by Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service
LAKE KIVU, RWANDA – The Presbyterian Church of Rwanda has created a program for youth to get the training to start small businesses. Unemployment is a particularly big challenge among ages 18–26. Sometimes there are 5,000 applicants for one job.
With the support of World Mission’s regional liaison Nancy Collins, and a grant from Presbyterian Women, the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda created a program that is showing strong results called “Best Future from Today.”
The church’s youth coordinator, Epimu Epimaque Munyankindi, took the initial grant from Presbyterian Women to buy equipment to start a small recording studio. Presbyterian church choirs can record their own music and sell CDs. Individuals and groups outside the church have also used the studio for a fee, creating an additional revenue stream.
“The PC(USA) knows that with a good idea, you can go even beyond what you expect,” says Munyankindi. “We are really thankful for them and Presbyterian Women, thanks to them for the funding. It has been like a dream.”
Rwanda youth have been able to start 10 separate projects, under the “Best Future from Today” project thanks to the Presbyterian Women grant, including a public relations project know as “Sophia” that started last year.
“If we’re looking at the issue of sustainability and if a project can continue after initial funding,” says Collins, “this one is really great example of how a project can both continue and expand.”
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