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Miss Naomi speaks on her goals as UNICEF Rwanda’s champion for children

Miss Rwanda 2020, Nishimwe Naomie, reveals what she wants to achieve through becoming UNICEF Rwanda’s champion for Children.

On October 10th, 2023, UNICEF Rwanda announced that Miss Rwanda 2020, Nishimwe Naomi, is their Champion for Children. The “Champions for Children” are positive and inspiring individuals, who Keep children and young people at the core of all the decisions UNICEF makes.

As a Champion for Children, you support the continuous implementation of UNICEF program interventions, which aim at the well-being of children in the many countries UNICEF operates.

Miss Nishimwe Naomie has been passionate about mental health ever since she was crowned Miss Rwanda 2020.

Miss Naomie wants to make a difference and raise awareness

Through her time as a crowned miss, she advocated raising awareness of mental health and the lack of understanding of what it is, its detection and diagnosis, and indeed how it comes about.

Opening up about her own challenges during the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child with Impanuro Girls Initiative, UNICEF Rwanda, and the Mastercard Foundation, Miss Naomi opened up about her own challenges.

She spoke on how stigma, stereotypes, online hat, and her own expectations had greatly impacted her mental health through her time as Miss Rwanda. She advised young girls to speak up as it will help them more than they think.

She said, “You have to become free, you have to speak up, you have to understand that mental health matters.”

She encourages young women to open up about certain issues they are dealing with

Not understanding mental health has undermined efforts to tackle its growth and also presents the first lines of addressing the mental health challenge.

In a conversation with the champion, she said that her aim is to address more about mental health and also contribute to reducing stunting among children as well as preventing early pregnancy.

She said she wants to take part in raising awareness of the uncomfortable conversations and make a difference.

She said, “We are talking about it to address the stigma around it and just create a safe environment for everyone to feel safe.”

“The more we talk about the more we break the stigma. The more we create a safe environment for everybody to just open up and share their ideas.”

Mental health is crucial for the empowerment of the girl child

She stated she wants to address mental health until everyone is aware of it. Not only that but she believes breaking the stigma and getting people the help they need is a crucial element to saving and improving lives.

She said, “There are so many people out there who are just keeping things for themselves they do not want to open up. There is also limited access to resources.”

Her message to young girls is to be themselves. She said, “Be yourself, don’t try to be somebody else. Don’t try to please anybody. Do what makes you happy and just live life.”

The role of a champion for children is to listen to the voice of the child and young person, keep children and young people at the core of all the decisions we make, and take steps to encourage and empower children, young people, and their families to thrive, and believe in what each child and young person can achieve.

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