25 students from VTC Kamonyi has completed their sewing program

The Vocational Sewing Programme of the Inkuru Nziza Church is an intensive skills course which aims to empower women and restore their dignity. Around 300 vulnerable women and girls attend the course annually at the 16 centres located throughout Rwanda. Each class of between 15-30 students attends a half day sewing class from Monday to Friday. At the end of the year, those who successfully complete the course receive a certificate and a Bible as well as demonstrating their skills at their graduation by modelling an outfit they have made to wear on that day.

The centres are situated in rural areas and in refugee camps where the opportunity to learn practical skills is very limited. Apart from the possibility of earning money from skills learned, the self-worth generated by being equipped with a skill is a significant dimension of the goal of the centres. The hope is that in the future, the work of the centres will further expand to embrace teaching business skills like budgeting and accounting.
The centres are overseen by Chrissie Mulindabigwi, and Cyiza co-ordinates the work. The key skill being taught in the centres is tailoring but they are now also developing a knitting programme. In one centre, the ladies also receive health education, and teaching in basic English literacy. Under the direct supervision of the church pastor the centre also operates a co-operative savings scheme. This enables the ladies to save a very small amount of money each week and, at the end of the course, a group of ladies can pool their savings to buy a sewing machine with which they can start their own co-operative business or, alternatively, rent a machine. The ladies also meet on a regular group basis for an evening bible study in the church building.
The Rwandan government is currently seeking to encourage the local manufacture of clothing in Rwanda by banning the import of clothes through charitable donation. This is an impressive initiative and entirely consistent with wider government initiatives to encourage the ongoing development of the country. It also provides a real incentive to those learning tailoring skills to develop their skill to take advantage of a real employment opportunity.

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It was with a great joy to celebrate the achievement of 157 Elder people who completed their one year literacy program in Inkurunziza church southern western