|Study in Rwanda indicates caregiver relationships as one key to child protection|
More than 56,000 refugees, originating mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are currently being assisted by UNHCR in Rwanda. The majority of refugees were displaced by armed conflict and violence in the DRC which occurred during 1996-1998. In 3 of the camps that serve as their temporary home, AVSI recently carried out a Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior survey to guide more effective child protection programs.
AVSI works with UNHCR and Unicef in Gihembe, Nyabiheke, Kiziba and Kigeme camps to respond to the protection needs of refugee children, reinforcing the child protection system in the refugee camp and has two objectives: a) to build the refugee community’s knowledge and capacity to protect and take care of children at risk; b) to establish and provide holistic rehabilitation services for children who are victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The key objectives of the KAP Survey were:
A mixed methods approach was used throughout the study, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative research methods of collecting and analysing: the mixed methods approach allowed us to better investigate the complex nature of phenomena from the participants’ point of view, and to analyse the relationships between measurable variables; thus drawing on the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses of each type of research.
Data collection tools included structured household questionnaires, focus group discussion guidelines and key informant interview guidelines. Data collection took place between mid November and mid December 2012.
Quantitative questionnaires were distributed to a total of 598 respondents, resulting in 315 interviews with caregivers and 283 with children. Questionnaires were administered in Kinyarwanda face-to-face by three Rwandan researchers that assisted the respondents throughout the compilation process.
The qualitative survey was carried out through focus group discussions, with a balanced mix of 55 representatives from Community Protection Committees, religious and community leaders, schoolteachers, government officials, and personnel from international organizations and of NGOs participated in the focus groups, and through key informant interviews with the most relevant stakeholders in the related area of child protection.
Overall, the research showed that the functioning of the child protection system in the three camps was satisfactory; however, some gaps and challenges were identified: