THE NEW TIMES 24 FEB 2020
The Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda, Masahiro Imai,on Monday, February 24, signed grant contracts with two local non-profit organizations to finance the road repairing skills among youth and the construction of new classrooms for a primary school in Nyanza District, respectively.
Part of the grant, worth USD 288, 566 (Rwf 274, 5 million), was given to the Community Road Empowerment (CORE), a Japanese NGO operating in Rwanda, to implement the third phase of its project on ‘Sustainable Youth Employment through Road Improvement using Locally Available Material-based Approach’
The project seeks to improve feeder roads through transferring to youth practical methods in road repair in order to stimulate their self-reliance.
Handing over the support to the beneficiaries, Ambassador Masahiro Imai said the traditional Japanese road technology will help to not only improve the road conditions but also offer the youth in rural areas a chance to establish their own cooperatives to create their own jobs.
“Road conditions are so important for national development because they are key to ensuring smooth businesses, education and medical services. I believe the project will play a big part in improving the well-being of the local population in many ways,” he said.
The main activities of the project include skills transfer on roads repair to the youth groups with on-site road repair trainings using Do-nou technology as well as to establish cooperatives to increase non-agricultural employment opportunities for the youth.
Under the project, the training will see over 200 youths from Ngororero, Rubavu and Kirehe Districts getting equipped with road repairing skills for a period of 12 months starting in March.
Yuko Yokomizo, the CORE project manager the grant will help them scale up the skills transfer to more young beneficiaries and empower them with skills to become self-employed.
The beneficiaries of our project are the youth because they are a major asset for the future of the nation.
The project does not focus on road construction but the transfer of knowledge and skills to the youth which in turn will be useful in setting up construction of cooperatives that will play a key role in the labour market to reduce unemployment among the youth, she said.
DO-nou technology, which was previously implemented in Gakenke, Nyamasheke, Rulindo, Rusizi, Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, Ruhango and Rutsiro districts in the past two phases, involves using gunny bags filled with sand, gravel, or farm soil and tightly tied to repair impassable roads.
Over 270 youths have been trained under the project and over 2,6 kilometres were built during during the practical stages.
Another part of the grant, worth USD 90, 796 (rwf 86, 3 million) was handed to Girimpuhwe NGO to upgrade Girimpuhwe Primary School located in Nyanza District, Southern Province.
The funds will serve to build a new school building that consists of four classrooms and 12 toilets as well as to provide furniture including 124 chairs and 60 desks for students at the school.
The school, which was built by the government of Japan in 2016, served primarily as a nursery school and will, under the new funding, double as a nursery and primary school as its students continue to increase.
Imai said the grant will hopefully push the school in its educational development and hopes it will be able to accommodate more children and improve the educational environment in the area.
Dorcelle Mukarugwiza, the Legal Representative of Gira Impuhwe said the support will help the school find new space for nursery students to continue their studies at the school.
“The funding is timely and very important in helping our students continue their primary studies at the same school once it is upgraded,” she said.
With 179 nursery students now registered at the school, the NGO hopes to accommodate 50 more students once the upgrade is successfully finalised.
The grants are part of the Embassy’s efforts to help NGOs or local public authorities to implement projects at grass-root level.
In Rwanda, 96 projects have so far been implemented under the Japanese Government’s Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) with a focus on water, education, agricultural development and poverty reduction.