By Elias Hakizimana.
European Union Commission Director General for International Cooperation and Development Stefano Manservisi has visited Rwanda on October 17, 2018 to examine the progress of the youth employability in the informal sector “YEIS” project that benefited over 9,000 people in seven districts of the country.
This entrepreneurship four-year project was implemented by AJPRODHO Jijukirwa in partnership with CARE International and Young Women’s Christian Association of Rwanda (YWCA) under the European Union support worth Rwf 2.1 Million Euros.
“The impression is absolutely not only positive but extraordinary, because when you are talking about job creation giving a present and future way of living to the people helping them to work and realize their dreams. A couple of example is a tailor and hair dresser business which is efficiently operating and enable practitioners to meet daily trade- offs of their immediate needs and the future. I think that this is the best business they can do to improve their livelihood standards. What is powerful and real importance here is that EU is very proud to be working with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local partners who are closely helping people to create sustainable jobs,” said Manservisi.
He said that this activity is normal economic purity and not assistance. He pledged that EU will keep doing more activities to help the Government of Rwanda create more employments for youth.
“This is what we really need to do all together and we will keep doing even more in the future in partnership with people of this country to have a future which has more jobs,” Manservisi added.
Anthony Busingye, Executive Secretary of AJPRODHO explained that the four-year 2.1 million Rwf project has supported about 9,000 youth and helped them to move from the afflictions of poverty to improved livelihoods. He explained that youth between 16 and 30 years old are the beneficiaries of this project and that they have selected them randomly from the cells where the project operates.
“The objective was to move them from informal sector to formal sector and contribute to the elimination of poverty, they were doing activities which were not registered but what we want is to move them from informal sector to formal sector,” he added. The target group are street vendors, bicyclists, domestic workers, workers in hair dressing saloons, workers in mines, workers in tea plantation, etc.”
The project is built on formalization interventions of increasing their technical financial entrepreneurial skills, access to the information and business eservices.
So far, there is a remarkable achievement among 9,323 youth towards formalization of their businesses.
EU through AJPRODHO has contributed 75 percent scholarships to help Rwandans join (TVET) schools with a condition that students themselves would pay 25% of the full tuition as a condition. After the training, AJPRODHO provided start up kits to 1445 TVET students who undertaken different TVET trades.
“The project has tremendously changed their livelihoods and they have started doing their own businesses which we think will be sustainable and help them developing their families and the government at large,” Anthony said.
Leonie Nizeyemariya, the mother of four is one among the beneficiaries of this project. She works in cooperative called “AGaciro saneza” of AJPRODHO that practices tailoring. She lives in Gatenga sector in Kicukiro district.
She manages to save Rwf 300,000 monthly out of the cooperative’s activities.
“The voluntary savings and loan associations helped us to acquire a culture of savings, we save money based on target each individual in our association saves with a target. I encourage other women to overcome fear and join cooperatives. I encourage others at least to save from even a little money in order to have an investment in a long-term business. As a cooperative, we plan to establish a textile industry in the future that produces made in Rwanda products,” she said.
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