In 2014, MindLeaps opened its first permanent center in Kigali, Rwanda. Since then, it has transformed many lives––and hundreds of futures. Indeed, for many of the Rwandan children who have joined MindLeaps, eating everyday was a bigger priority than attending school. Many came from single-parent households that struggle to pay rent, let alone pay school fees. However, the Kigali MindLeaps Center has given such children the opportunity to dream––and, with the support of donors, attain those dreams.
One of MindLeaps’ programs allows sponsored youth to pursue technical and vocational education and training (TVET), which is highly encouraged in Rwanda. 20 MindLeaps students have graduated in fields of their choice: 7 in hairdressing, 7 in culinary arts, and 6 in tailoring. 90% of these students are girls. Additionally, of these graduates, three have secured full time jobs immediately following their internship period. One of the culinary arts students told MindLeaps that, “During my internship at Tam Tam restaurant in Kigali, I used my culinary skills, grit, creativity and teamwork to improve customer satisfaction. After my internship, the restaurant manager immediately gave me a full-time job. I was thrilled at this opportunity, and I look forward to continuing my work.”
On June 27th, MindLeaps held a ceremony to distribute startup toolkits to graduates. Culinary arts graduates received items such as spoons, pans, pots, and graters; hairdressing trainees received hair dryers, uniforms, and hairbrushes; aspiring tailors were given sewing machines, scissors, and thread. Clementine Muteteri, a hairdressing student and Marine Uwamahoro, who studied tailoring, were among those delighted to pick up their tools.
Your contributions make these programs, toolkits, and careers possible. Without your help, MindLeaps would not be able to watch our students thrive and enter the fields of their choice. We can’t wait to help the next class of MindLeaps graduates pursue their dreams and build Rwanda’s future.