The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) is a residential community in rural Rwanda. Its 144 acres are home to youth who were orphaned during and after the genocide in 1994. The Village is designed to care for, protect and nurture these young people. It is a place of hope, where "tears are dried" (signified by the Kinyarwanda word agahozo) and where the aim is to live in peace (from Hebrew, shalom). The marrying of these two languages and concepts in the name of the Village is intended as a reminder of the success of similar efforts in Israel, where a significant portion of the population had to recover from genocide at the hands of the nazis in WWII.
Within Agahozo-Shalom’s supportive and structured community, the rhythm of life is being restored, with the ultimate goal of equipping young people who have lived through great trauma to become healthy, self-sufficient, and engaged in the rebuilding of their nation. The environment of love and safety created at Agahozo-Shalom serves as the backdrop for programs designed to help our teenagers grow both emotionally and intellectually. The experiences they accumulate at their village home are intended to help them at every level of their future development.
In addition to healing oneself, Agahozo-Shalom teaches the principle of serving the community, both locally and globally. The young people at Agahozo-Shalom are learning through principle and practice the value of mending the world around them (as are the many volunteers who join us from around the world). Our graduates will emerge from Agahozo-Shalom as balanced adults who are not only able to care for themselves and their families, but who are committed to making their community, their country, and their world, a better place.