On Thursday 25 August 2022, Jesuit Urumuri Centre assistant director Mr Pierre Nyandwi, SJ, made visits to the locations where the women empowerment project beneficiaries are interning following the completion of their vocational trainings.
In particular, he visited the hairdressing and tailoring groups from Cyahafi Slum. The hairdressing group has been placed at two saloons and the tailoring group was placed at two tailors’ workshops where the beneficiaries’ skills are getting finessed for the job market.
Mr Pierre was gratified to witness that beneficiaries have plunged themselves into making use of their skills as he found all of them working. The hairdressing groups were braiding clients while the tailoring groups were sewing different clothes. He was particularly impressed that those being braided were actual paying clients and that the clothes being sewn are to be sold. This displays the confidence that their supervisors have in their capabilities.
The managers of the tailors’ workshops expressed their gratitude to JUC and the CEFOTRAT TVET for their accompaniment in instilling skills in the beneficiaries; “I am very impressed with these students as they are even such quick learners. The training school taught them well and the Jesuits are Godsent to them and their families. I am thinking of hiring them once their internship is over” said Mrs Joseline Mukangiruwonsanga.
Tailoring group beneficiaries are excited also to have made so much progress in their quest to gain skills that will earn them an income to support their families. Responding to Mr Pierre’s amazement at the clothes they have sewn, Mrs Claudine Byukusenge said “You know it becomes easy when you know your end goal and for me, it’s to improve the standard of living for my family”.
The hairdressing beneficiaries are also excited to be going through their internship as according to Helen Kanakuze, some have even started making money back in their neighborhoods; “Yes, I come to the saloon but when I am dismissed and go home I usually look for a client to braid. With the money I am making now, once I start working full-time, my family’s standard of living will change too” she said.
After the beneficiaries complete the internship, JUC will facilitate training on business management for them and then set up businesses for them.
The women empowerment program was initiated as an emergency food relief program for families that were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. Towards the end of that year, the first batch of beneficiaries selected from said families was taken through vocational trainings in what was the second phase of the program dubbed “Long walk to recovery-post COVID-19”. The project was closed in September 2021 after beneficiaries received support to start their businesses. The second batch of beneficiaries was selected and this current program was launched in January 2022.
JUC Communication Officer