On my first day in Kigali, Rwanda started after a delicious local breakfast of fruit and an omelet, I met up with Soozi and Shal of the Rwanda Girls’ Initiative to drive out to Gashora where their Girls’ Academy is located.
We arrived at the Gashora Girls’ Academy to find a beautiful school that is currently home to about 90 young Rwandan women (and 90 more starting next week!) who dream of going to college someday. Gashora, a small town in the Bugesera district of Rwanda, was chosen as the site of the school because it was one of the hardest hit areas of Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Tutsi’s were rounded up and massacred across the countryside here, and it’s reconstruction and healing has been difficult.
RGI has been a source of hope and rebirth, and is giving young women who excel in school amazing opportunities to dream of careers such as being a doctor, engineer, and entrepreneur.We toured the agriculture projects at the school on site here, which are truly incredible. An irrigation system allows crops to grow even during the dry season thanks to the resource of a nearby lake. Larger than life papayas, zucchini, beets, cabbage, and countless other fruits and vegetables grow throughout the year. The school will soon acquire it’s own cows and chickens as well.
I was pleased to observe the girls working hard in class learning chemistry and physics. When spoke with them, they were interested in my career and where I was from. They wanted to know what I thought of African people. Pure curiosity, strong work ethic, and incredible hope was evident in my conversations with these young women.
After a lunch of rice, beans, pineapple and avocado at the school cafeteria, we watched the girls run their weekly meeting as a whole group and spoke of current events, sang the national anthem, and made announcements. The most touching part was during the teacher introductions, when the girls’ love for their teachers was evident through their loud cheering for each and every one.