Project trip to Rwanda

Jan. 2023

From local vocational centre to national model school: Supporting the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama in taking the next step

Founded in 2008, the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama in Rwanda is a leading vocational school in the Bugesera District where young adults learn how to be masons, tailors, craftsmen, and many other occupations. The school has already provided 1.500 young professionals with the tools and skills to navigate the challenges of the 21st century – and now wants to take the next step in its development.

Next steps

After overcoming the immediate challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic with the support of the PATRIZIA Foundation, the vocational school already constructed their own ICT Lab with 40 laptops, printers, and projectors. To ensure that the ICT room has a reliable and affordable source of electricity, the Foundation connected the school to the PartnerAfrica. This program was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the Marshall Plan with Africa and the G20 Investment Partnership Compact with Africa with the aim of creating more and better employment opportunities for the rapidly growing young population in Africa. It was out of this idea, that the Handwerkskammer Koblenz came up with an initiative where teachers and students would be trained on how to repair and maintain solar plants in Rwanda. A group of teachers and students from the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama have thus been trained to maintain their solar plant self-sufficiently. This means, the school now has constant electrical energy to run and sustain the ICT Lab.

Upon this excellent base, the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama wants to build and develop its network of national and international institutions to acquire the needed resources, skills and know-how to become a self-sustaining and model technical secondary school in Rwanda.

To this end, Otto Dodoo visited the school and spend two weeks with the headmaster, teachers, and several institutions in Rwanda to support in connecting the school with various relevant stakeholders in the country.

During this time, the headmaster and Otto met the mayor and responsible persons at the educational unit of the Bugesera District as well as the Director General of the Rwanda Technical and Vocational Education and Training Board (RTB) to discuss further development of the school. Additionally, Otto worked with the school committee regarding their application for the Rhineland-Palatinate and Rwanda school partnership program and met with the executives of a Rwandese solar company focused on inclusive energy production (ARC Power). As part of empowering the school’s management, Otto in accordance with the headmaster also arranged a networking session with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) in Rwanda to discuss possible funding options.

“The meetings were highly successful! We were able to raise awareness for the needs and wants of the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama and establish connections with future-relevant partners”, Otto said, drawing a positive conclusion to the networking efforts.

New cooperations

With the support of Otto, the school was able to secure immediate cooperation with a Rwandese tech company: Zatec Rwanda will initiate a proof-of-concept IT-program to train 10 to 15 students of the PATRIZIA Vocational Training Center Ntarama in technical, digital & soft skills critical for a career in the digital world.

“In sum, I can say the trip was a success”, Otto said upon return. “I think we can be proud of the support we provide in Rwanda!” Our sincere gratitude thus goes out to all those supporting the PATRIZIA Foundation. Your contribution makes sustainable digital education accessible to children and young adults around the world!