Corporate social responsibility is taking another dimension in Rwanda as firms fight for winning the best spot for their public image and brand appreciation.
KCB Bank Rwanda has set aside over Rwf45 million to fund a program that will equip 100 Rwandan youth with vocational skills.
Through its KCB Foundation and in partnership with the National Youth Council on Wednesday launched the inaugural youth scholarship program dubbed KCB IGIRE.
The program launch was presided over by Minister of Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi, Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council Robert Mwesigwa, Principals of IPRC Huye, Ngoma and Kigali, KCB staff and selected for the program was held at IPRC Kicukiro campus.
Speaking at the launch of the program, Director of KCB Bank Rwanda, George Odhiambo said that Igire program will have a big impact on development.
“Over the years, KCB Bank has been involved in multiple community development initiatives. This however, is one that we believe will have the greatest impact because we expect it to have a ripple effect of development for years to come,” he said.
KCB Igire was primarily created to equip youth with vocational skills to enable them competitive in the labour market.
Odhiambo says that the number of university graduates annually is understandably higher than the available jobs. He noted that this is not only happening in Rwanda, but it is also the case in Africa.
He said that it is their hope to encourage the youth through these programs to become job creators rather than job seekers.
“Hopefully, you will see these students go on to become successful and provide extra income for their families,” he added.
While over 500 students applied, 100 of them were selected for the bank’s scholarship program. They will be trained in culinary arts, domestic electrical installation and information and Communication Technology (ICT).
These disciplines were selected based on the skills gap in the country as well as the applicant’s personal preferences.
One of the students who was selected David Ingabire will study ICT at IPRC Kigali. He told Taarifa that when he applied, it was a dream that one day he would be admitted. Now that he is already eligible for the support, Ingabire says he cannot spoil that opportunity.
“Igire is a program that aims at giving us skills. When l complete training, these skills will help me to create my own job instead of seeking for jobs,” Ingabire said.
Minister of Youth Rosemary Mbabazi said that the program will undoubtedly succeed and empower youth with the skills to employ themselves.
“I expect success, empowerment and self-employment of the young people. This partnership is the starting point, it is not the end. We are aiming at more than almost the same numbers what is in Kenya,” she said.
However, Mbabazi added that the number will depend on the current intake such as if students maintain a good behavior or take the program seriously as well as doing projects that will create more jobs.
Selected students will be taken through a six-month accelerated training program where they will be monitored and trained in different business skills.
They will also be encouraged to prepare project proposals where the best five projects will be given the capital to start their own businesses.