On December 10th, 2018, Purpose Rwanda embarked on implementing one of its core indoor activities or services known as School Holiday Program (SHP) that attracted sixteen participants both from within Kigali and from other provinces of Rwanda. Through a well-tailored curriculum, the program aims at building solid capacity through training, sharing experiences, group discussions, and testimonies based on positive or negative experiences in life that offer an opportunity for Trainers to give direction to the participants (youth). The basic truth is that each individual is born unique and for a purpose or purposes. No one can be born for a negative purpose, but lack of/or inadequate guide in one’s life or unwillingness to take things positively can mislead many, especially youth, to take negative direction. Purpose Rwanda as a Non-Profit Making Organization identifies itself with the issues and growth of the youth through capacity development and psycho-social wellbeing in order to support the participation of the youth in socio-economic transformation right from early stages of their lives. The fact is that early involvement of the youth in socio-economic transformation supports poverty reduction in Rwanda and in Africa significantly. Purpose Rwanda believes that the solution to poverty and unemployment among the youth lies in early orientation of the youth to lead purposeful lives as well as be positive and addiction free today and tomorrow. The sixteen participants were vigorously trained between the 10th to the 19th of December 2018 under the Theme: “Growing with Purposes for National Development” The following topics were intensively covered during the School Holiday Training Session: Introduction and importance or rationale of purpose, Characteristics of people with purpose, Identification of one’s purpose, Outstanding philosophers of purpose development and their influence today, Youth and purposive Living in 21st Century, Purposes and the Environment, Purpose Rwanda and change of Person, Actors in Purpose Development Purpose Development Process, Obstacles to Purpose Development and Solutions, Purposive Youth and Purpose Africa, Introduction to Addictions and the Person’s Mental Health, Overcoming Addictions and project proposal writing. All the sixteen participants were guided on how to write a project proposal for funding in various fields: Social work and community development, IT and Innovation, Business and Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Law and Justice, Poetry and Literature and Arts. Purpose Rwanda will either fund or connect the successful proposals to partners for funding. It is hoped that this opportunity is a very crucial priority to enable the youth to take active part in contributing to investments, wealth creation, job creation, industrial development and therefore a substantial increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and this supports Rwanda’s short term and long term plan to achieve middle class status. In this way, the youth whose number is bigger than any other population group become producers/developers other than dependants or mere consumers.

Testimonies from participants

Testimonies of some of the Participants “Rwanda has many youths who have resorted to drugs and many have become alcoholics; I believe Purpose Rwanda will help such youths in coming back to their senses and they recover to accept normal lives” (Moses)

“My purpose is to change lives of many young people and the community in which I come from. No one in my family reached the current level of education I am. I pray to God that my project plan in Poultry gets funding, am sure it will change many lives and contribute to national development because I will be getting some income and will pay tax and the government can use the money to make roads or build hospitals or schools” (Aman)

“Girls need to have purposes in their lives, in this way, they will be respected, they can take charge of themselves and their voices can be heard by anybody. They will not be exploited sexually or become prostitutes or addicted to sex”(Zuhla )

“Many people outside there have no place to sleep and have no food, my Purpose will be to provide for them and make them have meaning in their lives” (Ornella ) “The youth should be told about the benefit of abstinence from premarital sex and they should be told it is necessary and beautiful to abstain. You will be respected and valued by your family and the community in which you live” (Amanda)

“I have seen many young people wasting their precious lives by just drinking and taking illicit drugs, some are imprisoned, others have died prematurely causing pain and loss to families and the nation”(Aman)