"Trauma causes people not to value themselves."

— Maria Goretti Mukanzigiye

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Christian Initiative of Education for Sustainable Peace and Development (CIESPD) Vocational Training School

Providing Vocational Training and Counseling to Orphans, Prostitutes and People Living with HIV/AIDS

CIESPD has discovered that many girls and women traumatized by the genocide and other forms of violence are choosing to turn to sex work to meet their daily needs. These women and girls are often responsible for providing for their children or siblings' basic needs and school fees alone. The trauma impacts their lack of self-worth, and without access to skill training and education necessary to obtain new jobs, they turn to prostitution as their only way to earn an income.

To reduce the vulnerability of orphans, youth and women, CIESPD offers alternative education programs in peace education, reconciliation, literacy, vocational training and entrepreneurship in catering and salon skills. The program works to:

  • Promote the social transformation of prostitutes, street children and other vulnerable youth
  • Give skills to ex-prostitutes, vulnerable children and youth, and women so that they can live without prostitution and street life
  • Contribute to the emotional healing, peace and reconciliation of women, many of whom were raped and lost their family members due to the genocide and HIV/AIDS, through psycho-social support
  • Support graduates with capacity building and the means to start a small sustainable business

CIESPD operated successfully for two full years in 2008 and 2009. During that time they provided salon and catering training to 240 vulnerable young people. Of these, at least 120 of them have found full time work and 51 have started their own small business. CIESPD was able to partner with the local bank to further educate their students about the basics of savings, micro-credit and loan repayment, especially in starting a business.

One CIESPD trainee, Devotee, a young divorced mother of 2 with HIV said that CIESPD "helped me get the skills I need so that I can be able to take care of myself without begging from the street".

Marie, the team leader, has since moved to Uganda, where she continues to be an agent for conscious social change.

Project Details

Christian Initiative of Education for Sustainable Peace and Development (CIESPD) 
Vocational Training School

Grant Amount: $2900
Team Size: 8 Members
Social Impact: 240 Vulnerable Women and Girls

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