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RWANDA: Students become entrepreneurs

Don Bosco Muhazi Technical-Vocational School helps youth find and retain employment


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Muhazi Technical-Vocational School, located in the Gasabo district in the Kigali province of Rwanda, has an entrepreneurship program that plays a crucial role in helping students to launch their own businesses. This helps them to become self-sufficient, as well as improve the lives of their families.

Through the entrepreneurship program, youth are trained in the creation and management of a small business. They also learn how to develop psychosocial competence to lead the business. Sessions are held during an internship period after coursework is completed.

The school offers vocational training in masonry, culinary arts and tailoring trades. Students are guided through their coursework and have access to the entrepreneurship program. For those who don’t want to start their own business, there is a job service office. According to recent statistics, more than 90 percent of graduates have a job and are satisfied with it. To date, more than 800 poor youth have graduated from Don Bosco Muhazi.

Uwizeyimana Lenatha, age 18, has completed two years in the tailoring trade and currently practices her tailoring profession. She says that although she used to face challenges during her studies due to family poverty, she has started reaping the fruits of her labor.

Lenatha said, “I remember how I had to cross Lake Muhazi every day coming to school to get knowledge. Now I have a job as a tailor and I can earn a living. I plan to set up a large workshop and provide employment to unemployed youth and expand my business in other sectors of the Gicumbi district.”

Ingabire Olivier, age 22, completed the culinary arts courses at Don Bosco Muhazi and completed an internship at one of the hotels Rwamagana district. When he completed the internship, the manager of the hotel offered him a job because of the quality of his work. Olivier said that the secret to getting employment is discipline and hard work which are some of the qualities of the students who graduate at Don Bosco Muhazi.

A Salesian missionary at Don Bosco Muhazi, said, “These young people tell you that their education would not have been easy if they did not have the opportunity to go to a school that cares for the poor. On the other hand, the stressful life that most of the young people have lived before coming to school has led them to concentrate on their studies so that they are becoming who they want to be.”

After bravely overcoming the trauma of the 1994 genocide, Rwandans looking to transform their country have made remarkable progress. Still, much remains to be done. Close to 39 percent of Rwandans live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Rwanda is a rural, agrarian country with about 35 percent of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture with some mineral and agro-processing. Many of the country’s orphaned children are the tragic result of a violent civil war. Half of all children drop out of primary school and 2.2 million people — 22 percent of the population — face critical food shortages.



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