Youth Empowerment for Change Program

Making a reference on Youth Sector strategic Plan 2013-2018 in its Background, youth in Rwanda are defined as those aged 14-35. According to EICV3, the youth are 4,159,000 constituting 39% of the entire population in Rwanda, the largest segment of the population.
Arguably, for the Rwandan economy to flourish and to achieve its objective of becoming a middle income country by 2020, this fraction has to be given special attention. Within this context, the GoR established MINIYOUTH to ensure that the needs of Rwanda’s youth are planned and streamlined into government development plans.
Given the continued importance attached to youth, Productivity and Youth Employment is one of four thematic areas for EDPRS II (a document that shall guide Rwanda’s aspirations of medium term development from 2013 to 2018).

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT:

This is referred to as a process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives, They do this by addressing their situation and then take action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes.

COMMUNITY RISE ALLIANCE’S CONTRIBUTION AND INTERVENTION IN LINE WITH YOUTH EMPOWERMENT IN RWANDA:

From 2016 to date, the Youth Empowerment Program worked in close partnership with local authority across the southern province to offer youth training in life skills, employability and entrepreneurship has been our key intervention. We were able to expand our youth employability activities within the targeted districts of Kirehe, Ngoma, Kayonza and Rwamagana. This initiative trained 950 young people in low income generating activities and other marketable skills. More than 70 percent of participants entered internships, jobs, incoming-generating self-employment, and voluntary community service.
To achieve this wide goal, COMMUNITY RISE ALLIANCE has come up with an initiatives which acts as a pushing forces to reach the Youth empowerment in Rwanda. And this is what we called;
 Skills for employment and Entrepreneurship Initiative:
“We’re addressing the problem of a global skills gap by preparing young people to succeed in the jobs employers are seeking to fill”.

A critical gap is the ability of young people to demonstrate the life and work readiness skills needed in the job market in Rwanda. Our Trainings on life skills curriculum and vocational and technical training expertise have helped more 2500 young men and women become the confident, reliable team players companies want to hire. With a demand-driven approach, we constantly refine how we meet partner and market needs.
The initiative has four key components which are often interconnected:

1. Life skills: For both the employability and entrepreneurship tracks, we offer training and curriculum to prepare young people with life skills such as self-confidence, punctuality, and teamwork. These skills are just as valuable for young men and women who are self-employed as they are for those who secure jobs.

2. Gender mainstreaming: The goal here was to lower the barriers that young women in Eastern Province of Rwanda face in accessing employment opportunities and financial inclusion. The program design also addressed issues such workplace sexual harassment and equal pay for equal work and opportunities that include woman-to-woman mentorship.
3. Entrepreneurship: Young people enrolled in this training learned to understand value chains and opportunities within them. With this opportunity we have a number of examples for young people who started their own business, and the knowledge gained through our programs has allowed them to try new techniques and products and use marketing and bookkeeping skills.
4. Social Innovation: bearing in Mind that Health is not only the absence of diseases but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being as well as capability of an individual to function in the face of changing circumstances, COMMUNITY RISE ALLIANCE has come up with an Innovative project that empower young people create social change agents who can influence and lead on solving problems in their communities. The ability for young people to connect to each other and counsel each other also allows them to share and scale their own solutions.

Our program empowers youth to transform their social impact ideas into actionable projects, providing young leaders with first-hand experience developing and implementing projects, programmes, and social ventures. We acts as a “pre-incubator,” bridging the gap between idea and sustainable, impactful project by providing Capacity building through training and mentorship.