Last week, 27 US Peace Corps Volunteers were sworn-in during a ceremony held at the residence of the U.S ambassador to Rwanda. These made a pledge to serve alongside the people of Rwanda to bring about positive changes in public health, education, among other sectors.
Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the Peace Corp Global Director, who is in Rwanda for the first time, commended the volunteers to stick to cultural and peace values while serving local communities as well as aim at strengthening ties between the people of the two countries.
Radelet said that besides improving, education, and maternal and child health, volunteers will build strong bonds of friendship between the people of the US and Rwanda.
A number of peace corps work as volunteers especially in rural schools. The Peace Corps is a volunteer programme run by the US government.
US ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles expressed confidence that the team of volunteers, including young professionals, will help improve health and education in Rwanda.
Barks-Ruggles said that the Peace Corps, together with their partners in the ministries of health and education. They will continue to partake in finding solutions to issues facing the communities and improving healthcare.
Michel Gatete Mukasa, the in charge of Partner’s Coordination at the Ministry of Health, said the volunteers have been vital in bringing in new skills to community health workers and causing a positive impact in reproductive health, and fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS, among other diseases.
The volunteers will be in the country for two years working in the community health sector along with 10 rapid response volunteers who will teach English in secondary schools.
The group has been in Rwanda for the last three months undergoing training and learning the local language and cultural values prior to their swearing-in ceremony yesterday.
In other news, with the next phase of a Swiss-sponsored Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) project slated to start next year in the Western Province, more effort will be put in job placements for graduates to implement acquired skills.
The communication was made by Albert Nsengiyumva, the Minister of State in charge of TVET during the closure of a two-week training of trainees (TOT) for teachers in technical and vocational schools from Western Province.
The training was held from August 3 to 14 at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) West in Karongi District.
The minister said the first three years of the project, which are ending this year, have seen five Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) built in the Western Province districts of Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Karongi, Ngororero and Rutsiro.
He said the project, worth $10 million, also included training of teachers and helping transformation-focused cooperatives.
Two more TVET schools will be built in the province during the next phase, according to the Minister.
Minister Nsengiyumva added that in the next phase, which is also three years starting from next year, VTCs will be built in Nyabihu and Rubavu districts although the biggest part of this phase will be dedicated to enhancing the quality of skills and job placement. This means planning various projects which can make students from TVET easily get jobs or create their own.
In other news around the region, the fourth Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) forum on how to produce an ideal graduate for the prevailing job market needs is scheduled in Uganda.
This was revealed by Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, the executive secretary IUCEA, while addressing journalists in Kampala, Uganda.
Mayunga said that the job market has jobs but graduates lack the required skills which resulted in a blame game whereby the private and public sectors accuse institutions and lecturers of producing substandard graduates..
He added that the desire to have a permanent solution for the blame game resulted in the signing of a partnership between IUCEA and the East African Business Council (EABC) in 2011.
The partnership gave birth to Academic-Public-Private Partnership Forum and Exhibitions that’s held in the East African community states on a rotational basis.
The forum is slated to take place on October 22 and 23 this year in Entebbe, Uganda and has been jointly organised by IUCEA, East African Business Council (EABC) and East African Development Bank (EADB).
It will be the fourth IUCEA forum and exhibition to be held since the signing of the partnership and the first of its kind in Uganda.
The first one was held in Tanzania, the second one in Kenya and the third in Rwanda.
Compiled by Solomon Asaba