In January 2018, SURF received a grant of £20,000 from the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust to provide vocational skills training and counselling to 50 youth born of genocide rape.
The support from the Trust helped to provide skills training and psychological support to 31 young women and 19 young men to enable them to enrol and complete their training. The skills they acquired will help them to improve their employability, and either secure employment or create jobs for themselves.
At the start of each term the students received tuition fees and school materials to help them attend school with minimal interruption, which otherwise may have been caused if they were lacking such support. The students confirmed that without this support they would have not gone any further in their studies.
The students attended different skills training courses. The majority of them attended culinary arts/catering courses. There is a growing tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda and there are many job opportunities in new hotels, restaurants and conference centres across the country, as well as good opportunities to set up catering business as well.
Acquiring vocational training skills makes it possible for the trained youth to fill the skills gap in trades related to property and construction, including the need for masons, plumbers and electricians.
One such beneficiary was Clemence, who is 24 years old. She was born HIV positive and keeping up with secondary school was hard for her. She has to take antiretrovirals and this was not easy for her to do while at school. The disease affected her academic performance in school and so she decided to pursue a career in catering, so as to earn a living while doing something she enjoyed. Her mother is also HIV positive.
Clemence is the only child of her mother. Her dream is setting up a small restaurant in her home town. “I want to be self-employed and help my ageing mother. She did so much for me and I need to take care of her”.
She is now undertaking her internship at Solace Ministries, one of the local organizations helped by SURF to support genocide survivors and vulnerable people across Rwanda. There is a high chance that she will get a job at the end of her internship.
So we thank the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust for their help, and for all of other donors which support our vocational training programmes.