This is a success story of Violette who made money during the pandemic of COVID-19.
“I am glad that I have contributed in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in my community but also made money !”
Violette Mushimiyimana is a girl aged 23 years old, living in Gahengeri sector, Rwamagana district in Eastern province of Rwanda. Her 5 siblings and her were raised by only their mother in miserable life conditions.
In 2013, I dropped out school when I was in Ordinary level, year 2 of nine years basic education. My mother could not afford the materials and school fees for me. The life was very tough. As I was the first child in my family, I had to scarify my studies and help my mother to get a living for my siblings, says Violette.
She continued, in 2019, she heard from her neighbors that there is a program coming in the community supporting the vulnerable children. I was screened for eligibility and lucky enough, as a dropout for 6 years, I was enrolled in USAID Turengere Abana DREAMS Program that supports Adolescent Girls and young Women (AGYW) in Rwamagana District among others," said Violette with a smile on her face.
Violette is currently a DREAMS beneficiary under USAID Turengere Abana Program implemented by FXB Rwanda and is receiving various services including training sessions on Sexual Reproductive Health, life skills, and other services like HTS service, HIV/STIs/GBV prevention services and economic empowerment interventions among others. Violette was supported to attend vocational training to acquire tailoring skills at BUTAMWA TVET School and has successfully graduated.
I was supported to follow my dream profession. I am currently a recognized tailor in my community. Right after the graduation from TVET, the program has supported us with internships and business development trainings. We were lucky to be given start up kits and together with my colleagues we have started a new tailoring business in our community / Gahengeri Sector, Violette revealed.
As COVID-19 pandemic has become a big challenge globally, most of program beneficiaries involved in tailoring (including Violette and her colleagues) have oriented their businesses in the production of face masks which has a high demand specifically in Rwanda since April 2020 when the government of Rwanda announced that face masks must be worn in public.
As one way to support our community and also making money, we have focused much in producing locally affordable face masks and we are now among the best suppliers of face masks in our community. The program has linked us to market where we are currently producing face masks for more than five schools. In addition to the schools, we are distributing the face masks to the rest of community and they are satisfied and proud to wear our masks and they usually link us to other clients including their family members, friends, neighbors and all, proudly said Violette.
With my business, she can afford all basic needs and provide for the family ! Violette regularly attend safe space activities with a DREAMS mentor and she has become empowered enough to prevent HIV infection ! She expresses also that she is very grateful for USAID Turengere Abana and its DREAMS component as they restored joy to her life