Kirehe: youth including former wrongdoers, street children vow to fight crimes
Evariste Sibomana, 36, a resident of Kirehe District could have spent years selling and doing drugs but today, he is a reformed man. Sibomana is among the 45 former drug addicts, dealers, street children or loiterers and petty thieves in Kirehe currently attending civic education program at Kirehe transit center, where they are rehabilitated and given basic business skills.
Today, Sibomana feels he has found a new path. “My favourite alcoholic drink used to be Kanyanga (a banned crude gin in Rwanda), which I was also selling, and it would force me to fight either in the bar or at home when I am drunk,” narrates Sibomana.
“From the day I was brought to this transit center, life has changed both in thinking and actions. I am a new person, who has been taught to be a crime preventer rather than a wrongdoer and ready to utilize family income into legal ventures,” he adds.
“Through this centre, we have given basic skills in business which will guide us to success when we are finally repatriated and reintegrated within our communities.”
Inspector of Police (IP) Gahigi Harerimana, the District Community Liaison Officer (DCLO) of Kirehe, while delivering a lecture on community policing at the transit center, urged them to value everything they are taught at the center, which will guide them in their new life, when they go back home. The civic program lasts for two weeks. He challenged them to be active members and partners in community policing by reporting wrongdoers.
“You know exactly the illegal things you were involved in, so be the first to fight them, we are here to work with you to combat crimes like drug trafficking and abuse,” IP Harerimana said. He also introduced them to the emerging threat of human trafficking and appealed to them to report strange people in their neighborhoods, who attempt to take young people to other places or outside the country promising jobs.