EUROPEAN UNION, CARE RWANDA, AJPRODHO AND YWCA VISIT YEIS ACTIVITIES IN NGORORERO DISTRICT

YWCA Rwanda together with a team from the European Union, CARE Rwanda and AJPRODHO visited the Youth Employability in Informal Sector Project in Ngororero district. The YEIS project aims at eliminating poverty among the youth between (16-30 years) dependent on the informal sector by increasing their technical, financial and entrepreneurial skills, ensuring access to information, financial and business services, facilitating beneficiaries to unite in Voluntary Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), cooperatives and trade unions. The project is being implemented in three districts namely; Nyabihu, Rubavu and Ngororero and has reached 4051 beneficiaries all from the three districts. The visit that took place on 26th April 2017 was aimed at assessing the progress made since the project started. It mainly focused on Ngororero district that has 1339 beneficiaries. The field visit began from the district office where the team met with the district mayor Mr. NDAYAMBAJE Godefroid. During their discussions the YWCA Executive Director Ms. UZAMUKUNDA Pudentienne gave insights into the YEIS project where she stressed that within Ngororero, the project is being implemented in three sectors that is; Mutumba, Muhororo and Ngororero sectors.
The mayor explained that the YEIS project was an added value to the district because it gave the youth an opportunity to gain other skills that they did not have. He noted that 50% of the population in the district are youth who are mainly engaged in agricultural activities yet the land is scarce. Therefore the project has helped the youth to diversify their skills in other areas including carpentry, welding, knitting among others.
The mayor urged the stakeholders to train more youth and provide them with the start- up materials in order to help them to be able to diversify in other activities. This will solve the problem of scarcity of land. The mayor appreciated Ms. Angelique BITAHANINKINDI the EU YEIS project coordinator and the entire EU team for their financial support. He also thanked the implementing partners for the continued daily supervision and support to the YEIS project activities.
Following the district discussion, the team went and visited the Agaciro/UCOVANGO training center in Ngororero sector. The team was welcomed by the students and the teachers in the center. The center hosts 110 YEIS project beneficiaries out of which 67 pursue tailoring, 24 knitting, 16 welding, 2 carpentry and 1 embroidery. Many of the students affirmed that they had acquired a lot of skills that have made them competitive in the labour market.
HAKIZINSHUTI Ernest the lead of the YEIS project TVET students studying from Agaciro/UCOVANGO training center currently pursuing welding noted “I’m really grateful to YWCA Rwanda for their support and EU for the financial support for the YEIS project. Learning welding will increase my opportunities of securing a job when I finish”

The team proceeded to the saving groups and among those that were visited included; Imbaraga Zigihugu and Duterimbere from Gatumba sector, Indashyikirwa from Abatarushwa mw’iterambere in Muhororo sector and Umusingi which was from Ngororero sector. The youth expressed their appreciation to the team. They stressed that the project has helped them to change their mindset towards saving. Many expressed how they managed to setup small scale businesses from the savings such as opening up retail shops, while others bought small live stocks for rearing like pigs, cows and rabbits. Besides the saving activity, the beneficiaries also asserted that they acquired knowledge related to sexual reproductive health and rights which has helped them to make the right choices in life. They have been able to also acquire knowledge on GBV prevention which has helped them to have peace in their families.