Never Again Rwanda (NAR) is a human rights and peacebuilding organisation that was founded by three university students in 2002. Guided by a vision of a nation where young people are agents of positive change and work together towards sustainable peace and development, the founding members established NAR to empower young people with opportunities to become active citizens. The organisation exists to enhance young peoples' capacity to analyse the root causes of conflict, and facilitate dialogue among peers in order to generate ideas and activities that work towards sustainable peace and socio-economic development.
The EYE Project, organised by NAR and funded by USAID, is a 3 year project designed to contribute to the empowerment of Rwandan women through vocational skills and leadership training so they can gain paid employment, or to be self-employed, and understand and stand up for their rights. The project targets 156 out-of-school young women between the ages of 18-24 who are members of Never Again Rwanda to be trained over a period of 3 years.
Through the Youth-Initiated Projects (YIP) the organisation empowers young people as positive changemakers in their communities. Through YIP, NAR-affiliated youth club and association members learn and use a step-by-step process for identifying, developing, and implementing a project that positively contributes to the community while building on their own leadership skills. In addition to receiving training and on-going technical support, NAR members can apply for project seed money to further empower them in carrying out youth-led projects
NAR has funded seven projects:
- A goat rearing project for an NAR club at World Mission secondary school.
- A dance troupe for an NAR club at Martrys secondary school.
- A popcorn making and selling project from Voice of Peace Association, Kanombe.
- A Chapati-Mandazi production project from REFTTA, Kimironko.
- Theatre projects from the La Voix de Jeune Fille Association and the One Family Association, Gatsata.
- A handcraft project from Ingenzi Cooperative, Muhima.
- A pig rearing project from Twiyubake Peace Family, Kamonyi.
Governance and rights
In 2012, 7,000 young people were trained by NAR in human rights and democracy. 3,800 young people were also involved in public talks on democracy, human rights and governance. There was 54 hours of radio air-time dedicated to human rights issues. NAR also produced a movie and four magazines to tackle human rights and good governance issues.
In 2012 the organisation has:
- Trained 60 international and Rwandan young people in human rights, cultural understanding, governance and conflict.
- Held a conference on policy relating to genocide commemoration, involving over 500 young people, practitioners, policy makers, officials and journalists.
- Organised an East African-wide public speaking competition which trained over 100 young people in key skills for active citizenship including speech writing and deliverance, and conflict analysis.
- Enabled over 60 participants to engage directly with policy makers on issues relating to peacebuilding and human rights issues.
- Helped 40 young people engage directly in discussions with prisoners on issues relating to development, genocide and governance.
Muhawenimana Eugenie is the eldest of eight children with only one parent. Before taking part in the EYE Project, Eugenie was farming at home with her Mum and doing odd jobs, such as construction, to help support her family. There was no time for school and Eugenie would go to bed every night with her entire body aching in pain.
The EYE Project in Kigali recruited Eugenie in 2011 to commence a six-month vocational course in tailoring at Gacuriro Vocational Training Centre. After an additional two months at her internship, Eugenie received a sewing machine from NAR and has started her own sewing business making handbags and household accessories. She is now making much more than farming has allowed and is able to buy the things she needs to support her family. Eugenie has improved her income from 500Rwf ($0.80) per day to 3000Rwf ($4.77) per day and is saving between 500Rwf-1000Rwf in her new bank account.
When one meets Eugenie, they find a very hardworking and soft-spoken woman who at one point had no dreams beyond farming. Now the 22 year old aspires to become an entrepreneur and looks forward to teaching her newly acquired skills to other young women like herself. “With the training provided by NAR, now I am able to buy the things my family needs to survive. I can’t wait to help other young women like myself by teaching them my new skills.”
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