Sandrine Uwayezu is 21 years old and has three sisters, obviously from a family of strong, independent women. Sandrine once was a cyclist and participated in a few local races, however, for women in Rwanda there is little prize money and only a handful of races. To turn professional would require more years, time, talent and many strategic breaks. Sandrine realized this, and with encouragement from her Team Fly Club President, she attended one of Africa Rising Cycling Center's Level 1 Mechanic's Training Courses.
She was hooked!
Her love of bicycles inspired her to find a career path in cycling. After passing the Level 1 course with high marks, taught by Team Rwanda's Head Mechanic, Sean Belfast, Sandrine was invited to participate in a two month long apprenticeship at ARCC.
"It was a dream come true!"
Although she doesn't ride as much as she used to she loves working on bicycles and likes the idea of fixing a bike, the smallest details. Her favorite work is repairing cassettes.
From November 12-19th, the Tour of Rwanda will be held in Rwanda and Team Illuminate needed a mechanic. They inquired about the possibility of hiring a Rwandan mechanic and Sandrine was ready.
Sandrine has worked herself into making history as the first women mechanic in a UCI 2.1 Africa Tour race. When Team Rwanda says it's about more than the bike....this is exactly what we mean. TRC has given Sandrine a skill and with that skill she is now working in a field she is passionate about and making money for herself and her family.
When Sandrine was asked about her future goals she said, "I am aiming to be a pro mechanic and to find a job in the cycling world especially in America!"
Watch Sandrine's entire interview HERE.
You are the reason people like Sandrine have opportunities. Without your support Sandrine would be struggling like most young Rwandans to find a job to support her family. Your generous donations help us teach life long trades and help raise families out of poverty AND helps keep Team Rwanda rolling! Please donate HERE today. There's even an option to directly support the Mechanic's Training Program!