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Nkurunziza Thomas - 20 Vocational Training Programme
Thomas was born 1 of 5 children in a village in the south of Rwanda. His father died during the genocide in 1994. In 1998 his mother couldn’t cope and left the children alone. All the children dropped out of school. The oldest child was 15 years old, and was mentally ill so could not care for the other children. The responsibility of caring and providing for the siblings fell to Thomas’ 12 year old brother. Often the brothers were forced to beg in order to survive. Thomas was taken in by his uncle and brought from the village to Kigali. His uncle paid for his school fees so that he could resume his schooling but struggled to pay for all the scholastic materials and uniform etc he needed. Thomas had to work as a house servant in the home and his uncle did not treat him well. He finished Senior 6 and passed his national exams. As soon as he had finished school his uncle told him to leave and return to the village. Thomas did not want to return to the village so he tried to find work in order to stay and survive in Kigali. He ended up on the streets.
He began to attend the twice weekly feeding programme at the Kigali Dream Centre*, where he got a hot meal and time with other boys in a safe environment.
In January 2012 he was accepted onto the vocational training programme at the Dream Centre and is now studying IT. He is a dedicated student and hopes that getting this vocational qualification will enable him to get a good job and eventually save enough money to fulfil his lifelong dream of going to university and becoming a doctor.
Recently Thomas has completed his one year ICT course at the IPRC technical training centre and came not just top of his class but top of his year.
He has also been studying photography from Simon Ross(SC Ross Media Ltd) for the last year, He is currently in the process of setting up a photography business with a fellow student of SC Ross Media Ltd. *The dream centre is the headquarters and Kigali base of our partner organisation in Rwanda, Africa New Life Ministries.
Recently Thomas was given a job with Airtel, (this is the Rwandan equivalent of Vodafone) as a photographer covering some of the many activities they carry out in Rwanda.
He is also shortly going to start a 3 year Digital media production course at college in Kigali.