On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8th March 2021, the Workplace Learning Support Programme – “IGIRA KU MURIMO” embraces the success of young women who are exploiting the skills acquired through dual training to become proficient employees or unlock entrepreneurship gate and start their own businesses.
In line with the Government initiative to promote youth skills development towards 1,500,000 jobs creation by 2024 as per National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), the “IGIRA KU MURIMO” programme recognizes the need to expand inclusive employment opportunities for youth and adapt their skill levels and areas of expertise to the current demands of the labor market.
Since the start of the programme in 2017, different initiatives were undertaken to promote women participation in youth skills development in the trades of food processing, fashion and beauty in 9 districts of the country. In the framework of implementing dual training in Rwanda, the programme considers gender inclusion to ensure equality and equity in the learning process of supported young women and men.
Gender perspectives count for each stage of the programme interventions from the recruitment of apprentices, their learning in TVET schools and in companies, the capacity development of different stakeholders to collaborate and coordinate the implementation of dual training, up to the coaching of graduates in entrepreneurship and access to finance.
Women potentials are boosted
The programme assists vulnerable women to join the programme. Most of them are young girls and single mothers who dropped out from the school, women who completed their secondary or university education but could not find a job nor an income generating occupation. The programme counts 80 women among 121 graduates of the first intake of dual training (66.1%), and 129 women over 179 apprentices in the second intake (72%). This advances the target to have trained and certified at least 153 women among 375 graduates in 2021 at the end of the programme.
TVET Trainers and In-company instructors were trained in gender inclusion to provide the supported youth with equal learning facilities. In opposition to social stereotypes against women potentials, young women proved strong ability to acquire both soft and practical skills in the trades they learned. Some of them are now employed or engaged in their own income generating businesses.
From vulnerability to success
The Workplace Learning Support Programme – “IGIRA KU MURIMO” celebrates the success of Aline Munyana and Josiane Uwimbabazi, two among dual training graduates who made a successful journey during and after their training in tailoring and hairdressing.
“After finishing my secondary studies, I started the university programme in nursing. When I was about to finish the 1st semester of the 1st year, my mother died. Some days later, my father got sick and required to get treatment from abroad. I found myself home alone to cater for the family and dropped from university. Life became more and more difficult because I had nowhere to gain income to survive. When I was starting to sell our family properties to get some money for survival, I was happy to join the “IGIRA KU MURIMO” programme and acquire skills in tailoring. After my graduation, I decided to rent a sewing machine and started making different styles of clothes for women and men. I also make bags and very soon, I will start to make bed-covers. I am very glad that I can earn some money to address some family needs. Thanks to the programme I got a strong foundation to become entrepreneur. The skills I gained from dual training enabled self-resilience to address my basic needs, and I am ambitious to become an icon in this tailoring sector,” said Aline MUNYANA, one of the programme graduates.
“I could not imagine what my life was going to be like, because I lost hope when I dropped out from the 3rd year of secondary school after getting pregnant. I stayed home with my poor family. While my parents also needed support to survive, I became an additional burden to them. I struggled to get what to feed my baby son and I was victim of malnutrition, as I had no income. Later, I was happy to hear that there is a project supporting vulnerable youth including those affected by early pregnancies, and then I applied to join. “IGIRA KU MURIMO” programme came as a response to lighten my way to change my life. After completion of dual training in hairdressing, a company that hosted me during in-company training hired me as a permanent employee and I am so happy that I can get a regular income. I can also get extra clients from my village after company working hours. The programme provided me with employment opportunities that allow me to earn money to address needed resources to cater for my son and contribute to my family survival. I am working hard to create my own hairdressing saloon,” said Josiane UWIMBABAZI, another programme graduate.
Under the support of Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) through APEFE, the Workplace Learning Support Programme – IGIRA KU MURIMO, which is the pilot phase of the Workplace Learning Policy, is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) and the Private Sector Federation (PSF). The programme aims at supporting the role of the private sector and training providers in the implementation of dual training in Rwanda to ensure that youth employability skills are boosted to contribute to Rwanda economic growth.
Pierre Celestin Muhingabire,
Workplace Learning Support Programme –IGIRA KU MURIMO
APEFE – Rwanda