The centre, which was created by the Rwanda Ministry of Youth to address the growing problem of youth-related drug problems in the country armed with the prime focus of the centre is on rehabilitation and Vocational skills development rather than a punitive measure.
Jean Pierre Mbarushimana, one of the graduates of Iwawa rehabilitation centre says that today he is a better person through rehabilitation center that gave him skills as a professional barber.
“Today I am a better person, Iwawa rehab gave me a second chance, this is a place of second chances, and after gaining the skills now I can earn a living” he confirms.
In Nyamasheke district youth commend this centre as local officials confirm this place is shaping their lives.
At their stay at Iwawa rehabilitation and vocational skills development centre they are given morals and skills training before coming back as worthwhile members of society.
One Jean Pierre Mbarushimana 23, from Kagano sector says he was illegally vending some merchandise in Kigali city before being taken to Iwawa, where he learnt life changing skills.
“At Iwawa, I learnt construction and hair cutting skills in addition to morals, today I can say that I am a changed person and thanks to that program, today I do earn a living from hair dressing,” he explained.
He also mentioned that “Most youth laugh at us because we were once at Iwawa, but none has the same chance like we got from that centre. Apart from earning from the skills we learnt, we are completely changed youth ready to play our part in building our country”.
Ernest Munyurwa, a resident of Rwesero village, Kagano sector of Nyamasheke district also narrated that ‘I was a drug addict before I was taken to the centre. I was taught construction and agriculture which my purpose and philosophy of myself,”
For individuals like Mbarushimana and Munyurwa this is money well spent. “I think I am lucky because with drugs you can’t win,” he says “You either die or remain addicted but here I am.” -