The youth empowerment project currently being implemented for Rwandan and Burundian urban refugee youth is progressing well as beneficiaries tackle the third out of six modules from the program manual. The group is going over the topic of “marketing and promotion”, where they are learning that it’s not about what one sells that matters, as much as how it is sold. Initiated to combat high unemployment rates among university and high school graduates, Jesuit Urumuri Centre is currently taking through social innovation and entrepreneurship training, a second group of beneficiaries. The first graduated in 2020 and are presently running successful businesses.


Mr Wilson Muhirwa (foreground) and Dr Patrice Habinshuti (background)










JUC engaged Business Development Centre – BDC Rwanda to teach this training, where BDC Country Operations Director Dr Patrice Habinshuti, BDC master trainer Mr Anaclet Bagirishya and BDC-affiliated expert consultant Mr Wilsom Muhirwa work together or alternate to take the group through the program manual.


Isaiah Kporon, a beneficiary of the program









One of the strategies of teaching that the trainers use, is assigning the group work for them to later present in-front of their peers. The most recent such presentation was on “branding”, where beneficiaries spoke about all the elements of how they want customers to think and feel about their future businesses.


Consequently, beneficiaries have voiced their innermost thoughts and feelings about the program, where they have expressed their gratitude for having been given the opportunity to participate in this training;


“When I found out about this program, I was told that one gets trained and then receives incentives, to be honest the second part was my biggest motivation. But as we speak, I am more grateful for the knowledge I am getting equipped with. I did not expect the modules to be so detailed. My hopes and ambitions have grown tremendously as a result of this. The first module ‘self-discovery’ made me realize what I can do for myself but also for others at the same time” ~ Faustin Dusingizimana, a Rwandan youth


Straton Sembabazi and Faustin Dusingizimana, beneficiaries of the program


“I am passionate about improving lives through value based education and job creation and so having noticed the alarming nature of unemployment rate where I come from (Nigeria), I saw applying for this training as an opportunity to acquire the skills I need to make a change in Rwanda, in Nigeria and across Africa. At the completion of this training, I will launch my business but I also desire to give back and participate in capacity building for other vulnerable youth”~ Isaiah Kporon, a Nigerian youth


“I have taken entrepreneurship training before but none like this one. This one puts an emphasis on creating businesses, not just for the sake of it, but for problem solving. I personally have already thought of the location of my future business, based on the knowledge I have gained from the training” ~ Straton Sembabazi, a Burundian youth



This training is expected to take three months, after which selected beneficiaries with the best business proposals will be accompanied through a six month incubation process. Following this, selected beneficiaries will be assisted to set up businesses. The program is expected to produce entrepreneurs who will create jobs for themselves and at least 4 of their peers each in their communities.


Henriette Mushimiyimana

JUC Communication Officer