There is a familiar saying. “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a life-time.”
For Fabien Uwitonze a 17 year-old young man from Rukaza Village in Rwanda, the JAM Vocational Training Centre where he is currently enrolled on a bursary is a beacon of hope for not only his future, but for his three siblings and his parents too.
Fabien was chosen to be a beneficiary for the JAM Vocational Training Centre (VTC) bursary because of his dedication to his schoolwork and his excellent school results. Fabien is in his senior year studying Motor Vehicle Mechanics, a set of skills that will not only empower Fabien to gain employment once he has finished his studies, but will also empower him to earn more than his family currently earns.
Fabien is an incredibly hard-working person, a trait he has learned from his parents who have struggled his entire life to provide for him. His parents are subsistence farmers, a tough way of providing for the family under normal circumstances but made all the more difficult because the family doesn’t own any land. This
has put them in a precarious position of relying on neighbors for sources of income and food.
Fabien is also a very generous person, and when you speak to him about his vision for the future, it always includes providing for his family. Again, despite very difficult circumstances, Fabien has learned this generosity from his parents who took in two additional children when Fabien’s uncle died. This additional strain
on the family’s resources has been difficult, however, it is clear that family is important to Fabien.
Through the JAM VTC bursary and the skills Fabien has learned, there is potential for him to teach his younger siblings similar skills, empowering them
to also earn more and break the cycle of poverty.
The effect of educating just one motivated young man is likely to echo through the coming generations in Fabien’s family, enabling the entire family to progress.