The director of Jesuit Urumuri Centre Fr Ernest Ngiyembere, SJ, took time out of his schedule to visit beneficiaries of the women empowerment program at St Peter’s Parish in the Cyahafi slum. Guiding him through the visit was parish co-ordinator Mr Jean Louis Hakizimana.
His first stop was at the saloon where the ladies from the hair dressing group were busy at work. Fr Ernest was able to go through the business’ accounting books and converse with the beneficiaries about their experiences so far in the business.
The ladies gave positive feedback sharing that their lives have improved greatly as a result of going through the women empowerment project. Mrs Janviere Ayinkamiye shared that she is most grateful about her dignity that she has regained in her community “When friends and neighbors see me leave for work in the morning and come back in the evening, they respect me, they have confidence in me. The landlord knows I will be able to pay my rent at the end of the month, the school knows I will pay my children’s school fees, every one that I could require a service from trusts me. This has built me immensely, I am able to hold my head high among others in my community”.
Fr Ernest was also able to meet with the tailoring and baking groups. The tailoring beneficiaries in particular were proud to display clothing that they have sewed. The beneficiaries echoed sentiments of gratitude towards Jesuit Urumuri Centre expressing that they are still working on getting regular clients but that the businesses are picking up at pleasing paces.
Yvonne Irankunda is happy to become independent as she has been relying heavily on her family before joining the program “You see, I live with my brother and his family, and I was asking him for everything I needed before, which was embarrassing especially when it comes to sanitary items. Now I am able to go to the market and get myself everything I need and I also feel proud that I am able to contribute to my brother’s household” She added that when she gets more clients she will be able to start saving for her own future family.
The groups are nearing the end of the initial 6 months of their businesses during which JUC accompanied them in starting and stabilizing in their respective industries.
JUC Communications Officer