The World Bank Rwanda country representative, Carolyn Turk has urged young Rwandan girls to pursue their life dreams with confidence of the future and strength to be self-reliant as women.
Carolyn Turk made the remarks during the graduation of over 500 young adolescent Rwandan girls, who attained life skills in areas of culinary, food processing, art and crafts under the Adolescent Girls initiative.
AGI is a world bank’s sponsored project under the Gender action plan. The projects targets over 2,700 to empower with skills young women who didn’t get the opportunity to complete formal education cycles.
During the graduation held in Rulindo district this August 20, 2014, Turk said that the AGI project is not one of the key funded World Bank projects but the bank gives it very great importance because it gives a future to young vulnerable women.
“When I see these young women graduate with life skills, I am inspired to imagine the same for my 16 year old daughter. I wish to see you grow strong, independent, and hardworking, just as I wish for my daughter” Turk said.
She added that the adolescent girl’s project contributes to the economy because if these girls were not empowered with skills, after going through the pain of dropping out of school, the country would lose billions in ‘wasted’ human resources.
Testimonies from graduates indicated that the young girls have formed cooperatives in line with their acquired skills, created jobs and have earned a sense of dignity and empowerment to work towards development.
One of the Liberatha Uwera, of Rutare vocational training centre, who graduated in Food processing, says that the projects have given her a second chance in life after she got pregnant at an early age, forcing her to drop out of school.
“Today, I am a luck lady. I have been employed by the company where I did my internship and I earn Rwf60, 000. My family now thinks of me as an asset and the man who had abandoned me, has now come back to my life and we now live as a family” Uwera said.