Grading week at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village takes place during the last week of each term. Two weeks prior to the close of the term, students work diligently, studying day and night and sit for their final exams. During the following week,  prior to leaving for vacation, students meet with teachers to discuss their final grades and also have the opportunity to unwind with a combination of activities, games and inter-grade competitions that are often the culmination of programs and events that have been ongoing throughout the term. 

The current grading week is coming to a close, but has been packed full of one extraordinary event after another. Monday was a Village-wide debate, Tuesday night was the unforgettable Village Quiz, a challenge of wit, knowledge, and rationale, Wednesday was a fundraiser and community event for the Tikkun Olam program in which the community recipients of ASYV student efforts and initiatives were invited to the Village, and Thursday night will highlight a special musical performance. 

Coordinated and planned by the Research and Development Club, a team of 17 students along with multiple staff members worked diligently to put the Tuesday evening event together. The quiz itself was divided into four sections. Eight students participated, two from each grade.  At the completion of each round, the lowest scoring challengers were eliminated. Lasting well into the evening, students in the audience remained engaged and attentive, hanging on every word. A murmur passed through the crowd as each question was read aloud as students turned to their neighbors whispering to one another, guessing the answers. 

Breaking up the evening was extraordinary entertainment, provided by the competitors’ fellow students. An enrichment year girl brought the house to its feet when she did a solo dance performance, a senior 5 students rocked an amazing drum solo on the new drum set that has only been in the Village for a couple of weeks – he was a total natural, and the Village’s favorite student band, The Braves, graced the stage with a series of amazing performances of new music that will be available on their much-anticipated album due to hit the Village store in the coming weeks. 

The Village Quiz challenged students on a wide variety of topics including religion, history, pop culture, music, math, sciences, geography and more. Many questions were asked about the Village itself including questions about the names of the donors on various buildings and fields, the name and job title of founder Anne Heyman’s husband, as well as details regarding dates and times of important Village milestones.  The intensity rose steadily as one challenger after another was eliminated. In the final round, the two remaining participants battled back and forth answering question after question correctly. Finally, a winner was declared and for the second competition in a row, the winner was from Senior 6. The competitor’s classmates erupted into cheers and dancing, calling for the DJ to play their favorite tunes. The top two winners of this term’s Village Quiz were awarded with dinner and a 3D movie in Kigali with the Village Director, a highly valuable and unique prize that has never before been offered at ASYV. The winners were ecstatic and all of the ASYV students went home feeling proud of their peers’ accomplishments. 

Submitted by long-term volunteer Shira Liff-Grieff