In a world where opportunities are not always readily available, one transformative program has been making waves across Africa and the Middle East, empowering young people to become agents of positive change. The Daring to Shift program, implemented by Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) from 2019 to 2023, has not only changed the lives of over 136 local youth but has also touched the hearts of more than 7535 community beneficiaries in Rwanda. This inspiring success story illustrates how this initiative, made possible through a partnership with the Government of Canada, has bridged the gender divide, transformed ecosystems, and promoted social and economic development, all while navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Empowering Youth for a Brighter Future
The Daring to Shift program focused on equipping youth with essential skills, including digital literacy, workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and social innovation. This holistic approach aimed to catalyze the creation of digital jobs, businesses, and local enterprises that address community-specific needs and value chains. The belief that young people are co-designers of their own futures was at the core of this program, which aimed to drive inclusive growth, foster resilience, and enable community recovery.
A Beacon of Change: Impact on Local Communities
The impact of the Daring to Shift program is evident in the stories of its beneficiaries. One such story is that of Umurerwa Hyacinthe from Rwanda who was once a jobless individual with no experience in public speaking.
From Fear to Confidence: A Personal Transformation
Before joining DOT Rwanda, Hyacinthe was afraid to even speak up in a small group. Public speaking seemed like an insurmountable challenge, and the fear of making mistakes was ever-present. However, DOT Rwanda became the catalyst for her transformation.
The Power of Skill Development
Under the guidance of DOT Rwanda, Hyacinthe learned not only how to conquer her fear of public speaking but also how to excel at it. She acquired essential skills in structuring presentations, using body language effectively, and connecting with her audience. The transformative journey didn’t stop there; the opportunity to practice these skills in front of real audiences as a Digital Champion and Business coach under the Daring to Shift program helped build her confidence.
A Confident Speaker and Successful Entrepreneur
Today, Hyacinthe stands before any audience with confidence. They have delivered presentations to gatherings of all sizes, from intimate gatherings to large conferences. Her expertise has been sought after, leading to invitations to speak on panels and as a keynote speaker. The transformation from a timid speaker to a confident communicator is a testament to the power of the Daring to Shift program.
Beyond public speaking, DOT Rwanda also played a pivotal role in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit within this individual. They learned how to develop a business plan, effectively market their business, and manage their finances. These skills paved the way for them to become the owner of a successful business, achieving their goals and aspirations.
Conclusion: A Testament to Daring to Shift
The success story of this Umurerwa Hyacinthe is just one of many that illuminate the incredible impact of the Daring to Shift program. Through empowerment, skill development, and unwavering support, the program has transformed lives and communities, proving that young people are indeed co-designers of their futures. As we celebrate these achievements, let us remember that positive change is possible, even in the face of adversity. Daring to Shift continues to be a beacon of hope and transformation for all the communities it serves, leaving a lasting legacy of empowerment and resilience.