Aloysie Muhawenimana will tell you it was pure luck that she received the support from Swisscontact that allowed her to partake in technical training and become a hairdresser.
When she was young, Aloysie's father passed away and she was forced to leave school to help support her mother at home. Poor living conditions meant that it soon became better for the family that Aloysie found a husband and got married.
Now 33, and the mother of two children, she says that the training she received helped to change her life. "After the training, I spoke with my husband and we agreed to sell the motorcycle that we owned to start up our own hair salon," says Aloysie.
Since opening the salon, Aloysie not only trained her husband, who now works as a hairdresser alongside her, but also started to train other youngsters. The salon allowed them to build their own house and with a combined income of CHF 229, they can save for a better future.
Due to poverty, Claude Simbankabo had to give up his education in primary school and become a tea harvester, earning CHF 0.29 per day.
Coming from Manihira in the Rutsiro district, he one day heard local authorities talk of an opportunity for technical training that would be made possible with the support of Swisscontact. He, along with some peers, decided to submit an application to receive training in motorcycle mechanics.
Being selected, they had the financial support they needed to follow a 45-day training course. "After the training, I sold the only goat that we had at home. My parents asked about the goat, but I remained silent and used the money to buy the basic tools I needed for motorcycle repairs," says Claude. After only 2 weeks of working as a motorcycle mechanic, he had made enough money to buy two goats, which he gave to his parents.
"I am very happy since I can now earn a minimum of CHF 3.4 per day and I sincerely thank Swisscontact for their support.”
“My name is Suzane Ikrukwayo, and with the support of Swisscontact I graduated from the apprenticeship programme as a carpenter."
As is the case with many others in the area, the 21-year-old from Karongi, in Rubengera, had to leave school because she had no means with which to pay the fees. "One day, a carpenter called Samuel told me that he could train me with the support of Swisscontact. I went on to spend 12 months training with him in his workshop." Suzane says.
She is now a self-employed artisan in the Rubengera Handcraft Production Centre earning CHF 3.4 a day. Suzane expresses her gratitude, saying, "I can satisfy all my basic needs and have enough money to help my family with their day to day needs. I am very thankful to Swisscontact.”
Unable to pay the fees, Enock Niyitegeka was forced to leave school early. Now 28, he lives in Kabaya in the Ngororero district, Rwanda where he came across a call for people who want to learn trades.
For a long time, Enock had wanted to acquire the skills he'd need to become a welder but lacked the financial resources to enroll in a course. With the support of Swisscontact, his application to study welding was successful. After the 45-day course, Enock and a few of his fellow students decided to start their own business. A loan from a bank allowed them to buy the equipment they needed, and they have already started to train other young people in the field.
"Thanks to the welding course, I managed to build my own beautiful house and I intend to get married this year. I am very happy. Swisscontact is so good."
The project's overall goal is to contribute to increased employment and income generation for the rural population in the Great Lakes Region by improving their access to quality and labour market oriented vocational training. The reform of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system plays a crucial role in achieving the Great Lakes’ target of overcoming poverty. PROMOST is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact.