We see the light of employment, says survivors in vocational training
Young survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who are pursuing vocational training have expressed hope of finally getting employment for themselves and employing others.
The Survivors Fund is funding a megaproject Youth Economic Empowerment Project (YEEP) of the Graduate Genocide Survivors Association (GAERG) to uplift 850 young survivors through Entrepreneurial skills, work readiness and vocational training.
The training package which will include capital for the group of 39 started in early November in culinary arts, tailoring, film making, hairdressing, driving, airport portion and hostelry in different schools in Kigali.
Jean Claude Udahemuka studies culinary arts at Peters Bakers, Albertine Uwimpuhwe and Nadine Uwimana are studying hairdressing at CEFORMI TVET School while Mireille Mukarusine and Aime Kamana are in tailoring at CPJSP Vocational school.
All of them tell a story of solid hope for getting permanent employment for themselves and employing others after they have finished the training .
Udahemuka said that after studying culinary arts, he will start a bakery and make cakes which he said that he discovered most bakeries in Kigali exaggerate prices according to what he has known.
“Kigali bakeries are expensive for no reason. Most cakes we normally buy here in town are supposed to be cheaper depending on what they use to produce them” he said, adding that moreover, the starting capital for a bakery can be affordable.
The holder of a bachelor’s degree in Business Management he got in 2014 said that he has already planned to have a bakery after the course and eventually create job opportunities for others as well.
Albertine Uwimpuwe who studies hairdressing at CEFORMI TVET School in Kigali said she had been without a job since 2020 when she accomplished her degree in civil engineering.
“Almost everyone has something done for them in a saloon which means there is a wide market for saloon survives. Getting the customers just depends on how well one does the job or the customer care one has” she said.
The 30-year old young woman encouraged young people who are not employed to stop undermining jobs and be ready to do any job as long as it is a source of income.
Mukarusine who pursues tailoring at CEFORMI TVET School commented that tailoring though most people consider it work for the uneducated, “It’s the work that needs educated people who are accurate in measurement and appreciative of art”
Mukarusine and Kamana who along with others who are pursuing tailoring mentioned the growing apparel industry in the country under the Made in Rwanda programme currently employs many including tailors.
“If we don’t study tailoring, who will do the tailoring in factories? there is a light of employment” Kamana wondered.
A recent survey by GAERG revealed that over 32,000 of the graduate survivors are unemployed which is a burden to young survivors who already have the trauma of the genocide.
The study followed the 2017 survey by FARG that revealed that nearly 77 per cent of survivors who graduated between 2010 and 2017 were unemployed and that only 20 had been successful to get employment and changed their lives.
It is in this regard that the Survivors Fund is committed to supporting GAERG’s YEEP project such that many genocide survivors who are currently unemployed can be employed.