Provide Group Housing for Future Leaders of Rwanda
By funding a student you will help provide talented yet vulnerable young men and women with the first family-like setting that many of them have known in their lives. 7-8 students share each house; they have overcome unimaginable obstacles in their lives, and the support they provide each other with in their homes is invaluable. The students have ambitious goals for their careers, and study a variety of fields, including medicine, law, and computer science. Whenever they get together at their houses, it feels more like a family gathering than a meeting of classmates. This important social support system helps new students during a profound adjustment period as they acquire life skills and begin their college careers—and it provides them with stability and a strong community for the duration of their studies.
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the AIDS epidemic have produced the largest percentage of orphans of any country in the world, with over 825,000 orphans in a country of 10 million people. The Rwandan government has recognized that an educated society will help Rwanda recover from the genocide and progress rapidly. Only one in 200 Rwandans, however, currently possess a university degree. The few Rwandans that do hold a degree are primarily men from Rwanda’s upper economic echelons; historically, women and orphans have been denied access to university.
Insufficient access to university education is part of a larger problem -- a leadership deficit that limits Rwanda’s ability to grow. During the Rwandan genocide, professionals were among the first targets, and the aftermath left much of the country’s economy and infrastructure destroyed. Since 1994, Rwanda’s progress has been remarkable but the country still requires more talented professionals who can help drive the country’s continuing economic development. ORI aims to support the country’s development by enhancing the social and gender diversity of the university population, and by enabling promising yet vulnerable young Rwandans to achieve their leadership potential.
About Generation Rwanda
Partner since September, 2009
Generation Rwanda (formally called Orphans of Rwanda) is the only nonprofit organization in sub-Saharan Africa working to help extremely talented orphans and socially vulnerable young people obtain a university degree and ultimately become leaders in Rwanda. They approach their students' education holistically: in addition to funding university tuition, Generation Rwanda promotes each student's academic, personal, and professional success by providing services such as group housing, healthcare, language training, books, and tutoring. As one example, in 2008 Generation Rwanda launched a Career Development program that matches students with internships and part-time jobs at local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Students gain valuable work experience, acquiring professional skills and increasing their employment opportunities. As Generation Rwanda students begin to graduate and become leaders in their chosen fields, they will be prepared to use their professional and entrepreneurial skills to create new jobs and drive economic development.