The youth in rural areas are still facing challenges when it comes to a lack of soft skills, the need for more knowledge, unemployment, and poverty, which hinder their access to available opportunities. But Habimana Felicien from the Buruhukiro sector in Nyamagabe district overcame all of these challenges after completing his university studies and initiated seven associations in rural areas.
Upon completing his university studies, he understood what it would take to improve the lifestyle of the youth in the Buruhukiro sector amidst the existing challenges in their community. Instead of migrating to the city, he embarked on creating saving groups for young people from his village.
“After graduating from university, I thought I can do something to empower the youth in my village. I initiated seven associations that provide opportunities for young rural women and men through saving groups and agricultural work, in spite of other graduates migrating to urban areas” he said.
The first cooperative he initiated was a saving group, where members saved 1000frw which slowly increased to 5000frw.
Through these associations, he mobilized young people from his village to save money, as well as farming Irish potatoes and maize. He is currently the founding member of seven associations with 30-35 members within each association.
However, there are still some challenges he has such as a lack of transport facilities for young people that he works with in his village.
“In my view, the role of studying is not only to seek government positions. Our responsibility as young people is to eradicate poverty in our communities. I helped many using ideas, job creation and experience sharing”, he added.
Habimana is one of the beneficiaries of NAR’s Inzira Nziza project that aims to support youth to express and share their views on democratic values as well as take leadership roles within political participation as they effectively promote and protect human rights and celebrate their diversity.