More than 29,000 youth have graduated from “Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze (HDAK) Project” run by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Education Development Center.
The energetic national youth summit held last Friday at Kigali Serena brought together over 200 youth leaders.
During the program, the youth, most of them school dropouts, were taught to set future goals, savings culture and communication skills through apprenticeship and internships.
Some of the training included wielding, hair-dressing, tailoring, culinary arts, handcrafts, and mechanical engineering. The youngsters were also able to tackle health issues by setting up kitchen gardens for every trainee.
The program’s stakeholders including local enterprises and financial institutions such as RIM (Réseau Interdiocésain de Microfinance) became the learning terrain and support for young boys and girls to revive their previously lost dreams.
When she was a child, Marie Claire Uwimana dreamt of becoming a successful importer of cars or a minister. But all her dreams crushed when she could not continue her studies after completing senior 3. By the age of 19, she was a street vendor who had seen walls of many jail houses in Kigali.
“Then I met a friend, she led me to register for Huguka Dukore where I was placed in work-based learning in tailoring. Now, in less than six months, I will reach my goal of setting up my own tailoring house worth Rwf600,000.”
Darius Renzaho was the emcee during the summit. Before joining Huguka Dukore program, he was physically disabled that he could not even serve himself a glass of water.
“But today, I am your emcee and the whole world is watching me. I am now a mobile money agent, I am certified in hair-dressing, am a representative of disabled people in my sector and sit among decision-makers,” he boasted.
From over 150 applications received, three teams on a district level and five on national level were selected and awarded. Every team received a certificate and equipment.