Rwanda: First steps

They began modestly, offering poor youngsters some human and professional skills. The result today at the Centre Mizero (?Hope?) is a three-year tailoring course for thirty women who can be self-employed. The Centre, started by Jesuits on the grounds of the Novitiate at Cyangugu (HL10902), begins now to taste its first fruits. It also helps the women to form officially-recognised co-operatives that can receive loans and funds. Plans for the future include courses in carpentry, farming and cattle-raising. After the 1994 genocide, the Jesuits together with the Sisters of Penitence of St. Francis of Assisi, took in 250 orphans. Then they started working with the region?s young who have no access to secondary school. Fr. Mudendeli, who heads the Centre, notes regretfully that only 30-40 out of thousands in need can be welcomed. ?These young students now have a window opening on to the world,? he adds joyfully. ?They will also take the experience of reconciliation and unity from the Centre back to their families and villages.? [HL30403]