Meet Joseline Mutuyimana, a 21 year old woman who is currently enrolled in an apprenticeship program in Nyamirambo sector, Nyarugenge district, Rwanda. The program is an initiative of Swisscontact through its skills development project "Promoting Market Oriented Skills Training", popularly referred to as PROMOST.
“A friend of mine signed up for a short term course and told me about it. Despite leather making being a traditionally male dominated field, I was very interested in pursuing it. My friend guided me and in July 2016 I enrolled in the apprenticeship program. My neighbour, Alice Umutoni also formed an interest and together, we began learning practical leather making skills.”
The workshop owner, Eugene, has had 6 apprentices come through his training and has been able to absorb 2 into fulltime employment. He receives funding from the PROMOST project to provide them with lunch worth a $1 a day and pays them a small stipend from the shoe sales.
"We work as a team and put in all efforts to make or repair as many shoes as possible. In a day, an apprentice can make up to 10 open or 3 closed shoes. I sell the shoes in my shop located at the front of the workshop." says Eugene.
Each apprenticeship program lasts 12 months and Joseline is very eager to finish her session in the next few months.
‘I would like to open my shoe making business. It is not a flooded industry compared to tailoring or beauty which most of my peers are interested in. With this, I can make a lot more money and support myself. I am not afraid to ask for credit from family and friends to buy my materials as I am sure it will pay off. I am hopeful for my future.’