15 Dec 2021
Presenters, partners and participants in a morale boosting mood during the Youth forum and launch of iAccelerator phase4
University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences as one of the partners of iAccelerator hosted the Youth Forum and launch of Innovation Accelerator phase 4 held on 8th December 2021. Under the theme “Addressing the effects of drug abuse on the mental health and the sexual Reproduction Health of Adolescents and Young Adults.”
Innovation Accelerator is a program initiated by Imbuto foundation, started in 2016 aiming to explore new and engaging ways to tackle pressing population challenges in the region while also promoting social entrepreneurship among young people, the foundation has received over 2500 applications of young people to increase access of sexual reproductive health information services which shows how young people are able to provide solutions. 80 received training on how to develop business plans and how to deliver pitch presentation 11 of the applications composed of 36 young innovators received seed capital, business training to help fully innovation startups. This initiative aims at supporting young entrepreneurs through funding, training to develop their knowledge and skills development to overcome challenges by creating innovative solution.
Prof. Vincent SEZIBERA giving his opening remarks on behalf of the principal
In his remarks the Representative of the CMHS Principal Prof. Sezibera Vincent started by welcoming all participants and thanked Imbuto foundation as the main organizer of this important youth forum and all partners who contributed to make this event happen.
This event is important to us especially the youth, your commitment to get skills and knowledge in addressing issues that affect health, showing signs of future success” he said
More than 50% of youth consume drugs which is among the difficulty issues leading to the risk of mental health, teenage pregnancies, depression, suicide and more. He added that drug abuse is a global challenge “There is no doubt that everyone must contribute towards its eradication he said”
He concluded by inviting all participants in the forum which is an opportunity to bring good ideas together so that issues related to drug abuse and mental health and sexual reproductive health of adolescences and young adults are addressed.
Mike Ndayishimiye the owner of Urukundo Initiative who won iAccelerator competition urged his fellow students to apply in this program from his personal experiences they are earning and giving jobs as well.” As students of Medicine and Health Sciences we are blessed we have knowledge and several talents the community needs, use your passion to give solutions to health challenges” He said.
The Deputy country director of KOICA, Kim Jiwoong Aaron congratulated iAccelerator program for nurturing lives of youth. He said that they are devoted to support sustainable development services and skills of sexual reproductive health.
Ms.Geraldine Umutesi Deputy country director of Imbuto foundation officially launched
In her message to the youth, “This is the right time for you to start thinking on your career while you are still at school so that you will be able to work on your own out of school and employ others. believe in yourselves, yes you can she said”
This year iAccelerator fourth phase will emphasize on encouraging young people to think critically and creatively about the issues associated with sexual and reproductive, health disability and mental health. In partnership with UNFPA, KOICA and the Ministry of youth have played a big role in health education.
She concluded by encouraging the youth to apply in this program, calling on young innovators to submit their innovative projects of a life time.
Participants during the youth forum
Story by Queen Unyuzuriza (UR Comm. intern).