RWANDA: Young woman succeeding in her welding courses at Don Bosco Technical School in Rango
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Technical School in Rango, Rwanda, is providing poor youth hope for the future with vocational and technical training. Uwiringiyimana Grace is a young woman who decided to do away with the cultural beliefs that women can’t pursue technical studies, especially welding courses formerly for men only.
After realizing that the welding sector could provide her a better living, Grace decided to enroll at Don Bosco Technical School. She chose the welding trade because she loves it. Apart from that, she said, “I have been inspired by welders when I saw how they make doors. That’s when I decided to join this career.”
Grace is now in level three in her welding studies. She is optimistic that after graduation she will be able to land her dream job or create her own welding workshop. Grace added, “I hope that after my studies, as soon as financial means are available, I’ll be able to set up my own workshop where I can practice my profession.”
Grace encourages other young women to look into technical training in trades, adding that they should not underestimate these studies.
“There are some who try to discourage me, asking if I am not ashamed as I am the only girl in a group of many boys,” explained Grace. “I say, no, I am here to study and not to have any other affairs with boys. This is a profession for all of us. You can’t tell which one is for men and which one is for women.”
Don Bosco Technical School was initially established to accommodate young Salesians preparing to become priests, living there and attending classes. Now it serves as the site for technical and vocational education for young people, a large number of them coming from poor families.
Father Jean Pierre Turabanye, the school’s director, noted that this year enrollment at the school has increased from the 65 students enrolled last year. He said, “We have more than 100 students already registered to start classes. We have students who come from all around the area. They are enrolled in six vocational training courses, including construction, carpentry, hospitality, sewing, hairdressing and welding.”
Students are also offered lunch at no cost, thanks to the help of donors. Don Bosco Technical School also provides other forms of support for its students, as well as sports and student field visits.
The school has 10 teachers, a deputy in charge of studies, a deputy in charge of disciplines and two German volunteers. Don Bosco Tech Africa, which started six years ago and is committed to helping improve the quality of vocational and technical training in Africa, has selected Don Bosco Technical School among the centers that will benefit from aid for modernization of technical training this year.
Salesian missionaries have been living and working in the Great Lakes region of Rwanda for more than 50 years providing education and social programs to give youth hope for a brighter future.
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. Rwandans are anxious to move their country forward but need substantial help to do so.
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 and with some mineral and agro-processing.
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