Hands-on training for youth in making textile products has been officially launched at Gaculiro Vocational Training Centre. The centre is supported by Reborn Kyoto, a Japanese nonprofit organisation.
The three-year project worth $800,000 was initiated in September last year with 52 trainees.
The launch on last Thursday was presided over by the minister of state in charge of vocational training Albert Nsengiyumva.
The Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda, Kazuya Ogawa, the President of Reborn Kyoto, Masayo Kodama, the head of cloth fabrication in the organization, Shigeyo Nakajima, also attended.
Nsengiyumva commended the support from the Japanese government in skills development and pledged Rwanda’s contribution in expanding the project to other parts of the country.
He also encouraged the training center to form a production unit so as to generate revenues and also think about using local raw materials to minimise the cost of production.
Ambassador Ogawa said his government is committed to supporting Rwanda in human resource development as the country strives to promote a knowledge-based economy.
Trainees were encouraged to use their skills to create employment opportunities for other people.
Claudine Mukeshimana one of the trainees, said the training had made her believe she can live an independent life.
“I had little hope in using any skills to change my standard of living, but after this training, I only need a startup capital”, Mukeshimana said.
Another trainee, Arlette Uwisanga thinks creating an association with her colleagues would enable them makes many competitive products.
Reborn Kyoto targets economically disadvantaged youth, especially women, from the districts of Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge. The strategy is to enable Rwandans develop skills in making high standard Japanese clothes (Kimonos) and later on ‘made in Rwanda products’.
They also plan to establish of a production unit to enable trainees gain some income.
According to Yasuko Yamahira the Executive Officer of Reborn Kyoto, by the time the students complete their training in June 2014, they will be able to make various garments, including ‘Kitenge,’ a popular garment in Africa with roots in West Africa.