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The benefits of the "Graduation Pilot 2020" project for its beneficiaries

La Caritas « Un pilier de leur survie »

Graduation Pilot 2020 is a project aimed at helping refugees escape poverty and improve their lives. It is funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and implemented by Caritas Rwanda.

Their lives have begun to improve thanks to the Graduation Pilot 2020 project

Beneficiaries of the project say it has provided them with knowledge that helps them make better use of their resources, create profitable jobs, and improve their lives.

Mrs. Mezukwigira Florida, a mother of three children, is the beneficiary of the project. She sells various items in the Gikondo area of Kicukiro district. She says that the skills she received from Caritas Rwanda staff enabled her to become self-employed and to make the most of the support she received and from which she has benefited greatly.

"Before, I could have had money and misused it, received financial support and misused it and thus continued to live miserably; but I thank the Caritas staff who, before receiving financial support, first take the time to teach us. "Says Florida

Florida alleges that during the training, were shown how some small businesses fail when they do not follow the project plan. She claims that the training she received opened her eyes that she was not at risk of losing her small business.

Another thing that Florida confirms is that after launching her project, she is now seeing changes in her life.

"Before, my children couldn't get what they wanted, but now at home there are no more problems of poverty as much as before, I can go home with 5000 FRW in my pocket a day," she says.

Maniragaba Pierre, a resident of Gatsibo district in the Mugera sector, was also trained and supported by the Graduation 2020 pilot project, and was able to rent land and grow tomatoes when he used to grow for others to earn a living.

Pierre Maniragaba selling his tomatoes
Pierre Maniragaba selling his tomatoes

After receiving funding for his project, he started growing tomatoes and now harvests about 20 kilos per week on the market, and has also saved 284,500 FRW.

Nsabiyaremye Jean d'Amour, an employee of the project, says the project has made a positive change in the lives of its beneficiaries, the refugees and Rwandans living there.

"The refugees new that they could do something to change their lives without just waiting for the support they receive. After the trainings on the project, their attitude towards it changed and today, instead of waking up sitting in the camp waiting for UNHCR or WFP to give them food, they wake up and go to work.” He says

Caritas Rwanda's "Graduation Pilot 2020" project was launched in January 2020. It helps refugees and some of their neighbors to take steps to help them develop and improve their lives through their projects; these include trade, livestock, agriculture and other profitable activities.

The project has approximately 840 beneficiaries, including 670 refugees and 170 Rwandan neighbors.It operates in 3 zones which are Nyabiheke camp located in Gatsibo district, Kiziba camp in Karongi district and the third refugee zone in the city of Kigali.

Once the training is provided to the beneficiaries, the project allocates each of them a project worth $500 and continues to be close to them and to advise them in the implementation of their project.

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