Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Rwanda is very pleased to introduce the ten #DOTYouth participants of the “Innovate For Her Education” Hackathon, who are positively contributing to the education and skills development for girls in Rwanda.
In partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Culture (MYCULTURE), Imbuto Foundation, and UNICEF Rwanda; Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Rwanda is implementing “Operationalization of 10 Youth Friendly Centers and Youth Empowerment,” a pilot project under the Generation Unlimited Rwanda initiative.
Launched on September 3rd, 2020, the Generation Unlimited initiative – or “GenU” – aims to ensure that all young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are in school, training or employed by 2030. Generation Unlimited Rwanda focuses on four key areas: 1) Education and training, helping young people build skills for productive lives; 2) Employment, increasing quality work opportunities for young people; 3) Entrepreneurship as a mindset; and 4) Equity and engagement, promoting equitable access to opportunities, equipping young people as problem-solvers and engaged members of society, and addressing mental health concerns.
The pilot project “Operationalization of 10 Youth Friendly Centers and Youth Empowerment” has three objectives:
i) Assess and operationalize ten Youth Friendly Centers (YFCs);
ii) Deliver digital literacy, entrepreneurial and life skill training for an increased learning, livelihoods outcomes, economic inclusion and social cohesion; and
iii) Community outreach on girls’ (10-24 years) education and skills development.
The third objective aims to extend the skills focus towards girls in the education sector through community awareness campaigns on the importance of girls’ education and skills development and a Hackathon Challenge for Innovative solutions that foster an increase in girls education enrollment and skills development.
Media Outreach and Awareness on Girls Education and Skills Development
During the week of January 24 – 29, 2022 DOT Rwanda in partnership with Imbuto Foundation and UNICEF Rwanda held live radio talk shows, TV shows and news stories within prime time news on Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA)’s four Community Radios: RC Musanze, RC Rubavu, RC Nyagatare, and RC Huye and ISANGO Star TV. The shows featured Representatives from DOT Rwanda, Imbuto Foundation and UNICEF Rwanda staff; MFURA Foundation, DOTYouth; District Leaders; Teacher Mentors; Urunana Development Communication (DC); Best Performer Girls (BPG); teen mothers and parents.
The TV/Talk Shows aired had the following objectives:
- Raise awareness of the opportunities available to girls in the digital age;
- Demonstrate the potential of girls and their role in sustainable development;
- Shed light on policies and strategies designed to promote girls’ education.;
- Encourage young girls to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM);
- Raise awareness on the challenges to girls’ education, the progress and road ahead to achieve equitable education;
- Highlight the role of the society to achieve gender equitable education and sustainable development.
Innovate For Her Education Hackathon
On the 6th December 2021, DOT Rwanda launched the Gera Ku Ntego “Innovate for Her Education” Competition. Youth below 30 years of age, with existing Education initiatives between six months to two years, aimed at encouraging girls to go back to school, enroll in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), digitally skilling young girls or mitigating girl child education threats, were encouraged to apply for the competition. The submitted applications passed through the pre-selection process, and the final list of qualified Social Innovators were announced.
Prior to the “Innovate for Her Education” awarding ceremony, the top 10 young innovators participated in a week-long Boot Camp, held at Cenetra Hotel, in Kigali.
The Bootcamp focused on the following:
- Peer-to-Peer Support – to connect them to other youth who have similar interests, focuses and initiatives;
- Coaching – to support them to make meaningful progress towards their goals and initiatives;
- Partnership Training – to enhance their partnership and business development skills and to connect them to relevant training and support networks;
- Gender and Social Innovation Training – to support them to think about their initiatives, impact and reach from a gender equality perspective;
- Digital Profiles – to create/ or strengthen their digital profiles that can be shared with their peers and beyond;
- Seed Funding – all ten young innovators were awarded with seed funding to support their work in their community and scale up their reach.
Meet the ten #DOTYouth participants of the “Innovate For Her Education” Hackathon, who are positively contributing to the education and skills development for girls in Rwanda:
Patience Iribagiza from Nyagatare district is the Executive Director of Afro-Ark ‘s Urubohero Hub. The initiative promotes the personal potential of teen mothers through psychological social support, life skills and digital skills training, which help them to go back to school and succeed.
Joselyne Byukusenge is the CEO of AULIC Land Ltd – Girls who Code Program, which teaches girls from low – income families to code. They train girls in the latest technology and mentor them to stay in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Clementine Barakagwira is the Founder of “Jyambere Mukobwa”, a small technical school located in Huye district. The school teaches weaving and sewing to young girls who have not had the chance to complete their formal education. Their products are sold to the major retailers on the Rwandan market such as Gahaya links, Abraham, Goico etc.
Francine Ayingeneye is from Kayonza district and the Founder of Tinyuka Initiative. They have a mentorship program that encourages students to join STEM fields. They work with schools and their teachers who offer workshops, seminars to young girls to inspire them to understand the benefits of STEM fields and join them.
Vedaste Nkurunziza is from Gakenke District. He has an initiative of teaching the academic curriculum to primary school girls using a software application called #ProFuturo. He built a platform that assists students to comprehend better subjects such as Science and Mathematics.
Chartine Mireille IYIZIRE
Chartine Mireille Iyizire is the Founder of Girl Rise Up. They empower young girls, especially those who are in high school, by giving them the information on current issues affecting girls dropping out of schools and guiding them to focus on their studies. They also advocate for teenage mothers who have dropped out of school and support them to return to school.
Jean Migambi is the founder of SAVE HER FUTURE. The initiative engages in school and out-of -school girls. They are encouraged to learn more about Information, Communication and Technology (ICT). Save Her Future Initiative also teaches young girls to use technology productively, including integrating it into their learning journey, business ventures or employment.
Honore Imanirabaruta is the Founder of Inclusive Education Foundation. In his community, Rusizi district, Muganza Sector, he identified the problem of school drop outs especially for young girls, teenage mothers and boys from poor families. It was then that he created the Inclusive Education Foundation. They provide young girls, teen mothers and boys from poor families with skills and employment opportunities in the sewing industry. As they become able to generate income, they plan to return to school and resume their studies.
Benitha Ibyishaka has an initiative called Her Education Matters, which aims to bring together house girl keepers who dropped out of school. They have formed a cooperative, and they save 60% of their wages. The savings help them to go back to school and pay school fees. Their goal is to fulfill every member’s dreams of completing their education.
Clemence Akamariya is from Northern Province, Gicumbi district. Her project is called Igihozo Bright Future Program. It aims to support young girls with talents in the field of construction. Clemence was inspired to start the initiative because she was the only young woman in the construction class.