Involving the community in education for urban life skills for sustainable livelihood in a resource deprived context in Kigali

Based on challenges of collaboration between community and school, this project sought to determine strategies of enhancing community-school collaborations for the Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) programmes with focus on TVET schools located in the informal urban settlements in Rwanda. This project changed the relationship between the community and the technical school that offers vocational trainings to the youth and young adults in Giheka informal settlement in Kigali. The strengthened school-community collaborations enabled the community leaders to contribute to determining need and co-constructing the content of urban life skills (transferrable) training manual, integrated by the Busy Bees Foundation School into existing TEVT programmes. Usually, the school offers training in tailoring and sewing, mushroom farming, and small-scale urban farming. Following the results of the project intervention activities, the school pioneered the integration of soft skills into this vocational programme.

Also, the project contributed to creating a legacy of mutual support between the school and the community leadership, which increased the school’s levels of legitimacy, transparency and accountability (LTA) to the community it serves.

The project has three major findings:

  • Firstly, the communities in a resource-deprived urban context have the capacity to contribute effectively to informing TVET schools to provide technical and transferable skills training that responds to the community development needs. However, this capacity needs to be reorganised, restructured and repackaged to enable and facilitate a strong collaboration between the community and the school in the vocational training to the youth and young adults.
  • Secondly, there are working strategies for the collaborations between the community and TVET schools to effectively inform the skills training programmes in a resource-deprived urban context. The collaborations need to involve various partners including academic and research institutions, non-government organisations, and the (local) government institutions. 
  • Lastly, the youth and young adults need to be fully equipped for employment/ entrepreneurship opportunities in a resource-deprived urban context, through the quality technical and vocational training they receive and the transferable skills that are integrated into the usual training programme. The content of the programme needs to be enriched through a formal engagement with the community leaders. 
Introducing the project team (from right to left): Dr Dieudonne Uwizeye (PI), Ms Furaha K. Berthe (Co-I and Coordinator for MEL), Mr Yves Tuzahirwa (Project RA), Dr Nkurayija Jean de la Croix (Co-I and Coordinator for community engagement)

More information about the project

Key Themes:
Sustainable Livelihoods
Location: rwanda
Principal Investigator: Dieudonne Uwizeye
Co-Investigators: Furaha Berthe Kyakinwa, Jean de la Croix Nkurayija, Yves Tuzahirwa
Host Organisation: University of Rwanda
Partners: Busy Bees Foundation, Busy Bees Foundation School
Duration: 12 months