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Youthconnekt transforms former street child’s business

Jean Marie Vianney Habiyaremye was awarded 500,000 Frw (approximately $500) at YouthConnekt in 2017, boosting his capital to nearly 10 times, and sent him to Ghana for an exhibition of his products where he got new markets.

Hailing from Kicukiro in Kigali, Habiyaremye now sells his cow horn crafts to Ghana, the USA, German, and Japan as well as the local market here in Rwanda, standing at 33,000,000 FRW (about $33,000) returns this year.

 “In 2008 when I was a 16-year-old street child and primary school dropout, I and my friends went to a centre in Kigali where an organisation was serving food to street children and registered to learn making crafts from cow horns” Habiyambere started.

At that time, the governments of Rwanda partnered with many organisations to end street life and vagabonding. “Dozens of us registered at FidesCo Rwanda for training in making crafts from cow horns”

Habiyaremye reluctantly accepted the registration just as a pass to access food at the organisation.

“Spending much time with different people at the organisation changed my perception of the world and started hating the life I was living and the company I was in,” he said.

Three months into the training in making crafts from cow horns, Habiyambere asked one volunteer lady at the organisation to support him to go back to school.

“The lady generously accepted, taking me back to my home place in Bugesera which I had left for meandering in Kigali streets. From there, I could return to the organisation during school holidays to work in cow-horn-products making”

The volunteer lady was now paying the learners before she left in 2013 and the business collapsed.

“When I accomplished my high school in 2015, I was already thinking of starting my cow horn crafts project” he explained.


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