Over one hundred Muslim women in Rwamagana District have graduated after training in various courses at a vocational school established by Education, Health and Economy (EHE), a faith based organisation.
This was the first graduation of girls and women of its kind that benefited from the free programme, which started in January this year.
They underwent training in designing, art and craft works, bag making and tailoring. Articles made by the trainees were exhibited at the school.
Nema Mazimpaka, a mother of five, who quit studies after completing primary school due to economic troubles, is now a designer who makes handmade decorative items. She intends to up her skills to make curtains, pillows and matching handmade Muslim women attire.
“I used to depend entirely on my husband for every need…this is no longer the case. The income I get has earned me respect in my family and community,” she said.
Similarly, Hadijja Mwamina, 44, is optimistic that she could lend a helping hand to her family business as well as make money with her creative skill of dress designing.
“I can now contribute to my family income…I have the skills to create my own job. It is a dream come true, where a person who never earned a single coin like me, today earns over Rwf 100,000 a month,” she said.
Mohamed Amini the vice president of EHE said the course would continue to benefit more girls and women, who sit at home after completing basic education.
Amini, an Egyptian, said that the Egyptian and Rwandan Muslims had a long term program to emancipate rural women economically.
“Days are gone when women were regarded as incapable of earning income… just meant for child bearing. Our efforts in the line therefore, will be limited by the sky”.
“The idea behind the vocational training programme is to add value to the dreams of hundreds of women. It aims at providing social and financial strength to women. We call upon even non Muslims and men to join the training for the betterment of the society,” he said.