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Rwanda: USAID’s HDAK project Legacy to be included in TVET curriculum

GROUP PHOTO, Kigali, 28th October, 2021

By Justin Kayiranga

Rwanda’s state Minister in charge of ICT and TVET education Claudette Irere has commended the legacy of the concluded five-year Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze (HDAK) project that has been operating in Rwanda to equip young people with knowledge and skills that will help them develop and grow out of unemployment challenges.

Irere made the remarks on Thursday, 28th October, 2021 during the official USAID Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze (HDAK) National-Level Close-out Event.

“Let me take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank the Education Development Centre (EDC) and USAID for their support to this project.” Minister Irere said

“We are all aware that the HDAK project supported both directly and indirectly over 120,000 youth with job readiness, employability skills and entrepreneurship capacity and most of them are either employed or are their own bosses.” She added.

Rwanda’s state Minister in charge of ICT and TVET education Claudette Irere

Irere noted that part of the legacy of this project was to help them develop and introduce a new curriculum in TVET institutions which she said will ensure its achievements are institutionalised.

Throughout the five years the project has been in operation in Rwanda, at least 40,097 youths from 25 districts have benefited from USAID-funded Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze (HDAK) project aimed at strengthening the skills and making them ready for work as well as start their own businesses, as explained by Yedidya Senzeyi Aimée, the Deputy Chief of Party of EDC in Rwanda.

“68.1% were able to get employment while others were able to improve their business activities with the help of knowledge acquired from HDAK” Yediya explained

Speaking on the benefits of the project, Abou and Xavier said that the acquired skills have led to employment opportunities while at the same time expanding their businesses as well.

“Before being enrolled in the project, we used to minimise our potential and at the time we had fear of competing for jobs, but when they started training us, we started to feel as confident as we should have been.” Mr. Xavier said

“I was lucky enough to get a job in a factory where I worked as a volunteer to get experience first. It is after 6 months later that I get a job that pays me a decent salary and Insurance.”Xavier added.

“I dropped out of school due to financial problems, and later I learned that there was a youth training project. When I arrived, they received me and trained me with others. Something that helped me a lot was the lesson of goal setting and they also taught us different vocations and I chose the carpentry one.

At that time, I immediately set out a goal to have my own carpentry workshop, and today as I speak to you, I already have my own workshop, thanks to HDAK skills and knowledge transfer programs.”Said Abou.

USAID Rwanda Mission Director, Jonathan Kamin

Despite the completion of the project the USAID Rwanda Mission Director, Jonathan Kamin, told the media that in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda, USAID will continue to support such projects to help young people improve their skills for the sake of their welfare.

“Our work and our commitment are to help youth find jobs through equipping them with the much-needed skills” Kamin said.

USAID Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze project was implemented in 25 districts of Rwanda. The main target beneficiaries of the project were the vulnerable youth aged between 16 to 30, who earn less than $1.75 per day.

The five-year project was implemented in partnership with the Education Development Centre (EDC), together with CRS, Connexus, AKA, and 21 local partners.

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