Despite many remarkable successes in child health, Rwanda continues to struggle with alarming rates of growth stunting (44% of children under 5). Due to the legacy of genocide, Rwanda’s fragile social fabric is slowly on the mend, but the country has one of the highest rates of orphan hood in Sub-Saharan Africa, and many traditional child-rearing practices have been disrupted. Within this context, parenting practices can pose threats to child development and well-being, including frequent use of violent discipline and disrupting education due to family economic insecurity.
Rwanda’s flagship social protection program, Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP), is rapidly being implemented across the country and has a mandate to focus on child-sensitive programs, including early childhood development components that have yet to be finalized. In this context, a remarkable opportunity exists to introduce early childhood development services for young children within the VUP context. As such, this study aims to test the effectiveness of a family-based intervention model that would be delivered to vulnerable families targeted by the VUP, with a focus on parenting behaviors that demonstrate a proven effectiveness with regards to improving early childhood development outcomes and decreasing violence in the home.