Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures (TESF) celebrated its legacy as it has ended its operations.

15 Jul 2023

As its operating term ended, TEST HUB Rwanda celebrated its accomplishments. This one- day Legacy Event took place on 12 July 2023 at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village (KCEV) bringing together TESF project team, the teams of researchers for the 14 projects funded by TESF, project beneficiaries and other stakeholders. The event featured exchanges of experiences, discoveries, problems, and reflections from various initiatives that were carried out by the TESF-Rwanda project teams.

While officially opening the event on behalf of the University of Rwanda’s Vice Chancellor, Mrs Immaculate Bugingo who is the UR SPIU Coordinator noted, "Today we have gathered here to reflect on the achievements of Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures (TESF). We should also draw lessons on the best practices to sustain the gains from different projects we have been implementing for the past one and half year to celebrate the fruitful partnership we have had with each of the partners we’ve worked with.

Bugingo reiterated that UR has a triple mandate that’s research, teaching and learning, and community engagement. She noted that for UR to achieve this triple mandate, it engages with communities as critical research partners. Under TESF project, the University has partnered with NGOs, central and local district leadership to implement about 14 different projects".

During a session of exchanging experiences, discoveries, problems, and reflections from various initiatives that were carried out by the TESF-Rwanda project teams, one of the project partners, Berthland Mbarushimana, said that he received help to enhance operations with his staff, which they share in a cooperative. He noted that they were given smart phones and computers during the project, training on ICT use that assisted in their cooperative activities. “We have adequate capacity to utilize the internet and ICT gadgets, and the project transformed our lives,” he added.

Another beneficiary, Dianne Mushimiyimana, claimed that they received smart phones, sewing machines, and other amenities. She was recognized among other young female dropouts from school. "Because I had training in ICT use, she claims, I can now make my own garments and for others, I can also use the internet to promote what I do," she said.

Scovia Umutoni is also a beneficiary. She described how the project aided them in their quest for economic development through ICT literacy and education. “They initially evaluated our ICT literacy capabilities, provided us with training, and we were able to use ICT to integrate our items with new clothing models and trends as well as to invent new things,” she said.

TESF is also praised for its important role in peacebuilding. Emmanuel Nizeyimana, a beneficiary from Musanze sector in Musanze district, noted, "Before this project, I used to beat my wife and send her to stay outside with children at night. We got training on good relationships and to apologize, and our household was among the families that lived in conflicts, but now it is among the families that live in peace."

Couple that lived in conflict but now lives in peace thanks to TESF

As a wife who once experienced domestic disputes, including physical attacks, Gaudence Uwamahoro reiterated the findings of the projects.

"I used to be beaten every Monday and since the HAGURUKA RWA78 project with the University of Rwanda and Bristol University entered the picture, they trained us on conflict resolution, using a tree as an example, to uproot it from the roots, and they educated us on good family relationships, my husband started to change, to discuss and cater to family needs," Uwamahoro narrated.

The 14 initiatives had an impact on partners in education, research, and community participation, according to Dr. Michael Rwibasira, a lecturer at the University of Rwanda and the TESF network Project Investigator.

"They planted fruit trees at schools to supplement school meals, we taught kids morals, and they were informed about their part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," a representative of the organization said. According to Rwibasira, the Karangazi project in the Nyagatare district helped some females who had dropped out owing to early pregnancies attend vocational education programs like sewing and provided them with smart phones as well as digital literacy skills.

During the last 12 months, TESF project has impacted over 1,000 people from all the corners of the country.

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