What is the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village? A poem by Innocent Nkundiye, ASYV Graduate

The Village is a doctor that collects all our hearts that are cruelly broken for further repairing. 

The Village is a mirror that we discover who we deserve to be.

The Village is a garden where we plant our ideas and visions to make a change, and from that change, we realize that life is all about knowing the power you have and being able to use that power to become the best person you can ever be. 

The Village is a place where you learn, like babies, how to pronounce Mom and Dad.

Not because it sounds childish but because we never had that chance to say those powerful words.

The Village is a shining star that guides us through darkness.

The Village is like a microphone that you take to express your thoughts and feelings.

What is a smile?

After being slaves of sorrow for a long time, after living in the shadow of struggles and frustration, after finding ourselves in the world where no one cares about us, we were mentally traumatized and crying was the easiest action we could ever make.

No fun, no love, life seemed to be nothing.

Over time, someone came 

 to heal those broken hearts.

She completely transformed us,

into new, powerful people,

and made us to be proud of who we are today and forever.

She created a new world for us.

She gave us something we’ve been missing - 

That something is a "smile.’’

Smiling is medicine that wipes our pain days and nights.

Smiling is medicine that was created by doctor Anne Heyman,  whose passion and profession are treating sorrowful hearts.

Smiling is another power that makes us live longer.

Smiling simply means life.

We grow through smiling. 

We overcome pain and loneliness by using a special weapon, and that weapon is just smiling.


S: Strong and 

M: Magnificently 

I: Impeccable 

L: Love beyond

E: Emotions

StudentsJill RadwinStudents, 2014