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“Man's“ Job - Women Teachers
Monday, 24 January 2011 Written by Maja Sajler Garmaz

Three new Teachers in Father Vjeko CenterWith each passing year, CFJ Padri Vjeko School is counting ever more students, so Fr. Ivica had to find additional teachers. Priority was given to former students who stood out during their studies. They were among the best, so they got the chance to pass on their knowledge and skills learned in at CFJ Padri Vjeko School to a new generation of students. At the same time, it provides a good example to all students by showing them that hard work, learning, and regular class attendance really pay off.

Brigitte MukakananiIn a still conservative Rwanda, until recent times, it was impossible to imagine that – for example – a girl could get an education to become a carpenter or a mason. But Fr. Ivica knows no boundaries. Girls not only attend such courses, but some of them were so good in what they did that they become teachers! Yes, among the new female teachers there are also three girls who boldly teach Carpentry, Masonry and Electricity.

“The demand for masons in Rwanda is very high. That’s the reason my parents decided to send me to study Brick-laying. It is a bit unusual. I was the only girl in the class, but I started to love the job. Last year I finished my education at CFJ Padri Vjeko School, and since then I participated in the construction of at least ten houses”, Brigitte Mukakanani, twenty-two years old, who uses her salary to support her big family in Kivumu, tells us. Brigitte has three brothers and five sisters.

She adds that masonry is difficult, because it requires so much energy. Laughing, she admits that the teacher’s job was a change for the better for her, because it’s much easier to teach than to build walls.

Another twenty-two year old, Dancille Ayimkaniye, also finished her education at CFJ Padri Vjeko School, and she was the best student in her class. She chose the Carpenters’ course and says that she didn’t regret it. She comes to work from the nearby village of Musambira, where she lives with her parents, her brother and two sisters.

Dancille Ayimkaniye

“I enrolled in this school because it is known to be very good. It offers education to the students for jobs that are highly sought, so that if someone wants, he can easily find a job. I always liked carpentry, because it is a creative job, and you can also earn good money. In my free time I like to build chairs and tables”, Dancille Ayimkaniye tells us.

She is grateful to Fr. Ivica for trusting her and making it possible for her to teach and to pass all her knowledge to the youth. Especially because she has a job and a salary, she can say that she’s satisfied with her life.

Anysie BarakamfitiyeHow to work with electricity is taught to the students of the Electricians’ course by Anysie Barakamfitiye, who is twenty-three years old. Before there was no such course at CFJ Padri Vjeko School, so she gained her education in a town called Nyanza. She lives in a neighbouring parish, so when she had heard that Fr. Ivica was looking for a teacher she applied – and got the job!

“Kivumu parish is going to get electricity soon, so the demand for electricians is going to rise too. Some of the children are seeing electric energy at work for the first time here, so we start from the very basics, from how dangerous electricity can be, to how to safely perform all the things you need to do in this line of work”, the young female electrician tells us. 

She is very happy to get a job because she’s the only supporting member of her family, bringing cash into the house, while her three brothers and a sister tend the garden.

Translated by: fra Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie Kae Ken
Photos by: Željko Garmaz

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