Scholarships for Rwandan media designers

Rwandan media design apprentices completed 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 gained insights into the TV and film industry at the film producer “Fruitmarket” and the camera rental “Ludwig” in Cologne, where the young Rwandans each completed a two-month internship – as scholars of the Westerwelle Foundation. The internships were part of a two-year apprenticeship programme at the “Kwetu Film Institute” in Kigali, Rwanda. For the purpose of the scholarships the Westerwelle Foundation collaborated with a supporter and partner of the Film Institute in Kigali, 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 came 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 had 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 supported the Rwandan apprentices in turning their talent into a sustainable economic model. The two-month internship and visit to Germany provided them with knowledge and practical experience, that they carried back home. Thus, the Westerwelle Foundation gave an important impulse to international collaboration and directly supported the apprentices within their vocational training programme.