Meet Diane Uwase and Asman Niyibizi who deliver the ReachUp! program in Musanze, Northern Province of Rwanda. In this Q&A you get to learn more about their experience as DOT Interns and how they are empowering their community.
Diane: My name is Diane Uwase, I am 22. I have a background in Biotechnology. I hold a diploma in Biochemistry and a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology obtained at the Ruhengeri Institute of Higher Education in 2011. I am simple by nature, and flexible. I like the truth, making new friends, networking, learning new things and places, reading and swimming! I am a member of the Sant'Egidio community and was involved in the Unity and Reconciliation Association at university. I was also in Representatives' college. My philosophy is "Never give up before trying"!
Asman: My name is Asman Niyibizi, I am IT professional, holding a Bachelor's Degree obtained from the National University of Rwanda. I am fluent in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili. In my life I am flexible person, I work very hard to develop my skills, I like to be in peaceful I don't like someone who destroy my right. My hobby is football game, I also like slow music. My philosophy is :"To believe in God is to realize that life has a meaning".
How did you learn about DOT? When did you join?
Diane: I heard about DOT Rwanda for the first time in August 2011, when a lecturer at my University told me about it and recommended me. I searched the web and took interest. After exam and interview, I was trained and deployed on the field in September 2011 to replace an Intern, David, who had got a job.
Asman: I first heard about DOT in October 2011 when I was completing my final year research project. I remember a friend of mine called to tell me: "Hey, there is an NGO that is offering a nine months internship, are you interested? I could give you the link to their website.". After filling the application form on the DOT Rwanda website, I was invited to sit through some tough interviews. Lucky me, I made it! After that I underwent online and face to face training which improved my knowledge and ability to deliver.
What has been your experience so far?
Diane: Before coming to DOT my experience was limited to biotechnology and some extracurricular activities like playing volleyball, getting involved in some associations at school. But today DOT has widened my experience and my skills. Now I am a facilitator, a coach, my ICT level is good, I have gained negotiation skills, advocacy skills and my confidence has increased!
Asman: I am very grateful for this internship. I have learned a lot of from the ReachUp! Program that I am delivering in Musanze district. I train my participants to help them influence and build their future. I work closely and regularly with people like the Business Development Centre and the IT technician, as well as some District officials. After training one group of participants I coach them to overcome certain difficulties. I do this by calling them and visiting them where they live.
Tell us about the ReachUp! program in your community
Diane: I deliver the ReachUp! Program at the Business Development Center located in Musanze town. The majority of participants we are training is aged between 18-25 years, graduating from secondary school, unemployed with no hope to go to university with not enough experience to get job and no money to start their own businesses. But they are eager to learn and practice skills.
Asman: When we do a mobilization for the ReachUp! program we go home to home and we go to public places where you can find many people. I like this system because we find a good number of participants. Then again after completing the program, participants bring in their friends, colleagues and we always have people lined up to sign up for the program.
Diane: The impact is visible: cooperatives, associations and companies have been formed, participants got jobs and confidence increased.
Asman: We are excited to see the community of inspired youth and the able to trace their future, to build it and excited women to carry it out. This program was needed, and is still needed in our community
How is your experience with DOT shaping your own life?
Diane: DOT Internship is helping me a lot, it has given me an opportunity to give back to the community and to know it well, develop my skills to achieve a sustainable livelihood. Now I know my community's needs and assets. I am a trusted person and people count on me.
Asman: I am very glad to do internship in DOT community. Since I began this internship I have gained many skills, experience in coaching, facilitation and more, which will help me in my life. I am sure after I complete this internship I will become self employed.