A total of 125 young university and college graduates who completed an internship programme with Digital Opportunity Trust (Dot) Rwanda were awarded at Umubano Hotel last week.
At the occasion, the Dot intern graduates received BlackBerry smart phones. The phones will be used to increase their active participation on social media platforms in development dialogues and forums.
Rulindo mayor Justus Kangwagye congratulated the graduates as well as Dot Rwanda whom he said were a special partner for today and tomorrow.
“The burden of eradicating poverty has been reduced greatly by Dot interns,” he said.
Martin Ndahiro, a representative from MTN Rwanda, who are partners with Dot Rwanda, urged the graduates to view mobile phones as tools for business, not just making phone calls and sending messages.
A total of 500 BlackBerry smart phones were handed out to the fresh graduates and their colleagues who graduated earlier. The top 10 performers were rewarded with a business book each and a certificate on top of the new phones.
Janet Longmore, President and CEO of DOT, which is a network of seeral country affiliates, DOT Rwanda being one of them, thanked the Ministry of Youth and ICT for supporting the activities of Dot Rwanda. She said Dot Rwanda will next year launch a global learning platform that will be accessible online as part of its continuing education strategies.
“What we are doing in Rwanda has proven to be a model for other countries that want to join the DOT programme,” she said.
Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, the youth and ICT minister, said Africa and Rwanda’s future was in ICT, and that it is the role of the youth to deliver this future. He encouraged the youth to keep a positive attitude in whatever they do.
“Make sure you have a purpose in life, passion to do what you are doing and to do it with perseverance otherwise known as hard work,” he said.
Marie-Ange Uwamahoro, one of the graduates, expressed gratitude toward Dot Rwanda for offering her an opportunity to acquire business skills and teaching her what it means to have a purpose in life.
Later, Dot Rwanda Country Director, Violette Uwamutara, said they are in advanced stages of carrying out a research study to establish the possibility of having internships with the private sector.
“Right now we have been working with district youth centres and business development centres but we want to move and engage the private sector. We need to know which ones are youth friendly, what skills they need and also have a workshop with them to talk about how we can work together as partners,” she said.
Dot Rwanda runs an internship programme that is offered to college and university graduates, providing them an opportunity to learn and grow while building relevant work experience for their desired careers.
During the internship placement that lasts between nine and 12 months, the graduates are offered training and coaching in specific work skills, and exposure to the workplace.
They facilitate Dot’s programmes and act as trainers, mentors, and coaches in their own community, providing them with basic ICT, business and livelihood skills and supporting them to develop and implement livelihood plans.