Mwogo Development Plan, Rugunga Cell, Bugesera District, Rwanda

Phase 1: A Vocational Training Centre

Initiating improvements to reduce poverty in Rugunga with focus on skills training for vulnerable youth

Rugunga Cell has a population of 12,000. It sits on forested hills in the Eastern Province, looking down on Nyabarongo wetlands and Kigali City in the distance. It’s recorded that the area of Bugesera lost half its population during the massacres of the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi.

This is one of the poorest rural areas of Rwanda. 30% of the population are living in extreme poverty.

Villagers survive by subsistence farming on poor quality soil and historically Bugesera district is one of Rwanda’s worst areas for severe annual droughts.

PF assessment meetings with District & Local Government Authorities and the Rugunga communities revealed the priority is providing opportunities for their youth to gain income earning skills. This would be the best way to begin improving the social & economic welfare of their income poor villages.

Giving all youth access to employment skills is a key element in tackling poverty in Rwanda. Investing in Technical & Vocational Education Training (TVET) is a vital driver of economic growth.

Children and youth account for the greater part of the communities. There’s a serious lack of family planning advice – just one under resourced Health Clinic.
Hundreds of children are malnourished & have stunted growth and poor health.

Rugunga has high unemployment and lack of income generating activities. Youngsters are growing up with no hope of work or regular jobs.
There are no local TVET programmes or schools to support these huge numbers of youth.

The Mwogo TVET Centre will start with offering Tailoring and Sewing courses in January 2019.
The Government of Rwanda is introducing a ban on imported second hand clothing to boost its own textile industry. The need for people with tailoring & repair skills will rise and become a valuable skill.

PF are collaborating with Ubumwe Community Centre who have years of experience in managing Vocational Training in tailoring & are well placed to guide this project knowledgably.
They’ve taught hundreds of tailors, particularly those with disabilities and assisted them to set up small businesses or join co-operatives.

With agreement from the District & Local Government Authorities, suitable premises to rent for the TVET centre have been chosen, located in the heart of Mwogo Village in Rugunga Cell.

Initial funding will support refurbishing the three rooms & a toilet to approved standards.
A kitchen needs to be built and a water tank installed.

Mwogo TVET Centre will promote gender equality, inclusion of socially vulnerable, special needs and disabled students.
Apart from skills teaching, classes will provide lunches, family planning & nutrition advice and environmental awareness guidance.

Courses will run for 6 months, with 15 students at a time and completed with internships.
By liaising with the Rwanda Workforce Development Authority, all teachers, curriculums and graduation certificates will be of a nationally accredited standard.

By joining together, Point Foundation, Ubumwe Community Centre and the Holtzman family are combining years of knowledge and experience in Rwanda to help initiate the changes asked for by the people of Rugunga to lift themselves out of poverty and step forward on the journey to self-sufficiency.