Empower 200 Rwandan Girls To Move Out Of Poverty

by Aspire Rwanda
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Empower 200 Rwandan Girls To Move Out Of Poverty
Empower 200 Rwandan Girls To Move Out Of Poverty
Empower 200 Rwandan Girls To Move Out Of Poverty

Dear Donors,

We are happy to share with you this quaterly report, the need to empower youth for a better tomorrow is connected both to the financial elevation, as well as an increment of the standard of living. Awareness is a key factor for this empowerment, with guidance towards developing a wholesome outlook of life, we would very much appreciate if you can share about this project with your friends, family and who feel strongly support about young girls.

During this quarter, the meeting with graduate was done and the start up capital has been distributed to them, the meeting was aiming to analyze and to understand the image of the business. Few days later the methods of monitoring their activities have changed to every Thursday of the week (weekly meeting) but this meeting doesn’t remove day to day follow up. Every Thursday all groups are coming with the weekly report.

Every Thursday; Aspire staff has a meeting with the beneficiaries; the meeting is focusing on analyzing the report from them, understand the challenges they are facing with in the business  and give them support and advice where it is necessary .Many of the group present the problem of not keeping their daily records of what they do and they also have empowered on how to do a business report;

Aspire staff  has showed them how they have to do a daily business book which facilitates to do a good report. A good report has to present:

  • The activity of the business
  • The date and days of the activities
  • Record all daily activities of the group
  • Calculating the benefits and loss
  • Challenges and measures taken to overcome them.

The book record has to present or show the designation, quantity, unity cost, and total cost; when the business book is done well, it helps the members and other external person to understand and analyse easily the situation of the business; and when the book is done well definitely it becomes very easily to determine the benefits and loss.

 We encourage you to donate monthly here. Even a few dollars a month will go a long way. Please also share this with your contacts and invite them to consider supporting this ongoing project.

With great appreciation

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Dear Project donors,
We are so thankful for your generous support of young women, and we just wanted sharing with the beneficiary’s speak out here below:

She is one of Aspire beneficiaries. She is 29 years old, cohabiting with her partner and is the mother of two children

How was your social life condition before Aspire training?

Before joining Aspire I was a stay at home mom without any job. I felt hopeless and did not think I could do anything. I gave birth to my first son when I was in senior six and my partner asked me to stay at home. He did not want me to do anything else. It was very challenging, my parents were disappointed and rejected me. I could only depend on my partner and he took advantage of this situation.

How did you find out about Aspire’s program?

I heard about Aspire through a friend who went through the program last year. She looked transformed when I met her. She had found a job, was more confident and happy. She told me her life had changed for the best because of the course she took at Aspire and she encouraged me to do the same.

Do you feel that Aspire Rwanda’ s program is helping you?

Yes, I am learning many things and I have started applying them at home. My partner was not very supportive when I begin the course. However, I come home with all these amazing insights from our courses and he loves to hear them. In addition, my cooking has improved and he is a fan. He has even started to be more supportive and to me. Finally, the program has taught me to advocate for myself and with the guidance of the social worker, I have started using contraceptives.

Among skills acquired this program which one helps you the most?

Culinary arts,I have been enrolled in culinary arts and housekeeping, after a few months of training, I was able to secure an internship at one of Hotel located kigali and later attained a full time job before I graduated. I’m so grateful for the offer I was given at no cost because now I’m earning a living from it. I’m also happy to say that I’m what I am today, thanks to Donors.

What do you think about the future?

I am very optimistic about the future. Aspire’s program has opened many new doors for me. I have confidence that I will also running my own business and that my family life will also continue to improve.

Any last words for this interview?

I would like to thank donors in general and I am glad I was given this opportunity to learn vocational skills.

We would very much appreciate if you can share about this project with your friends, family and who feel strongly about girls' education.

We encourage you to donate monthly here. Even a few dollars a month will go a long way. Please also share this with your contacts and invite them to consider supporting this ongoing project.

With great appreciation

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Dear Donors

The focus group session occurred on this quarter at Aspire Rwanda. The discussion was facilitated by Aspire staff and they used a questionnaire. The purpose of the focus group was to gain insight on how the women’s lives have changed since the completion of the training program—looking at the financial and social impact as well as challenges encountered.

Findings

The findings from the focus group are outlined below with questions grouped in themes.

Livelihood and Economic Status

What has been/is your main occupation since graduating from Aspire Rwanda?

All the young women have been working either in the food or hairdressing industry. Therefore, all of the young women, started income generating activities using the skills learned from the program. In particular:

  • 18 girls are working in the food industry
  • 22 girls are working in the hairdressing and beauty industry
  • specifically, 29 of the young women have their own businesses and 11 young women are employed in a restaurant and hairdressing

 What are some of the challenges you have encountered since graduating from Aspire when it comes to income generation and how have you addressed/attempted to address them?

The main challenges the women identified are as follow:

  • Low capital to start a business
  • Maintaining profit when competition increases
  • Not getting paid on time
  • Need for internships in salons to improve their skills

Five of the girls interviewed initially formed a group and started a canteen. Unfortunately, competition in their location increased, and as result their profit significantly decreased. This was compounded by the fact that they needed to split the profit between 5 people making little profit individually. Consequently, they decided to dissolve the business and start individual businesses instead. They all still work in the food industry (i.e. selling fruits and vegetables, selling samosas and chapattis, and working in a restaurant) and they are doing better individually.

Two young women who work in the hairdressing and beauty industry said they are not able to begin an official salon business because the equipment needed (chairs, mirrors, electronic machines) is too expensive. In addition, space rental is also costly and if they register their business, they will have to start paying taxes which they are not able to do at the moment. They have addressed this challenge by operating mobile salons. With this system, they have a list of customers, they visit in their homes to do their hair or nails.

 In addition, all young women said that the hairdressing and beauty industry is challenging because fashion and hairstyles change often. They said that they would have liked to get internships in salons to improve their skills and learn from professionals. They feel that this is why only very skilled students end up selecting hairdressing and beauty as an income generating activity after the training program.

 The employed girls made the comment regarding delayed salary payment. It does not happen all the time but sometimes employees in business are not paid on time which can make it challenging to plan household expenditures.

 Two girls said their businesses are going well and they have not encountered challenges.

 How do you feel about the money you earn per week/month? Is it sufficient to take care of the basic necessities (food, school fees etc.) for your family?

The women reported the following weekly earnings:

  • 5 reported earning 15,000RWF/week
  • 13 reported earning 12,000RWF/week
  • 2 reported earning 10,000RWF/week
  • 9 reported earning 8,000RWF/week

 

Twenty nine of the young women said that with these amounts, they are able to contribute to the household income and assist in taking care of basic needs such as school fees, and food.  Additionally, all the young women reported challenges in managing to save a bit of their income. Their current earnings do not allow them to save easily so that they can continue to improve their socio-economic status. What they earn is still too little to spend on household expenses and also save consistently.

If you had not gone through Aspire’s training program do you think you would be in the same place today? Why? Why not?

All the young women agreed that they would not be in the same place today. In particular, for all the women, the program allowed them to have an income generating activity which has changed their lives. Without the program, they strongly believe they would still be unemployed.

 Are you more confident in your ability to make decisions in your home regarding your family, children and IGA since coming to Aspire? How so?

All the young women reported increased confidence in their ability to make decisions. In particular, they stated that they are more independent and able to voice their opinions.

 Conclusion

Overall, from this discussion, it is clear that the training program was beneficial to the women. All of them used the skills they learned to start their own businesses or gain employment. However, although their lives have improved, they are still struggling with saving money to continue to advance. In addition, most women work in the food industry because it appears that the hairdressing and beauty industry requires more skills and experience to break into. Therefore, in hindsight, they wish they had had internships opportunities in salons upon graduation.

We would very much appreciate if you can share about this project with your friends, family and who feel strongly about girls' education.

We encourage you to donate monthly here. Even a few dollars a month will go a long way. Please also share this with your contacts and invite them to consider supporting this ongoing project.

With great appreciation

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Dear Project donors,

We are so thankful for your generous support of young women.

Meet Emerite

Emerite is 22 years old, she is married and has two children. She lives in Gisozi Village, near Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. She is a 2021 graduate of the ASPIRE Rwanda program. She has a small shop in a marketplace. She makes a monthly profit of $35 dollars, which may not seem like much.

How has the project affected your confidence level?

“I am now confident that any person can start a business and it does not matter that they are a woman or a man. We all have the ability to do it with the right support. I am not afraid to share this positive message with other women.”

What was your favorite course?

“I enjoyed all courses taught at Aspire Rwanda but the cookery and business skills training were my favorite ones. I joined this program with the goal to gain knowledge to start a business and provide for my family. I was very motivated and followed lessons carefully. I felt like the business training and cookery lessons could help me to start my own business that is why I liked them a lot.”

How has your business evolved?

“I started by selling fruits and vegetables to local customers who knew me in my village. With time, I started to increase the number of customers by travelling with my products through cells streets. I only used 10,000 RWF [$12 USD] as starting capital which has increased in March 2021 when Aspire Rwanda gave me a startup capital of 50,000 RWF [$60 USD]. I got a place in the free market. I recently received a loan but unfortunately thieves stole my merchandise and it took me a while to get back on my feet. However, I am hard working and I have started to make a profit of 30,000Rwf  [$35 USD] from my monthly sale which will enable me to pay back the loan.”

How has your relationship with husband changed?

“Before Aspire, our relationship was complicated. I did not work and depended on my husband for everything.  I saw myself as a beggar in my house and he also did not respect me much. Now that I contribute to the family’s income and I am independent financially, a lot has changed. I feel empowered and he also respects me.”

Impact on children

“I am able to give three meals a day to my children including a nutritious porridge in the morning. With my husband, we can now afford to pay the children’s school fees easily. We can also afford mutuelle de sante [health insurance] for them easily.”

Any last words

“I am glad to express my thanks and gratitude to ASPIRE Rwanda and other supporters, which allowed me to move from zero to the current stage where I am and that I am proud of.  The continuous support from Aspire staff is also appreciated and I hope that a big number of women will also benefit from the program like me.”

We welcome your continued support in making a difference in the lives of more vocational girls. We encourage you to donate monthly here. Even a few dollars a month will go a long way. Please also share this with your contacts and invite them to consider supporting this ongoing project.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at aspirerwanda@gmail.com or rshyaka@aspirerwanda.org

With great appreciation,

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Dear Project donors,

We are so thankful for your generous support of young girls .We continue to empower our beneficiaries, during the last quarter the training were prepared and focused on:

1. The use of Business skills to transform life of beneficiaries.

The trainees have benefited &showed interest of getting knowledge of Entrepreneurship that can help them to get money. The beneficiaries have received a package of knowledge of saving:

- All expenses must be related to the business activities ( avoid drawings)

- They are reminded to save money for planning to start business which will create source of income which could also boost their living conditions.

2. Cash book& Costing  

The trainees have benefited knowledge of bookkeeping information of business   mainly they can use cash book &costing practices to well manage their businesses.

. They know well how to record all business transactions in this cash book

3. Business planning skills  

The trainees have gained skills of writing a Business plan. Trainer explained well that it’s better to write business plan before starting business because this document tells the plan to do and how to do it. They learnt also how to prepare this document to be presented to the Bank for a loan application.

4. Taxation  :The trainees have benefited knowledge of preparing bankable business plan as well as payable taxes in Rwanda.

5. Helping individuals to structure savings: sharing best savings practices with the community and using technology to reinforce good savings behavior.

We welcome your continued support in making a difference in the lives of more vocational girls. We encourage you to donate monthly here. Even a few dollars a month will go a long way. Please also share this with your contacts and invite them to consider supporting this ongoing project.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at aspirerwanda@gmail.com or rshyaka@aspirerwanda.org

With great appreciation,

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Organization Information

Aspire Rwanda

Location: Kigali, Rwanda - Rwanda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @rwanda@aspire
Project Leader:
ASPIRE RWANDA
Kigali, Rwanda
$22,036 raised of $30,000 goal
 
29 donations
$7,964 to go
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