Nahimana Evariste is a 21-year-old young man from Rwanda. His father died when he and his 6 siblings were young, leaving the family struggling in poverty. As a result, Evariste dropped out of school, in Primary 5 (Fifth Grade), in order to find a job, and help his mother in that difficult time. He went away from his home village and started living on Kigali streets with other young boys, carrying luggage and doing odd jobs for survival.
“My life on the streets was very difficult. I got involved with smoking, sniffing glue and other bad habits.” He said, adding, “I started giving up hope, and I was fed up with living on the streets. During that time, staff from AE Rwanda rescued me, and took me to the Centre for Champions. This became a major turning point in my life. At the centre, the staff told me about the love of God, and how He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins. Day after day, they told me about this love, and finally, I decided to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. From that day on, I started walking with the Lord, and I have never regretted my decision. The Lord made me a new person: I read the word, pray, and go to church to fellowship with others. I have hope of eternal life with Jesus in heaven, and this gives me great peace and joy in life.”
He said, “Besides telling me about God’s love, I was able to join a catch-up program for students who had dropped out and was able to do my final primary school exams. I opted to go for skills training in welding, and I completed my training in 2012. On completion, I was given start-up capital by the CFC, which enabled me to buy a rolling machine, which I use for welding. I also got a small house which I rented with my friends, and we started working together. This opened up doors for us to get customers, and each time I got paid, I would use a little for my basic needs, and used the rest to purchase tools that would help continue to grow the business.”
He adds, “I had a couple of hours free in the evening, and I decided to purchase a popcorn maker, to sell fresh popcorn in my community, which gives me additional income. With the money that I get, I’m able to meet my needs, maintain my business, and, support my mother and siblings.”
He finished by saying, “Mere words are not enough for me to express my deep gratitude to AE Rwanda and its supporters. This ministry has enabled me to be transformed from a street boy to an entrepreneur, able to support his family, but above all, to a Christian who has hope for eternal life!”
Today, Nahimana, in addition to the above activities, has expanded his business to include carpentry. He makes beds, cupboards, sofa sets and coffins, and more. He has 5 employees (3 full-time and 2 part-time) that help him in the day-to-day operations. Through the training, he also got financial advice, and was able to work with local banks to scale his business and purchase a house.
He has become a pillar in the community and is known as a trustworthy and God-fearing young man among his friends and workmates. Nahimana testifies that, it is by the mercy of God that he’s been able to achieve the success that he has. He thanks African Enterprise, Center for Champions, his trainers and friends for their input in making him who he is today.