When Mr. Isaac Nkusi participated in the “impact for peace” Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop, he had just started Success Through Perspective, a personal money management company, after working for an internationally funded development project. He recalled, “I was not sure that the training would be useful for the challenge of managing my own company.”
Mr. Nkusi was one of 10 Rwandan young adults who participated in the TOT workshop, which aimed to teach experienced young adults, between the ages of 25 and 38 from Rwanda, how to train their younger counterparts to work on solving complex societal issues through teamwork.
Strengthening the capacity of Rwandan youth in order to actively engage in and contribute to peace building efforts was the objective of “impact for peace”, an innovative training programme developed in collaboration between UNITAR and euphoria, an independent youth-driven social innovation enterprise. At the training, youth were empowered to become involved in the peace building process by designing social projects with the intention of overcoming some of the social, economic, and environmental issues in their communities that the participants felt most passionate about.
The impact training which focused on “becoming a change maker”, was held at the Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze, located in a secluded rural part of Northern Rwanda. The TOT workshop was held over one week, and followed immediately by the first imp!act training for youth held by the new local trainers — who came from many different backgrounds, some recent graduates, others who worked for the government and others like Mr. Nkusi who worked for themselves.
“During the workshop, I realized how useful the socio- economic and development focused workshop would be to the youth of Rwanda as well as myself”
He continued, “I had an exciting time learning the things we were taught on becoming a ‘changemaker’, and found the methods to be informative and useful to enhance my own business.” Having previously earned a university degree in psychology, Mr. Nkusi found that the workshop activities resonated well with his education, and said that, “I learned to be more willing and inviting of constructive criticism.”
“This training has also helped me integrate positive and constructive feedback into my product redesign strategy as well as influenced how I build new products based on the collective concern of my client base.”
“More training of this type is necessary”, said Mr. Nkusi, “for the local community, for families and at the workplace”. He noted that there is a significant amount of support for social, economic, and environmental training from the Rwandan government and with many Rwandans now repatriating, bringing new skills with them. He thought, “This is the right time to hold more workshops. The impact for peace training really opened my eyes to practical ‘learning by doing’ training techniques that I have integrated into my own money management training modules to a very powerful effect. I would also like to be more involved in spreading the peacebuilding and empowerment message in my region.” When asked whether or not he would be able to take the two weeks away from his business to hold an impact for peace training for youth in Rwanda, Mr. Nkusi said without hesitation, “I would definitely make the time”.