of teenage pregnancy. This final debate brought together 10 participant universities from Rwanda. On the first day, all selected 20 debating teams were there and played the pre-semifinal and the second day on October 25, 2019 the semi-final and final competition were done where INES-Ruhengeri debating team kept standing out as an active and successful team. The few debating teams which tried to reach the final, INES-Ruhengeri was one of them. The motion to debate on goes “This house believes that the adolescents should have access to contraceptives”. In general, this competition was aimed at equipping university students with more skills in public speaking and knowledge on reproductive health that will help them to prevent teenage pregnancies in Rwanda. The winners played six rounds from day one to day two of debate competition while the eliminated teams did not exceed 4 rounds.
Only 4 teams debated for final and three of them were the champions of the inter-universities debate competition. As it is said by many people through their daily proverbial interactions that the end justifies the means, INES-Ruhengeri debating team was one of these three winners who were awarded different valuable awards by Health Development Initiative (HDI) Rwanda.
The team of HDI adjudicators declared INES-Ruhengeri as the second runners-up to University of Rwanda (UR).
The four INES winning debaters in green receiving their awards by DR. Lubwana Joseph Ntege, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University (on the left side) and on the right, there was Dr. Athanase Rukundo, the Programs Director of Health Development Initiative (HDI)
The Deputy Vice chancellor of ULK, Dr. Lubwana Joesph thanked all participant universities and HDI which selected ULK to host these debate finals. He said to the debaters and the house at large to take part in fighting and preventing the teenage pregnancies in our country using the skills and knowledge they got from these inter-university debate competitions. He also added that the youth should be aware of the side effects associated with some contraceptives. The accessibility to the contraceptives is good and can help our teens to curb the unintended pregnancies where he told them to raise their knowledge about the use of different contraceptives. In doing so, the teenage pregnancy will be zero and sexual contraceptives will cause no harm to those ones who used for preventing those unwanted pregnancies.
INES-Ruhengeri debate winning team with their awards at ULK on October 25, 2019
Mrs Suzette Uwimana and Mrs Evelyne Iradukunda, INES-Ruhengeri debaters who qualified for the final round and won it remarkably. They were receiving the HDI’s award given by Dr. Lubwana Joseph Ntege and Dr. Athanase Rukundo.