Posts in Alumni
ASYV Elects a New Alumni Association!

This month, the ASYV Alumni Association elected a new leadership committee! 

The Association assists the Village by connecting us to our alumni so that we can better measure our impact. Moving forward, the Association hopes to  fundraise and continue their own Tikkun Olam projects in and outside the Village to give back to ASYV and the greater Rwandan community. 

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AlumniMercedes McGee
Anne's vision for me, and all of Rwanda

I was one of the first students to enter, and graduate from, the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.

In ten years, I went from bottom-of-the-pyramid poverty to a fully-funded high school education and before going on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania.

When I was two years old, the genocide in Rwanda took away my chance to be raised by parents. I became an orphan and grew up in poverty. My grandmother raised me in a one bedroom hut, with a dirt floor, a leaking roof, no electricity, and no water. I would fetch water twice a day walking a total of three miles each trip. The world seemed unfair and I had no hope for change because education was not guaranteed in Rwanda. Needless to say, things turned out differently. At 17, I was selected from among the poorest students in my village to be admitted into Agahozo-Shalom.

There I met Anne Heyman, my hero and inspiration, who constantly reminded us that the future is as big as we want it to be.

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AlumniMercedes McGee2017
Sam's Story

Is it true that humanity can be restored? Is it possible to turn an angry face, depression, and broken heart into a smiling face, happiness and a healing heart to save the community? Why do we have mercy for others who are suffering? How does love to create friendship arise? What does it take to realize our dreams? These questions can be answered by my brief story describing my life changes at ASYV in four years.

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LIFT HER UP - A NEW Female Empowerment Initiative

Giving back to her community is one of the things she puts first in her journey. Peace Grace Muhizi is a graduate of Agahozo Shalom Youth Village and she is currently schooling in Atlanta, Georgia at Agnes Scott College. This summer, she came back to Rwanda with an aim of interning in a public organization and also giving back to her community, more specifically the youth village that raised her to be who she is today.

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Spotlight: Meet our Alumni

Alumni’s name: NIYONSHIMA Patrick

Alumni’s graduation month/year: January, 2014 – Imbuto grade

What was your life like before ASYV?

Before I came to the ASYV, I lived in a nearby village with my three brothers and my father. My mother had passed away shortly after the Genocide due to Genocide-related traumas. My father decided not to remarry and instead focused on taking care of my brothers and I. Prior to ASYV, I attended Catholic school, where I struggled to maintain good grades and achieve academic success. When I was recruited to the Village, I didn’t have a good understanding as to what ASYV was but I looked forward to the opportunity to improve in school. 

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