Teenage girls who dropped out of school due to financial constraints and resorted to TVET courses (lasting for three months) have since turned their skills into income generating opportunities.
Federese Muhawenimana, a 19-year-old who lives in Jali sector of Gasabo District, is of one of 5, 415 girls in Gasabo District who were supported under DREAMS project that’s funded by USAID after dropping out of school.
The initiative is implemented through African Evangelistic Enterprise Rwanda (AEE Rwanda) where beneficiaries include teen mothers.
Due to financial constraints, Muhawenimana was not able to complete high school and the support to attend TVET course in tailoring for three months was a timely intervention.
Federese Muhawenimana is a school dropout who turned to TVET skills into income generating projects
“After training for three months in tailoring I started using the technical skills to generate money. Three months ago I bought my own tailoring machine at which enables me to generate money,” she said.
While still undertaking the TVET courses, she said that she used to get small tasks and assignments from different clients in her neighborhood from which she saved the money to buy her own tailoring Machine after graduating.
“People often gave me work to tailor different garments and I would use the machines we were using in class during the training or lease from other people until I saved enough to buy my own. I tailor trousers, shirts, women’s clothes and others,” she said.
Muhawenimana said that she saves at least over Rwf50,000 every month after all her expenses.
“I have the vision to establish a tailoring workshop where I can partner with others for mass production. It is possible that as a girl I can stop relying on my parents who are also not financially capable to satisfy my needs. I plan to buy land, build my own house and rear cows since I live in a zone known for agricultural activities,” she said.
Three months after acquiring her own tailoring machine, the teenager, said that she has already bought a cow.
“I want to acquire more cows. I plan on buying my own land for such income generating projects in agribusiness besides tailoring,” she said.
Pascal Tulia Yvette is a teen mother who gained TVET skills in hairdressing.
She said that having been raised in orphanage as she has no parents, she was keen to gain skills and work hard as using the skills.
She was impregnated while she was staying with foster family and had since left the home and dropped out of school when she was in high school.
After graduating from a three-month course in hairdressing, the 25-year-old joined a savings association with 20 members.
“I am able to pay my rent, feed myself and my baby and save for the future. Our association has so far started a chicken rearing project,” she said.
The group’s members borrow money from the savings and pay back at 5 per cent interest rate for their various small income generating activities.
The members gather every Saturday to save money they generate from their different income generating works.
“From hairdressing, I have clients across different categories. I get one or two clients a day thanks to my skills,” she said.