“With each day of training I felt increasingly confident in my ability to master this profession.”

Initial vocational education and training
The impact of brief Swisscontact trainings in the town of Bukavu, South Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo

An embroidery training changed his life

Delphin, 38, works in a field dominated by women: embroidery. Since participating in an embroidery training given by Swisscontact, his life has changed. Despite a walking handicap due to polio, he is well able to perform this work.

“Before the embroidery training I got occasional sewing jobs and earned between 1 and 2 dollars a day, depending on the job I did. Now I work in a shop and I earn at least 60 dollars a month. Together with four friends, we have set up a savings group and dream of opening our own shop. In six months we will buy our first complete set of embroidery machines.”

Delphin attended a brief training financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and organised by Swisscontact, in which beneficiaries undergo a three-month technical training in a specific profession with six days of hands-on training at a business and six months of guidance thereafter. The training objective is to create employment opportunities and generate sustainable incomes in the local economy.

“Before my six months of post-training guidance had ended I found a full-time job in the shop, thanks to my abilities. Today I also work as a trainer in the same shop. I share the skills I’ve learned and earn even more as a result. I love my job because I am able to provide for my family and have even inspired my wife to learn a profession of her choice (she would like to be a hairdresser).”

New hope for Célestine Mastaki’s future

Just 23 years old, Célestine is a young single mother who never had the chance to pursue her studies after finishing secondary school as her parents are poor. She has an 8-year-old son she is raising on her own. Célestine endured tremendous difficulties in meeting her son’s basic needs as she had no source of income. “I spent most of my time keeping house”, she says.

When in March 2017 she found out that a carpenter was offering a brief training course, Célestine MASTAKI made the most of the occasion and decided to attend in order to acquire the professional skills she needed to improve her living situation. “In my neighbourhood there already was a young mother who made small furniture. I told myself I could try to do the very same thing.” Nevertheless, when she started the training she was not quite sure that she would be able to go through with it all the way to the end, given the male profile of the profession. But “…with each day of training I felt increasingly confident in my ability to master this profession.”

This basic professional training has given this young woman hope for her future. Today she rejoices in knowing that she can now pay for her son’s school expenses without having to depend on her extended family. She works independently at a carpenter’s shop and receives orders for chairs, tables, and windows that she tries hard to deliver with the level of quality and within the timeframes expected by her clients. “During the business training they taught us that a client happy with the quality and time of delivery will always be inclined to hire us again.”

2012 - 2022
Burundi, Rwanda, DR Congo
Initial vocational education and training
Promoting Market Oriented Skills Training and Employment Creation in the Great Lakes Region
The project supports the Governments of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to improve access, quality and relevance of their respective Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems. This addresses the key development challenge of unemployment and underemployment brought about by the low quality of skills...