In this blog learn about Jean Rubangutsangabo's experience as a DOT Intern. Jean recently moved on to be a Project Management and Monitoring Sector Specialist under the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
Tell me about yourself
My name is Jean Rubangutsangabo. I have a background in Economics; I hold a bachelor's degree obtained at the National University of Rwanda. I am flexible, willing to develop my skills and give total support to anyone in order to help them achieve their goals and to create mutual benefits. By nature I am friendly person.
I am a member of some local organization and networks: CEP-Rwanda, GC21-Academy, CFMN and CASA. Recently I was awarded funding by the GC21 Academy to take up an online course on project management.
My life philosophy is "Never give up, keep on trying!".
How did you join DOT?
I first heard about DOT in February 2011. At the time I had just completed school and was looking for job. A friend of mine told me about DOT because we were both looking for a job, internship or other kind of opportunity that could keep us busy when done with school. I applied for the DOT internship in February 2011 and was recruited after successfully passing a series of written exams and interviews.
Tell me about your work with DOT Rwanda?
I am very proud of my internship. With DOT I worked with the Batsinda community, which is located on the outskirts of Kigali, in the Gasabo District. My training started every morning at 8am. I would wake up at 5:00 a.m to prepare for my day: Have a bath, take a breakfast, read through the course material and then take a moto (motocycle) at 7:00 a.m from Kabeza to Batsinda in order to have reached the centre at least by 7:30am. At the Batsinda centre the ReachUp! training is delivered in two shifts, first group comes in at 8am, for two hours, and then a second group comes in at 10am.
Over a period of four months of my work with DOT, with my colleague Hypolyte Njamahoro, I trained and coached 241 participants. Working with them helped them improve their economic status having learnt to build on their knowledge, skills, talents, and other form of resource they have.
With DOT I also had the opportunity to work and interact regularly with many people like Kinyinya and Jabana sectors administrations. I worked with them to organize our monthly Community Work locally known as UMUGANDA and graduation ceremonies. I also worked closely with the Gasabo Business Development Centre management, organizing every day activities at the center especially over the Coaching Week organised at the end of every group.
In this photo: Jean Rubangutsangabo learning with colleagues over a Knowledge Sharing meeting.
Being on the DOT team, I learnt a lot! I gained different skills which have really build my confidence. I also got information about an opportunity for distance learning which I applied for and was granted a scholarship by the GC21-Academy to follow the International Project Management course.
How has the ReachUp! progam made a difference in Batsinda?
ReachUp! program beneficiaries in Batsinda are community members aged in general between 21 and 27 although the program is open to people aged up to 40. A large number of our participants are secondary school leavers and unemployed; a few of them own small businesses or work for private businesses, NGOs or government institutions.
One of the greatest results of the program is the confidence that the youth, the women take away. They become bolder and are willing to venture and explore the use of local resources. Since May 2011, three cooperatives have been formed by the graduates of the program. And I have strong faith that they are going to be lasting and successful associations:
- The Batsinda Youth Pigs Rearing Cooperative,
- The Nice Artist Cooperative formed by youth trained and gifted in script writing and films and theatres performers Association. The team plans to train their colleagues and use their talents for education purposes.
- Nice Kinyinya Co-perative, which does printing on clothing (batik), paint and vaseline production.
Apart from the cooperatives, there are also a couple of individual initiatives.
What will DOT remember of you?
Umuganda Community Work: After my joining the Gasabo Business Development Centre, I organized with my participants the Umuganda on a monthly basis. We worked with the local administration to identify a site needing cleaning and worked on it. This was very much appreciated by the local leaders.
In this photo: DOT participants at a Umuganda event in Batsinda
Coaching week: At the completion of a training, my colleague and I would organize an additional week of training for the participants, we called it coaching week. We worked with participants on their different projects to help them be more focused. We provided them with additional training in ICT applications they can use in their business and invited different experts to speak to them about the different opportunities for financial support for their business projects.
And the Sawa Sawa Initiative: was initiated after recognizing the growing need and positive impact of mutual support from peers in the group of graduating ReachUp! graduates in Batsinda where the Gasabo BDC is located. Working with my colleague Hypolyte Njamahoro, we supported the beneficiaries in the establishment of the initiative which now brings together 3 cooperatives engaged in weaving, batik production, artistic painting and drama script writing and playing and also pigs rearing!
What are your hopes for the future?
As I move onto my new job, I am very grateful for having been part of the DOT Family. Ever since I joined DOT, I learnt many skills which I will use to mentor other young people, my service to the community. I am well trained and prepared for the task ahead! Thank you DOT!