Rwanda is vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards, especially floods, landslides, droughts, windstorms, lightning strikes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and fires.
The mountainous Ngororero District, located in the Western Province, is known as a high risk zone due to the impact of climate change-related threats such as floods and landslides. With a total population of 333,713, 48.9 per cent of Ngororero inhabitants live below the poverty line, and 29.5% live in extreme poverty. Given these conditions, the One UN in Rwanda and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMIAR) created an initiative aimed at strengthening human security by enhancing resilience to natural disasters and climate-related threats.
To support this programme, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) Rwanda provides technical market-oriented trainings to young people from affected communities. The trainings cover a variety of vocations from which the beneficiaries can choose, such as carpentry, masonry, food processing, weaving, knitting and shoe making.
The project also aims to decrease the communities’ vulnerability by promoting off-farm livelihoods and skills development to broaden income generation options. It will also reduce the current high dependency on agriculture-related activities in high-risk areas.
To reach its goal, IOM identified beneficiaries in collaboration with local authorities. Following identification, IOM conducted a beneficiary profiling exercise to understand their backgrounds, preferred trade, and plans for their futures. IOM also conducted assessments on current labour market opportunities and the capacity of local facilitators to deliver the trainings.
After beneficiaries graduated from skills training, IOM partnered with DOT Rwanda to provide an additional training on entrepreneurial skills, job readiness and business development. During these trainings, the young entrepreneurs learned to build their curriculum vitaes, reach new clients and manage their businesses. Upon completion of this second phase, depending on their selected trade, the trainees will receive individual or group startup kits, form cooperatives, or join local industries.
Through this joint project, 220 young people from 10 sectors are now well-prepared and ready to compete in the regional market.