Burera residents are upbeat after acquiring hands-on skills, including sewing, carpentry and knitting, that will help them get off-farm jobs to complement farming.
The seven-month training was provided to over 40 people from Cyanika Sector, who are expected to work together with their communities to transfer same skills to the rest of the community.
The beneficiaries said the training was of great significance as some of them were jobless and had no enough cultivation land.
Godeileve Ntawukigiriwe, a mother of two, said she found it always hard to find food to feed her family but was optimistic that with the new skills life will be a little easy.
“I was jobless and used to depend on tilling neighbours’ farms, it was always hard for me to feed my children and meet my other parental responsibilities,” Ntawukigiriwe said.
“Now that I acquired skills in tailoring and have a sewing machine I am committed to work hard to better my future.”
She said with her colleagues, they hope to start a cooperative and deal with schools and individuals to sew students’ uniform and other clothes.
“We have started to work on those tasks, we sew school uniforms and what we have to do is mobilisation to get more clients. Besides, we will deliver with customer care and I am optimistic our lives will change,” she added.
Jean Baptiste Nsengiyumva, a father of five, acquired skills in carpentry. He said the skills will enable him improve his living conditions.
“I had lived poor life and used to suffer a lot, I joined this training with little hope that my life was to change positively but during the training I realised it was possible. I can make chairs, tables and other wooden materials that can be sold not only here but elsewhere in the country,” he said.
“I used to get health insurance from government but I am ready to pay for myself in the near future because I have a job now. I am going to improve my living conditions and those of my family.”
The training was supported by Spark Microgrants, an international non-profit organisation pioneering a new method of community-driven development.
The NGO supports rural vulnerable communities to design, implement and manage their own social impact projects providing micro grants of between $2,000 and $10,000 for project implementation.
Jean Marie Vianney Nkanika, the sector executive secretary, hailed Spark for providing support which he said would help residents without enough cultivation land to get off farm jobs.
“The government policy is to help Rwandans acquire skills that can help them get off-farm jobs and we are grateful for Spark’s support, now residents will use the skills to develop themselves,” Nkanika said.