Technical works are no longer particular to men or young people, four old Rwandan women of 50s are involved in energy industry. In Kayumba cell of Bugesera (Eastern district but closer to Kigali), people are enjoying solar electricity from women’s initiative.
These women share experience of a long journey to achieve their dream. “I have been in India from a training, no other language, no level, apart from my primary studies”. Says Cecile Nyiramubandwa, 53 years, the team leader. She continues saying that, they are engaged since 5 years, to distribute solar electricity. Convinced and determined on gender balance, she continues. “We are proud of it, although technical works were attributed to men and young people. Women have to stand up and join brothers to work for the family, and build the nation.
As a widow, she has struggled to grow her 4 kids, now she works as man and as women. With her 3 friends, they managed to equip 110 households in 2012, without any assistance from men. Odette Nyirarumongi, 56 years is one of four, she has no shame to put a pant, and climb up the house to install solar, she does the same in case of reparation. “I’ve 3 kids at University, I assist my husband sponsor them”.
The four women are progressing well, economically and socially as well. Uwimana Claudine, 53 years, is also proud of skills she bears. She says they have trained in other jobs, like making chalks and candles. The youngest of the team Mukantabana Dative, 51 years, has retyped and equipped her house from these activities. “At the beginning, people were not sure of our activities, but when the light came, the believed in us with our skills, and still come to us for troubleshooting”.
Each family paid 11.000 Frws for equipment, and now pays 2000 Frws for reparation. However, they often go back to farming activities due to lack of customers, and skills are brocken.
Late last year, the Minister of Gender Promotion and Family, Mme Nyirasafari Esperance, called up on young ladies to follow this example. In a week to promote Female engagement in technical works, she told young ladies to dare perform all works, including technical ones.
Jean Baptiste Karegeya