When Agnes Nyiraminani lost both her parents, life became difficult for her and her siblings.
Being the eldest, she had to fend for her siblings which was a daunting task.
“We used to work for neighbours to get money for survival,” she says.
Despite the tough times, Nyiraminani never gave up on her dream of going to school.
The now 44-year-old mother of three recalls how she felt sad whenever she saw her peers going to or coming from school.
“They were always smart and recounting whatever they learnt,” she recalls.
As years passed by, the dream of going to school faded and Nyiraminani thought she would never learn how to read and write.
“I always wanted to learn but conditions never allowed. So, I almost resigned to my fate,” she adds.
But a few years later when Nyiraminani heard of a special literacy programme for adults in her home sector of Mbazi, Huye District, she knew it was time to realise her dreams.
Last year, she enrolled for a course which she has successfully completed.
On Thursday, Nyiraminani was among 977 adults who graduated after a year of training in various literacy centres in Huye.
The course was funded by the Pentecostal Church of Rwanda (Adeper), with support from Global Communities under the Usaid-funded Ejo Heza project.
“Now that I can read, write and count, I believe my life is going to change drastically. It is not too late for me to turn my life around,” Nyiraminani said.
She says she has made sure that her three children are in school.
“I hope they will study up to university because with education, they can achieve their dreams,” she notes.
Pastor Jean Sibomana, the head of Adeper, says the adults are not only given literacy courses but also trained in other skills which include savings, technical skills and preparation of balanced diet among others.
After graduation, many of them are supported to start informal savings groups which help transform their lives.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Governor of the Southern Province Alphonse Munyantwari, urged the trainees to put the acquired skills to good use so that they benefit the community.
He said illiteracy is a serious challenge to development and called upon the graduands to work to improve their lives.
“I hope the skills you have acquired will help you transform your lives and your respective communies,” Munyantwari told the trainees.
John Ames, the Chief of Party for Usaid, said they will continue to support adult educations in the country.