Scholarships for Rwandan media designers

Rwandan media design apprentices start internships in Germany 

It is a great and unique opportunity for Blaise Tuyisenge (22) and Idriss Gasana Byiringiro (25) from Rwanda: The two audiovisual media design apprentices will gain insights into the TV and film industry at the film producer “Fruitmarket” and the camera rental “Ludwig” in Cologne, where the young Rwandans each are completing a two-month internship – as scholars of the Westerwelle Foundation. The internships are part of a two-year apprenticeship programme at the “Kwetu Film Institute” in Kigali, Rwanda. For the purpose of the scholarships the Westerwelle Foundation collaborates with a supporter and partner of the film institute, the “European Film Center Babelsberg”.

The film center’s chairman and honorary patron of the Kwetu Film Institute, German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff, is very happy about the collaboration with the Westerwelle Foundation: “For many years, I have been working together with the Film Institute in Rwanda, teaching the students how to narrate their own stories with their own language, in their own narrative tradition. Now, thanks to the Westerwelle Foundation, our first interns are coming to Germany, not as refugees, but as our guests, whom we want to show new job perspectives. In accordance to the German vocational training system they will here have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in theory in a practical work environment at German film production firms.”

The two-year audiovisual media design apprenticeship programme in Kigali is modularly conceptualized. It is focused on filmmaking, TV and internet, teaching the apprentices to become team-minded, flexible, responsible and independent graduates. It has a strong practical approach, facilitating solid basic knowledge and specialization in future oriented fields. Experienced lecturers from Germany teach the apprentices. In the near future African experts are supposed to take over the lectures, after completing a special train-the-trainer programme.

Through its scholarships the Westerwelle Foundation supports the Rwandan apprentices in turning their talent into a sustainable economic model. The two-month internship-visit to Germany is supposed to provide them knowledge and practical experience, that they can carry back home. Thus the Westerwelle Foundation gives an important impulse to international collaboration and directly supports the apprentices within their vocational training programme.