ADVOCACY, EDUCATION, MEDIA CENTRE

Umuhoza Grace narrates her ordeal as Handwerk Hilft sponsors her back to school

“I was failing to attend class and I was always feeling lonely, the time when others were studying, I was thinking about my problems, I was thinking about how I can’t afford school fees, and sometimes I would come to school hungry …”

Umuhoza Marie Grace is a 20-year-old girl studying at the Don Bosco Gatenga Technical and Vocational Education Training School.

Last year, Grace has faced a number of challenges that have led to her suspension of courses in the Culinary Arts Department from which practical skills in food preparation are developed.

Like many others, the girl dropped out of school due to lack of school fees and thus led to poor learning in addition to family problems.

“My name is Umuhoza Marie Grace. I study Culinary Arts at Don Bosco Gatenga TVET School. I had stopped coming to school due to lack of school fees and that led to poor performance. I was failing to attend class and I was always feeling loneliness, the time when others were studying, I was thinking about my problems, I was thinking about how I can’t afford school fees, and sometimes I would come to school hungry…the fact that I had no shoes and the School uniform that also embarrassed me. I had to concentrate on my own problems, others had also to do the same. Of course, my mom really helped us but she did not have the means to get me school fees.” Umuhoza narrates

Fortunately, Marie Grace has been admitted for the Scholarship, thanks to Handwerk Hilft, the German based organization which often supports Salesian Technical Education in Rwanda.

No doubt, the scholarship has restored Grace’s confidence for a better future.

Marie Grace says Handwerk Hilft’s benevolent act has re-energized her search for a better tomorrow.

In Rwanda you will often encounter young people going to school but not all of them are in a good life situation.

There are those who reach school and study and fail mainly due to keep thinking about social issues either for themselves or for their families.

There are a lot of young people whose families can’t afford even the small contribution of school fees that normally at the lowest cost compared to other technical schools not belonging to the Salesians.

Only the Problem of Poverty in Families is often a barrier to the education of children as many choose to drop out of school and go in search of a living.

“With regards to the impacts of dropping out of the school, there are a lot of things I don’t know, there is new equipment they brought that I don’t know how to use, such as this machine. Not only that, but I have not also forgotten all of course, but there are new kitchen machines and my colleagues who have stayed when I was out are now at a good level, but my strategy is to put in the effort so that the support given by the sponsor will not be in vain.” Umuhoza adds

When such young people get help as Handwerk Hilft provides for the underprivileged at this school it increases their confidence in their future as Grace explains.

Teachers at Don Bosco Gatenga Technical and Vocational Education Training School confirms that Marie Grace’s return to the School is a pleasure and will enable her to better plan for her future, despite family problems but as caregivers they will continue to be around her.

“We are going to help her achieve her goals so that she will be able to have a better life as Don Bosco’s goal is to help young people to live a better life,” says Donata, a culinary Arts trainer at Don Bosco Gatenga TVET school.

Salesian AGL-Provincial House Planning and Development Office 45 KN 14 Ave, Kigali-Rwanda Telephone: +250787683426 Website: www.aglpdo.org Email: info@aglpdo.org