“When my dad died, I had to grow wiser. My two elder sisters are married and I have support my mum and younger siblings. I was looking to gain skills while making money for my family.” Vedaste told us when we met him for for the first time in 2016. To achieve his goal, Vedaste decided to join the OYE project.
During the project’s skills training programme, Vedaste learned to establish and manage a business. He did market research in his area and developed a business plan to construct bio-digesters. With his plan, Vedaste was able to get contracts, get access to loans with SNV support and start his company. Now two years later we meet him again to see where his ventures have taken him.
Vedaste now not only runs a successful construction company, he also owns a store for construction materials 'Chez Vedaste'. Vedaste's store is located just a few kilometres from the construction site of Rwanda’s future international airport, which is good news for him and other business owners in the area. “The people who work there are going to need accommodation. Land owners in this area have already started building houses, for which my store can supply construction materials.” Vedaste is also bidding to become a supplier for the Rwandan Cement company “CIMERWA” which would significantly boost his business.
For his bio-digester construction company, Vedaste regularly hires young people from the OYE cooperative in Bugesera (called “Cooperative Duteze Imbere Biogas Turengera Ibidukikije Bugesera”). Vedaste is a former member and he doesn’t want to leave his peers behind. Hiring them is a way for him to provide the cooperative members with a source of income and give them new opportunities for growth.
Vedaste is a very ambitious individual and hopes to continue expanding his business while at the same time inspiring his family as well as his community. As a result of the OYE project there are many inspiring examples of young people like Vedaste that have grown as an entrepreneur and have started to give back. Journeys such as these are proof that once, young women and men are given the right training and necessary tools their opportunities are limitless.