The Agahozo-Shalom debate team started the new school year off with a victory at the February Kigali iDebate tournament. This past Valentine’s Day, 46 teams from eight different schools competed against each other, debating whether or not Rwanda should sign the East African Treaty.  

After succeeding in the quarterfinals and through the semi-final match, Senior 6 (12th grade) students Bonfils, Maxime, and Ornella steered ASYV to first place. The International Coordinator for iDebate, Jean Michel Habineza announced their triumph while joking that only a year ago other schools would have felt relieved to go against ASYV, seeing them as an easy win. In such a short time, the ASYV debate team has worked determinedly to surpass their own personal goals and transform into one of the top contenders in Rwanda.  

Our students have shown a strong commitment and passion in their preparation for this tournament, while also exemplifying good sportsmanship towards the other competitors.  Their dedication is apparent when you hear debater Maxime explain how he sold two of his personal goats in order to afford debate camp fees in order to better himself in the field of debate. 

This tournament was a wonderful opportunity for our kids to continue developing critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as interact with students around the nation. Congratulations to Bonfils, Maxime, Ornella, and everyone at Agahozo-Shalom!   

Blog Submitted by Shelby Sullivan, 2015 Village Fellow

Foreign Policy Magazine: Room for Debate in Rwanda