Hands on skills make the dream work!

RNI staff visiting Youth studying hairdressing at Ntongwe TVET school

Youth studying culinary at Mpanda TVET school

Youth have choices about how to develop their livelihoods.  As mentors, we guide them to explore their options and find a pathway forward.  Sometimes their path requires technical skills, and we can facilitate them attending vocational school.

Rwanda has a strong system of vocational education, the TVET system of residential “technical vocational training” schools.  Our youth attend a one-year technical short course to learn skills for their livelihoods.

After graduating, Bernard explained it well:  “It is better to not give someone a fish, instead to teach him how to fish. I can fish now.”

In Kinyarwanda we say, “Ntakinanira abishyize hamwe!” … meaning nothing is impossible for those who put their hands together.  We motivate youth to stay together after the trainings through cooperatives such as our first class of 8 youth trained in hairdressing did.  They studied and developed their business plan to start their salon cooperative after graduation.  

But youth have choices, so being creative they may choose to seek for jobs instead of starting their own business.   For instance, our second TVET class of 15 youth: 5 are in culinary arts and they are planning to create a cooperative business.  But not all want to create cooperatives.  9 are studying construction, and we will help them get jobs with construction companies that need workers in Rwanda’s growing economy.   1 youth is studying carpentry since his relative has a carpentry business that he can join when he has the skills.  The youth all have different options, so we guide them towards secure livelihoods that fit them well.