In Ngozi, Creatable is already nurturing students ambition for creativity and entrepreneurship
Thanks to the Creatable project, funded by UNICEF Australia, students have learned innovative farming practices and how to make improved cookstoves, activities that have a positive impact on the community.
We are at Kabari Basic School in Ngozi Province. Despite the rain, two students guide us to the field where they planted vegetables a few days ago. Don Précieux and Sandrine proudly show us the latest activity they have developed thanks to the Creatable project. This UNICEF project, aimed at stimulating the creative spirit and promoting entrepreneurship among young people, was launched in Burundi in 2020 in collaboration with the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, with funding from UNICEF Australia.
"I want to demonstrate an innovative practice here: growing vegetables in bags filled with soil. We have learned how we can grow a lot of vegetables in a small space like in the bags", says Don Précieux Ninkunda, 14, proudly showing us the bags of soil where the vegetables are starting to bloom.
Vegetable farming is one of Creatable's most popular activities for students, as well as for their parents and teachers. "I have already set up a small farm with bags at home where I have planted vegetables. We have already harvested and eaten them at home. My parents encourage me to continue with this activity because now the vegetables are produced at home. The money that would have been used to buy them is used for other family needs", adds Don Précieux.
For Sandrine Niyokwizigira, 16, another student at Kabari Basic School, this activity improves the life of her family: "We are seven siblings at home. I was very happy to bring something new for the benefit of my family and to teach this technique to my brothers and sisters", she says.
The Creatable project aims to train students to discover entrepreneurial activities while finding solutions to problems in the surrounding community. To this end, two activities are ongoing within the project, first, innovative agriculture with the preparation of nurseries and bag farms; and the manufacture of improved cookstoves that use less firewood and reduce pollution from cooking smoke. Which contributes to environmental protection and improved health in households.
Within the project, the educators proved to be a source of inspiration for their students. During the first phase of the project in 2020, Science and Technology teachers from 10 pilot schools, one school per province, were trained on these 2 innovative activities. They then imparted the knowledge they had acquired to their students through theoretical and practical training.
"We see that Creatable has given the students a different image of their future lives. We hope it will help them to create small projects by themselves after school to get by in life", Oscar Sinzinkayo, Science and Technology teacher at Kabari Basic School.
At the Communal Technical High School (LTC) in Muruta, Muyinga province, another teacher of Science and Technology who benefited from the project explained "Creatable encouraged my students to make improved cookstoves to sell in the neighborhood, which has already enabled them to earn an income. I am very proud of them", says Isidonie Nzeyimana, 36, by showing us a big improved cookstove made in the High School, which is used as a model for the students and for preparing meals in this school.
Thanks to Creatable, two promotions of 8th grade students have been trained, while another one is being trained, in 10 pilot schools in 10 provinces of Burundi, one school per province. These trainings benefit at least 1,860 students and by extension, their communities.