On Wednesday 22 December 2022 Jesuit Urumuri Centre director Fr. Ernest Ngiyembere, SJ and assistant director Mr Pierre Nyandwi, SJ met with the women empowerment project beneficiaries group at St Pierre Cyahafi parish. This meeting was marked by the handover of equipment and business capital to the groups made up of tailors, bakers and hairdressers. This event follows vocational training, business management training and internship that the beneficiaries were taken through during this year.
Also present during this occasion was the executive officer of Kamuhoza cell Mrs Joseline Sibomana, the director of Cefotrat TVET school Mr Dominique Uhigumugabo and members of the Justice and Peace Commission at Cyahafi parish.
Speaking at the event, Fr. Ernest expressed his gratitude to the beneficiaries for their having taken full advantage of the trainings. He asked them to run their businesses well so as to assist the Centre in giving opportunities to other vulnerable members of the community; “We need your help. If you put to use the skills you have gained, you are not only helping yourselves and your families, you are helping your vulnerable neighbors and fellow citizens. It is only when we will see your success that we will be able to take on another group to benefit from this project.”
Fr. Ernest and Mr Pierre handed over equipment including sewing machines, fabric, needles, thread, irons and more to the tailors. To the baking and hairdressing groups, they handed over cheques which will be used by the beneficiaries to purchase equipment for their businesses. In addition to receiving equipment and funding, JUC assured the groups that the Centre will take care of their rent and bills for the first 3 months while they find their footing.
Mrs Joseline in her capacity as a representative of the Government of Rwanda took the time to address all that were in attendance. She began by thanking the Society of Jesus; “Let me thank these Jesuits in front of you all for thinking about our vulnerable members of the community. We thank them for not only training you but also following through and equipping you with these materials. We know many other organizations that train people and then send them to the job market with nothing. Now, you know opportunities like these come once in a lifetime, don’t let anything tear apart what you are about to build. Not quarrels or misunderstandings, that is bound to happen when you work in a cooperative but keep your eyes on the ball. Let these partners come back to visit us and feel pride for what they have done for us”.
Beneficiaries of this project expressed their appreciation for the day;
“I am so grateful to have received capital for our business. As you know when I attended vocational training I was pregnant. I now have a child to think about and I am just grateful that my life is about to change as I begin earning an income to support my family.” Fillete Niyomugeni, baking
“Jesuits are good guardians, they accompanied us from the start of the project to today. I see today as an inheritance I am receiving from a parent. When one pays for your education and then assists you to start working, that is like receiving an inheritance. All that is left for us now is to work hard and pray for success” Claudine Byukusenge, tailoring
“This project proved to me that Jesuits are good people. They kept every word and promises they ever made. After training us, they are now funding our businesses, what more could we ask for?” Janviere Ayinkamiye, hairdressing
“I was very happy to see this day come to pass. Unlike the other groups, training for us bakers was only 3 months long and then 1 month internship and 1 week in business management training. So we have been waiting for this day for some time. Our parents were present today, it was joyous. I think I speak for all when I say it was a happy occasion” Gislain Mugunga, baking
JUC Communication Officer