November 2012 - Burundi
The RET’s Training on Entrepreneurship has led to some students using their summer holidays to work with adult literacy classes to discuss with the women ways of setting up independent, income-generating activities. Others have got involved with youth clubs, organised by the RET, to promote the importance of formal education.
It is great to see that the RET’s projects are creating female leaders from amongst the refugee community, who by their actions are demonstrating the usefulness and importance of education and entrepreneurship to other girls and women. Angélique, 25, for example who is in her third year in the Faculty of Social Science and Community Development on a scholarship programme said:“The RET really gave me a sense of responsibility towards my fellow Congolese refugees living in the camps. It’s great to have become a role model for the other girls and young women who have not been able to finish their studies”.
The RET programme Education for Peace has also led to the emergence of new women leaders. The peer educators have received the skills and tools to help alleviate tribal differences and conflicts within the refugee camp and thus help the community overcome some of the conflict situations, which arise on a daily basis. In listening to other women in order to help them reflect on attitudes which cause disunity, these female peer educators are showing that women are not restricted to their domestic chores, but can instead have important leadership roles within the community. Jeanine is one of these women, leading the way. She is now 30 years old and has five children: “Thanks to the RET’s training, I’ve become a female leader, ready to listen to other women whenever they need. I’m not going to say that it’s easy, because there are a lot of ethnic tensions in this camp, but we must show determination and perseverance so that our community can improve over time”.