Aloys Muhashyi, a current ASYV student, is the founder and creator of a new group at Agahozo-Shalom that focuses on developing strong leadership skills in students. They operate with the objective of creating positive change in the Village community. Below is a blog entry by Aloys.  He writes about his goals and inspiration for creating this group. 

The Smart, Ambitious Leaders group plays an important role at Agahozo-Shalom. That is why we created it. I have always liked being a leader but I didn’t get the opportunity to join the Leadership Club this year, so I began to think about an alternative. After deep observation, I found that there are some things that are not going as well as they could in the Village, but I knew I could help correct them. In addition, there are things that can be better appreciated and addressed. Students express that they sometimes feel afraid of being laughed at by others, so as a result, I thought that there was a need for a group to address the development of leadership talents in each student.  The Smart, Ambitious Leaders group wants to teach students how to do that and also how to lead by example, which means being a role model for others in our everyday activities. 

The Smart, Ambitious Leaders group gets together to discuss life in the Village and to train ourselves in leadership skills. We look around and we correct mistakes. If there are problems or challenges that members of our group have noticed, it is our responsibility to do what we can to address and fix them. This is our opportunity to train ourselves to be future leaders. We train through action and practice.

It is necessary for everyone in Agahozo-Shalom to be familiar with Rwanda, our Village core values and our culture. Rwanda and Agahozo-Shalom have some unique characteristics, which are different from other countries, other students and other schools. Our group wants to work to enhance these unique characteristics in a good way and teach students to appreciate the things that make us different. We can connect our future to the same leadership responsibilities we develop here in the present. 

One of the topics we have discussed in the Smart, Ambitious Leaders meetings was how Rwandan core values can help us to live peacefully. We thought and believe that this discussion may provide a common understanding of Rwandan core values and taboos. Sharing ideas on this topic may even activate some changes in our lifestyle, our analysis and understanding, even in our relationships in the Village. It is our mission to awaken our friends and inspire them to have a purpose driven life, enriched with the Rwandan core values. We need to reflect on the way ancient Rwandans practiced core values and compare it to nowadays. The discussion also included taboos and challenges that could get in the way of achieving a society based on core values. Issues like corruption, hatred, prostitution, laziness and difficulty trusting others. 

We have an opportunity as a group, to train leaders to help address some of the challenges we face. It is good to have this kind of group because we look around and practice correcting our mistakes. Also, the Smart, Ambitious Leaders Group will help us develop skills we need for our future. Most importantly, we are developing important characteristics in ourselves.  We are strengthening skills related to being responsible, creative, and looking at problems and finding solutions. We are a group of students who like to work in the community and provide service. As one of our inspiring role models John Wooden said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” We are working to develop our characters and our skills.