“I am confident in my skills.” Renate
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a combination of poverty, a low percentage of higher education opportunities for teenagers and a high gender gap results for many girls in early marriage and no chance of financial stability or independence. Only 24% of girls attend higher education and 39% of women between 20-24 were married before turning 18.
Kimbondo Training Centre aims to challenge this systemic disadvantage for girls by offering vocational training in tourism and hospitality services, one of the most important economic sectors of the DRC. WONDER offers full scholarships for girls like Renate, a second-year student at Kimbondo, who would otherwise not be able to receive this training.
“I have three sisters and a brother who are still at school, and my twin sister is a seamstress”, she explains, meaning paying for her training would be too much of a financial burden for her family. Renate describes how hopeful she is for her future after finishing her training: “I want to study hotel management after I’ve finished this course, but I will need to work first to save up for that.”
The training transforms girls’ lives such as Renate’s, because it not only allows her to enter formal employment and challenge the economic marginalisation of women but it also does wonders for her self-confidence as one-to-one mentoring sessions aim to support the students’ personal development: “I am confident in my skills, I am capable as I have shown in my practical placement at a hotel.”