Girls who cannot complete their education due to financial limitations are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation in the community and are poorly equipped to cope with the results—a baby in need of support, a sexually transmitted infection in need of treatment, or simply the social isolation of stigma in the community. The goal of our Micro Finance Program and Apprenticeship Training is to reduce economic vulnerability for female youth, particularly teen mothers, through skills-building and micro-enterprise development. We serve 120 beneficiaries per year all of whom are Rwandan teen mothers.
Sewing and Handcrafts Apprenticeship Training
Our Apprenticeship Training was established in 2013. The training center is equipped with sewing machines/materials and our beneficiaries are trained in development, production, and the sale of value-added textile products and tailoring. Our beneficiaries receive a 6 month intensive training program conducted by skilled professionals from the local community and a 2 month training program in Kigali to receive a technical vocational certificate. An outcome of this was the creation of the Nyamirama Girls Club Artisanal Cooperative which is now financially self-sustaining. For the beneficiaries who do not join the cooperative, we provide micro-grants and a sewing machine.
Micro Finance Program
Due to the limited spaces available at the center, we have also created a micro finance program which extends our reach to teen mothers living outside of Nyamirama. The recipients of the micro-grants first receive entrepreneurial training on topics such as structuring business cooperative entities, business development, savings and loans etc. We then provide micro-grants to assist in the execution of girls’ business plans. In turn, all grant recipients reinvest a portion of their profits into future WGI programs.
We also extend this service to the most vulnerable parents and guardians of the beneficiaries of scholarship program in both Haiti and Rwanda.