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Rwandans profiting from entrepreneur's vision

Updated: 2022-07-25 07:57 ( Xinhua )
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KIGALI-Chinese entrepreneur Yang Jing may not be the first person that springs to mind when thinking of philanthropy, but that is precisely what she has aimed to do over the past decade.

Since her career started, Yang, the proprietor of Dmall Hotel in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, says she has helped hundreds of children both in China and across Africa.

In May, her most recent donation went to Tanda primary and secondary school, or GS Tanda, a school with nearly 1,500 pupils in northern Rwanda. Partnering with the Overseas Chinese Association, the Dmall Hotel donated 500,000 yuan ($73,950) worth of items to the school, including scholastic materials, food supplies, balls, cutlery and shoes.

"I have been devoted to philanthropy for roughly 10 years. My mindset is always to do my best to help those in need and deliver hope and warmth," Yang says.

Providence Uwiringiyimana, a 27-year-old Rwandan woman, is one of the individuals who have benefited from Yang's benevolent spirit. When she graduated from high school in 2016, continuing on to university looked like a daunting prospect, but this did not stop Uwiringiyimana's academic dream.

She embarked on a random job search, hoping she would be able to save for her tertiary education and start a career.

At a point when she was about to give up her academic dream, Uwiringiyimana landed a nanny job at Yang's home in Kigali in April 2019.Within days, she was managing things for her employer's 3-year-old son and then doing part-time work at Dmall Hotel.

That wasn't meant for Uwiringiyimana. She had taken a break from her study and was looking to go back to school with a dream of acquiring a university education to achieve her ambition of working in the hospitality industry.

What started as a simple job, meeting Yang resurrected Uwiringiyimana's journey toward her academic goals. The child created a special bond between Uwiringiyimana and her employer-who offered her a chance to achieve her academic dreams.

Three years later, Uwiringiyimana is now a graduate of hotel and restaurant management from the University of Tourism Technology and Business Studies in Rwanda, happy and more confident about the future.

"University is expensive, but benevolent people like Yang, who support people who may not be able to afford an education, have huge value," she says. "Whatever academic requirements I needed including tuition, Yang was on hand to support me, as well as paying me a salary. Being a business person, I even learned a lot from her. She treated me like she was my big sister."

Sharing her story and advising young people, especially girls, to follow their goals, work hard and be honest, this young Rwandan woman is now in the United Arab Emirates and working in the hotel industry.

Yang described Uwiringiyimana as a smart and hardworking Rwandan woman who started working for her at the age of 23.

"Her desire to go to university was strongly expressed, but her need for a job was intense as well," Yang says. "I saw in her eyes the determination to change her destiny, so I hired her, and allowed her to go to school every day, providing her all kinds of support. After three years of effort, she graduated from college this year and got the opportunity to work in the UAE. I am very happy and proud to see that she's done her best to change her destiny."

Raised by a single mother in a family of four in Rwanda's Kicukiro district, Uwiringiyimana says her earlier education was also funded through charity, as her father went missing in 2008 while she was still at a tender age.

Balancing university studies with looking after a child was not an easy task, as babysitting came with its own challenges. Uwiringiyimana, however, was determined and managed to handle both well by completing her work on time.

Moreover, her employer could offer her a flexible work schedule to enable her to attend classes and take exams.

"When I told Yang about my university goal, she welcomed it and I started my studies in September 2019. But it was not easy. I started work in the morning preparing breakfast for the baby and worked until 5 pm, when I went to university for the evening course. Yang did a lot to support me, providing me flexible working hours," Uwiringiyimana recalls.

While the child was at school, Uwiringiyimana would work at Yang's hotel until 3 pm when she would go to pick up the child before going to class. She was able to do the coursework outside of her working hours and Yang would allow her time to socialize with her fellow students as well.

One other local organization which has benefited from Yang's support is Empower Develop Dignify in Kigali's Gasabo district, which focuses on supporting about 120 children picked from the streets to study in different schools.

Yang previously donated assorted materials, including clothes, to the organization, according to Charles Hazabintwali, the executive director of EDD.

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