On 22nd August, Rwanda We Want organization celebrated the international youth day at the Kigali Public Library. This event themed “Transforming education” was conducted in a more youth-friendly way.
The first activity was conducted in groups that were formed upon the arrival of the youth. The speakers to conduct this activity were Regis Umugiraneza- CEO of carl group, Lieutenant Fernand Ruzigana- Pilot at the Rwandan Air Force, Louis Antoine Muhire- CEO at Rwanda Cooperation Initiative, Yvette Ishimwe- Managing Director at Iriba Water Group, Lauraine Rwema- Creative Director and Founder at Uzi Collection and Israel Bimpe- Global operations at Zipline.
A pair of speakers had to rotate in every group to share their personal experience as well as some advices that have helped them and could be valuable to the youth.
While sharing his experience, Lt. Ruzigana, 21, urged the youth to try and be the best with their undertakings, to know what they want in life and to stay committed to their cause.
Alongside him, Muhire added that most of the youth’s eyes are facing the western countries while their home countries are full of opportunities. “Rwanda has a lot of opportunities for the youth, grab them” he added.
On another side, Bimpe, 26, advises the youth to not limit themselves on their field of studies, as he was inspired by the UR-Vice chancellor a while ago. He said: “You should be able to use your studies in a broader angle of perception, and that’s how I too started getting involved in extra-curricular activities.”
The Queen’s Young Leaders’ award winner, Ishimwe, 23, said that the youth shouldn’t be afraid the first step. “For the opportunities become clearer once you take the first step”, she compounded.
Both Umugiraneza and Rwema were also underway with the first activity. Ongoing with his experience, Umugiraneza emphasized on bouncing back as a must-carry in their success toolbox. “There are times we failed in our sweet potatoes business”, “we internalized the setback, examined our errors and bounced back. This time was a good one”, he said.
Shortly after, Rwema Lauraine, adjured the youth to begin small while planning to go big. She said: “Back in high school I started learning small things like how a company functions or even the legal formalities needed in a company”, “this was to set me a step ahead of my age mates as we would be completing our studies”. In addition, she challenged them to ask themselves how they would always be staying ahead of their times.
Prior to the first activity, in his welcoming remarks, the executive chairperson of Rwanda We Want Organization Tristan Murenzi urged the youth to be interactive in order to be able to get at least one thing as a take-home message.
This was later showcased during the Question & Answer session.
Answering the first question, Lt. Ruzigana said that RDF has a lot of professionals in different fields; medicine, aviation and engineering, research and development to name a few, and we participate in different outreach programs like Army Week, so the RDF has where to assign newcomers and it can also train individuals in accordance to one of the abovementioned fields.
“I used the internet to find all the information I needed for my water treatment experiments considering that I had just graduated from high school”, Ishimwe Yvette declared, while answering the second question on where she got the idea of Iriba Water Group. When asked about what fueled her dreams in such a short time, she told the youth that building a strong support system through one’s networks helped her reach her dreams faster.
About Deborah’s question of why local/made in Rwanda products are expensive compared to 2nd hand clothes commonly known as chaguwa, Umugiraneza answered that mindset is the issue. He explained that 2nd hand clothes will always be cheaper because they have already been worn but local products would be brand new, and so he urges them to go for value.
“Change your goals in what you want to achieve instead of accolades in play, it will improve your perception towards life”, “what values do you uphold that would give you a push towards your dreams?” said Bimpe while Rwema said: “Remind yourself why you started that journey, and be sure to raise up stronger after every fall.”
Ishimwe also added taking risks and enjoy failures, embracing and being oneself and being more selfless.
Next to her was Lt. Ruzigana who shared the 3 core values of RDF as a take-home gift for the youth. “Respect yourself and one another, do everything at your best and Patriotism”, he said.
Umugiraneza too finalized with-know your passion, your career and above all know and use your resources; not only financial but also networks.
On behalf of Gasabo district, the Director of good Governance Mr. Jonas Shema acclaimed the initiative while also commending Rwanda We Want organization’s activities. He also expressed his appreciations towards the speakers saying: “I learnt a lot today from the speakers who were well balanced from different disciplines.”
He then urged the youth to try and use their studies in carrying out their daily tasks regardless of whether the job being undertaken is related to their studies.
In his closing remarks, the Director of youth Social ethics in the ministry of youth Mr. Geoffrey Bizimungu, commended the work of Rwanda We Want organization, on behalf of the Ministry of Youth. He concluded his speech by encouraging the youth to adopt the ministry’s vision of the youth: HAPPY which transcribes to Healthy- having a good Attitude- being Patriotic- being Productive.
Among other guests, EU Ambassador to Rwanda- Nicola Bellomo attended the event.
A memento was captured to mark the day in history.