April 5, 2023

Rwanda Nook Hub Holds 4th Graduation

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Rwanda Nook Hub (RNH) held its forth graduation where children from unprivileged backgrounds showed off creative skills that could contribute to Rwanda’s target to produce locally made products.

RNH is a community based center that opened in 2019 in Gahanga sector, Kicukiro district and uses the self-learning model to turn disadvantaged youth into Rwanda’s next generation innovators and job creators.

It admits especially youth school drop outs to learn life skills (6 months) using the internet and choose a career path in fashion designs, culinary arts, welding and carpentry, music production, hair styling and cosmetology among others.

The hub is one of the Dream Village Rwanda projects and it has so far managed to graduate 250 youths who undergo a six month self-taught life skills training cycle.

On April 1, 2023, RNH graduate students (30) exhibited their creations which were mostly learned from the internet and put into reality.

David Tuyishime, 14, the youngest of them thrilled the exhition and shocked his mother when he displayed flexible metallic seats he made single handedly after his partner dropped out of the hub program.

Tuyishime said he chose to join the hub, to learn welding and carpentry, after dropping out of school due to lack of fees but the fact that he was able to design and create flexible seats, was a starting point to change his life.

Tuyishime says he chose this career path in place of joining the streets and drug abuse even when he was vulnerable.

“The hub enabled me to discover that I am talented and I would like to pursue careers to support my family,” Tuyishime said,

“My only frustration is that my partner abandoned me in the middle of this project,”

The National Rehabilitation Service (NRS) says that the highest factors of delinquency in Rwanda are attributed to family poverty, family conflicts, low level education, peer pressure and drug abuse, and unemployment- as the largest part of it.

Rwanda Civil Society has called on stakeholders to support technical education for disadvantaged children as a way of preventing youth from wasting their lives in drug addiction and unprotected sex and other risks that come with dropping out of school.

Nooliet Kabanyana, the Executive Secretary Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS & Health Promotion

“We need to support these children so that we reduce their risk of drug abuse, indulging in unprotected sex that also comes with many consequences that affect our youth today,” Kabanyana said.

This year, graduating students exhibited locally produced products which could promote the country’s ambitions of producing locally and consuming locally (Made-in-Rwanda).

Other students exhibited skills in creativity in fine arts, foods and beverages, fashion and leather designs, and hair dressing which they said can be a source of income and job creation.

The nook model gives skills to vulnerable students however most of them say that they find it hard to manufacture their products in large quantities to feed the local market.

Carine Uwizeye, the Hub Manager said that this is a big concern which affects the graduates after completing their cycle, however they are considering approaching partners to address these challenges including creating more nooks countrywide.

For market access, Johnson Ibambe the Managing Director of Imboni creative, a local fashion and design company which trains young talent in creative arts said that they are currently creating a digital marketing platform where they will display products from RNH to their market base in Canada, Poland, Italy and USA.

“We are building a big workshop and showroom where their products will be displayed, exposed and get connected to our clients in and outside Rwanda,” Ibambe said.

Ibambe also said that the products produced at the RNH are good quality but to sell on the international market they will support the students to upgrade their products.

Carine Uwizeye, the RNB Manager

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