In November 2016, Musanze Joint Action Development Forum organized an open day exhibition. The event was in the Northern province town of Musanze. Exhibitors included local private companies, non-profit organizations and government bodies. DOT Rwanda along with other organizations operating in the area also participated.
Musanze community members touring the DOT stand
Each year all districts in Rwanda organize an accountability event known as an Open Day. The event gives different organizations a platform to showcase their work. Every district partner receives a stand to display their work. It is a great opportunity for residents to see the work done in their community.
DOT Rwanda used this event to build awareness about its social innovation workshops. Young people were also eager to learn and be part of the social enterprise competition. Youth learned the value of innovative solutions to a community problem. More than 120 people visited the DOT Rwanda stand. 30 registered and applied to attend the social innovation workshops.
A young man applying to join the social innovation workshop
During the event, three graduates of the StartUp! Program shared their inspiring journey as entrepreneurs who benefited from DOT Programs. Umuhire Catherine creates and sells trailer brake shoes. Dusengimana Simon Pierre has his own welding business. Appoline Usanase is a tailor and fashion designer. All three are well-known youth entrepreneurs in their community.
Catherine is displaying her business of making trailer brake shoes
The three entrepreneurs shared their success stories with visitors to the DOT stand. They highlighted the importance of technical skills and DOT business skills. All three attributed their success to the marrying of those two skills. StartUp! provided them with the tools to build successful and sustainable businesses. They also credited DOT for connecting them to business services and funding opportunities.
The Governor and district officials acknowledged DOT's contribution to the community. They credited DOT Programs with shaping the future of Musanze’s young people. They also expressed excitement at the possibility of DOT reaching more youth.
Musanze high officials visiting DOT stand
“The district appreciates DOT’s model of engaging local young people. Keep providing entrepreneurial skills to Musanze youths. The district appreciates every effort to improve youth livelihoods."
DOT Rwanda started delivering ReachUp! and StartUp! in Musanze in 2011.