School holiday program held from 9th to 13th December 2019 under the Theme: Growing With Purposes for Personal and Community Transformation was to spur positive growth and positive mindset among the youth in Rwanda, that one’s purpose is to enrich self and community development leading to poverty eradication. The burden of poverty eradication is the responsibility of everyone because the effects related to poverty complicate the lives of all human beings in communities regardless of gender, age, creed, color, and profession among others. The fight against poverty needs a growing and concerted effort: initiating the youth in personal and community transformation by families and communities at various levels is a crucial game-changer. The youth are susceptible to poverty and negativity, they are malleable to any situation, therefore, imparting on them positivity and purposeful living aspects today makes them responsible and accountable citizens of their nation and the world.
The challenges surrounding the lives of youth in Africa remains a grave concern of all governments in the continent. The high dependence burden, high unemployment level resulting in lawlessness, drug, alcohol and sex addiction, early pregnancy and high school dropouts generates serious debates and concerns. The far-reaching implications of problems faced by youth go beyond policy formulation but commitment in good governance in all spheres; love and care for the youth in families and communities; orientation to facts of life; partnership with the youth among other aspects. It’s widely acknowledged that vibrant policies can changes things, it can raise people’s level of participation, but the commitment of the youth to the policies, teachings and empowerment practices by governments and NGOs is fundamental to their transition to adulthood. Sometimes the youth forget that they will at one time become men and women, fathers and mothers and parents and grandparents of the future generation, that is why they need sustained enlightenment so that their behavior and attitude continue to be molded according to acceptable norms, ethos and national vision.
Purpose Rwanda envisions a country without addiction and poverty that therefore, requires ensuring the youth commit themselves in dancing according to the dictates of their dreams, passion and eventual purpose. The four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons: Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea as highly developed economies reached their status through the responsiveness of their peoples. Establishing purposeful, positive and addiction-free generation is a painful, difficult and demanding commitment but a desirable value that every youth in Rwanda must embrace. The good political will of the government is a universal gift to the youth in Rwanda.
The necessary support accorded to the youth during the school holiday program includes helping the youth identify their purposes. Purpose Rwanda supports the growth of these purposes through rigorous training, group and individual mentorship, coaching and empowerment. Empowerment package includes access to loan facility, networking to potential donors and monitoring and evaluation services in the progress of one’s purpose. The organization further empowers the youth with relevant skills in proposal writing in line with their purposes, ensuring the youth grow addiction-free, and offering counseling service to the addicted.
At the end of a one-week training session, some of the participants had the following testimonies:
“I learn to have a purpose in life, fear of God and have a positive mind in all what you do” (Nathasha)
“I learn how to plan my future and how to set my goals in life” (Vanesa)
“I am proud to be part of a purposeful and addiction-free generation” (Linda)