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By Emmanuel Mutangana
ERM-HOPE TVET School awarded certificates to students who completed their studies in various categories during the Eighth edition. The ceremony took place on Friday, October 27th, 2023 in Kigali, Kabuga, the school’s location.
It was an event characterized by Christian values, in which gospel artist Adrien MISIGARO entertained the audience and advised the students to keep honoring God as they complete their studies. This year’s edition includes more than 300 graduates from various fields, such as carpentry, welding, masonry, Tailoring, culinary arts, and hairdressing.
Speaking at the event, Pastor Emmanuel Sitaki Kayinamura, Founder and President of ERM Hope TVET School, highlighted that the school has a vision to empower and prepare their students for the labour market and self-employment. Their mission is to create a good learning environment which meets the Education, Training and Development expectations of their students.
He said “by learning a marketable trade, our graduates earn a sustainable living wage. It only takes one year of intensive study to earn a certificate in one of our six programs. Upon graduation, 90% of our students find employment in their field of study. Not only does this provide a restored sense of dignity and worth, it provides continuous positive benefits to their families and communities”.
Kayinamura noted that graduates are in three categories as some of them got 3months training where they gained skills to refresh their knowledge on vocational trainings, others gained 6 months’ trainings which also was their need to boost the skills they had had before joining, while the third category are the students who acquired 12 months vocational training in different professions available in the school.
He revealed that ERM Hope TVET school is an independent school based on the word of God. It welcomes all children regardless of their religion or church.
ERM Rwanda was founded in 1996 with the mission of caring for orphans and widows. In 2008 the institution inaugurated a hope vocational training center to trail the help for orphans in creating jobs with gained vocational skills.
“Our asset is that we are a holistic ministry: students get skills for their profession but also they are taught about religion, the word of God. We have had practical results since we started this work, we don’t teach words, we teach hands-on skills, things where you go to the labor market and compete, do the work that pays you every day without going to beg”. He said
Kayinamura emphasized that you can’t achieve anything without partners, for ERM Hope TVET school to achieve its success there were different partners who are ready to help youth in their development and helping for a better future.
“Cooperation is very necessary, that’s why we had ERM USA partners today and it’s good to have them here at this event, because they help us a lot in mobilizing these activities so that others can also support us, looking at the level we provide, youth can’t pay the maximum of tuition fees, the money they provide is not enough in order to cover all the expenses, However, due to the partnership, we are able to raise awareness about the activities we engage in. They also provide support for essential equipment. For instance, they assisted us in establishing a computer lab and acquiring modern equipment.” He said.
Rotary Club Partnership
The partnership between Rotary Club and ERM-HOPE TVET school is a testament to the power of collaboration in improving the quality of education. By providing resources, infrastructure, and training opportunities, Rotary Club has played a crucial role in equipping the school with the necessary tools to offer a holistic and enriching learning experience for its students.
At the graduation ceremony, it was revealed that ERM HOPE TVET was initially gifted a substantial 100KVA Generator from the Rotary Club of Maple Valley in Washington, USA. This generator has been a lifeline, ensuring uninterrupted power supply for the school’s various training programs.
“Due to that Fundraising and partnership is where the Rotary club came in, they knew us because of ERM USA partners, we showed them the project and supported us, they gave us a generator and the equipment we use in mechanics”, He added.
Kayinamura concluded by advising the graduates to make them proud in the job market, in culture, and in what they have learned. He also revealed the plan to have a Hope TVET school in each province of Rwanda and expand the activities elsewhere.
Rotarian OJI Chukwuemeka I. Donoji, a representative of the Rotary Club, shared the remarkable journey of ERM HOPE TVET, emphasizing how their partnership with Rotary has been a catalyst for transformation.
Through the collaborative efforts of Rotary Club International, the Rotary Club of Maple Valley, and the Rotary Club of Kigali Virunga (RCKV), ERM HOPE TVET secured a remarkable global grant worth $39,000. This grant was specifically designated for the procurement of state-of-the-art equipment for the school’s Automobile training section.
“This generous grant has significantly bolstered ERM HOPE TVET’s capacity to provide top-notch vocational training in the automotive field, empowering countless students with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in this industry.” Rotarian OJI Chukwuemeka I. Donoji said.
Graduates speak out
Graduates said they received skills that will help them perform better in the job market, committed to produce for community needs and to increase the number of jobs for the development of themselves, their families and the country as a whole.
According to Gloria Umutesi, who graduated in Culinary arts “the skills she acquired will start giving outcomes from her home, preparing delicious food for her husband and will use it in fighting malnutrition which is a burden the Rwandan Community still encounters.”
“The culinary arts skills I have acquired are extremely important when it comes to addressing community needs. In light of our country’s efforts to combat malnutrition, I strongly urge my fellow youth to consider pursuing this profession,” she stated.
Esther Kaliza, another student, gained valuable skills that will benefit her in real life. These include the ability to be self-employed and the understanding that hard work is crucial for success in her future career.
“I am well equipped with cooking skills, this training center has been very important to us, as we were trained through different methods including manual practice. I came here knowing the importance of this vocational course. That’s why I have gained needed skills to do my profession and I have dreams to start my own business providing culinary services”. Kaliza said
Corky Morse, working for a partnering organization, Rwanda Rise and ERM in the United States of America expressed her feelings amid the graduation.
Corky noted that she always has the motivation to help education growth with her institution Rwanda Rise, encouraging their fellow partners from the United States to collect donors and give to some schools in developing countries including Rwanda.
“This is very emotional; it touches my heart deeply. We are always in touch with the students. We have many donors in the United States to help students here. In the US we see Rwanda as an example to the world. Having been able to come out of the very hard situation of 1994, that’s why we call this organization, Rwanda Rise, as we see them as the rising star, Rwandans are amazing. So, we help this young generation to see that they have a future, they have hope, they can do it”. She said,