Posts tagged 2017
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
Meet Nicholas Navarro, ASYV trip participant & Fundraiser Extraordinaire!

Nicholas Navarro joined the University of Pennsylvania Hillel's service learning trip to ASYV this past May for an unforgettable week exploring the Village and Rwanda.

Nicholas is the highest fundraiser of any service trip participant in 2017 to date. We caught up with Nicholas to hear more about his experience visiting the Village and his tips on how to be a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser. 

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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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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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Exploring Rwandan Entrepreneurship with TechnoServe

One of the best parts of being a student at ASYV is the opportunity to apply skills and information you learn in the classroom to the real world. ASYV’s Entrepreneurship program is one of the strongest examples of this.

This week, the Senior 6 (equivalent to high school seniors) students got the chance to go on an Entrepreneurship Field Trip with Technoserve, our partner that created and helped facilitate ASYV’s Entrepreneurship program. This was a special occasion for the kids, not just because it was a chance to leave the Village, but also because it was an opportunity to see how to turn your business ideas into a reality.

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EventsMercedes McGee2017