By Elias Hakizimana.
A new youth friendly self-learning center was inaugurated on August 15, 2019 at Gahanga Sector, Kicukiro District to help youth, women and children beyond 16 years to learn different talents through peer education where there will be no other teacher than themselves.
Dubbed ‘Rwanda NOOK Hub’, the center was launched by Dream Village in partnership with Project Defy where technical knowledge will lead the skills and beneficiaries with various talents will learn from each other.
The center is equipped with various facilities including internet-connected laptop computers, technical tools to help in construction, carpentry, painting, tailoring, organic garden to help them implement agricultural skills –planting fruits and herbal medicines.
Norman Manzi, the Founder of Dream Village told the Inspirer that the idea to set up this center was to help youth to reveal and put out their innovations and implement them in their local communities.
“We wanted youth, women to be able to innovate and learn together. People have ideas but most of the time they lack a platform to implement them, here we have laptops and many other equipment. We need that they come and plan with others what to do and implement together. We have painting, carpentry, kitchen gardens, and we are trying to tap into these talents within community support,” Manzi said.
He said that the center will help researchers/ mentors to come and learn and facilitate their innovations after seeing how people learn and work together.
“People learn without a teacher; we need them to learn by themselves and use the skills for own goods in developing talents in the community. We are expecting a lot of projects coming from these innovations, we have many projects done out of this center including crafting and carpentry where youth and women between 16 and 35 years are involved,” Manzi added.
Beneficiaries speak out
Jean Marie Vianney Tumukunde, 23, joined the center after dropping out school in ordinary level. He learnt metal techniques and carpentry after getting internet skills with the support of the center.
“I also learnt how to plant different fruits, vegetables and herbal medicines, I planted beetroots and vegetables at home and I am sure that these skills can work for business. I learnt how to make a chair from old tyres, a good chair can cost between Rwf 30,000 to Rwf 50,000,” he said.
Samiati Uwimpuhwe is another young lady who joined the center a week ago. She finished secondary school in Mathematics, Economics and Geography (MEG) and as she arrived at the center, she gained skills from other colleagues on efficient ways to prepare kitchen garden and make chairs from old tyres.
“I do not have any other job to day and when I do not find one I will create my own because I am planning to learn tailoring,” Uwimpuhwe noted.
Etienne Twiringiyimana, an official from Gahanga sector in charge of Good Governance said that this center is a partnership-based facility to help youth create jobs as many of them lack occupation after finishing studies.
“This sector partners with development partners to implement performance of contracts, we have other activities such as these ones. Therefore, this center is an opportunity for vocational training skills and it will increase off-farm jobs among the youths and women,” he said.
Francois Ntibakunze, coordinator of National Youth Center in Gahanga sector reiterated that this initiative is a step forward towards building youth capacity since a half of the sector’s population are youths who, many of them are jobless after they finished studies.
“We are happy that the number of unemployed youth will come down, we are going to sensitize more people to come and gain the skills,” Ntibakunze stressed.
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