Rwanda is known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills’ and offers wonderful natural scenery almost wherever you go. It is a country with a blend of very rich cultural heritage, however not all of it is positive. Terrible events of the 1994 genocide orchestrated by the nation’s own inhabitants tore through the country, leaving poverty, increased HIV/AIDS infection, traumatized child soldiers and unemployment in its wake. An estimated 500,000 to 1 million Rwandans were killed during the 100 day genocide in 1994.

Since then, Rwanda has embarked on an ambitious justice and reconciliation process with the ultimate aim of all Rwandans once again living side by side in peace. So, while Rwanda’s scars may run deep, now is the time to help the country look to its future and embrace its new-found optimism.

A closer look

The global headlines have faded from sight, but the repercussions of Rwanda’s vicious genocide are still being felt on a daily basis. The spread of HIV and AIDS as a result of mass rape, the large amount of orphans and child-run households, and a lack of organized healthcare and education are just a few of the main problems facing modern Rwanda.

Our attention cannot waver. We can never give Rwanda’s children their innocence back, but we can help to mend the physical and emotional damage of the past to help them to reach their full potential for the future. Contributing to Rwanda’s future will allow it to become a beacon of light and set an example for other war-torn conflict zones (both past and present). This country is so often overshadowed by a dark, tumultuous history, but it has so much more to offer to its citizens and to the world. This is our chance to step up and help build them the future they deserve.

    10 Jun, 2015
  • Day of the African Child

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    “The early years of a child’s life quite literally present the opportunity of a lifetime. What happens, or does not happen to a child through its early childhood can influence the entire course of that child’s life, for better or for worse” said Noala Skinner, Representative of UNICEF Rwanda. In April 2012, the Government of …
  • 29 Apr, 2015
  • Hope has a new name

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    They say once you choose hope, anything’s possible. Seleman chose hope for himself and for all those young kids who have nothing else but just hope. The extremely harsh and challenging military life was too much for Seleman to take in and he always wished to return to school. Most of the comrades weren’t able …
  • 06 Mar, 2015
  • Turning ex-child soldiers into able citizens

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    He is not alone in this dark past. According to UN estimates, tens of thousands of children have been abducted and forcibly recruited into various armed groups in the eastern DRC, among them Rwandans whose parents fled to Congo after the 1994 genocide. Furthermore, few employment opportunities mean that former child soldiers often lack food …

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Participating Schools in Rwanda

ASOLATE. Paired up with a Monastery in Cambodia .

ASOLATE (Association for Youth Literacy and Trade Education) is a not-for-profit organization created by Nizeyimana Seleman, a former Rwandan child soldier. Since its inception in 2004, the school has provided training and education to approximately 360 children.

The school primarily serves child soldiers and orphans. The curriculum includes basic literacy along with core academics and workforce training in trade industries.

ASOLATE’s mission is to not only provide children with shelter, but also to help develop skills so they can be self-sufficient in adulthood. It is also committed to raising awareness and preventing HIV/AIDS.

Since children make up more than half of the population of Rwanda, it’s clear that this generation will play an important role in the country’s future. With ASOLATE helping to carry the torch of education to children with a dark past, we hope that future will be bright. UbuntuMail is proud to collaborate with ASOLATE to support the children of Rwanda. As they say “The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.”

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Youth for change

The Need

A partnership between Ubuntu Mail and ASOLATE, Youth For Change aims to give Rwandan children a chance to be kids again. The program for local boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 18, includes a nation-wide football tournament and projects intended to uplift the children and help them feel engaged in the community.

The children of Rwanda have experienced indescribable atrocities that have left them feeling isolated from their community, as the genocide and widespread poverty have robbed many of their youth. These children have been unable to enjoy traditional childhood activities such as sports, recreation and simply playing with their peers. These activities have been proven to aid in a child’s development and directly impact their social skills.

The Project

Youth For Change empowers youth by making them feel like they are part of a team through sports and other athletic activities. The community involvement and physical fitness experiences they gain at our camps will allow them to feel like they belong, and more importantly, have fun!

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A project of promoting upcoming artists

The Need

Rwanda is perhaps best known for the genocide of the 1990s, but the country also has a diverse culture rife with artistic expression. Music and dance remain an integral part of ceremonies and festivals, while there is also still a strong oral tradition of poetry and storytelling.

Unfortunately, there is little room for artistic expression among Rwandan children, as poverty and child labor leave few opportunities available for them to take part in the arts. Without these outlets of expression, children are more likely to engage in negative activities and lose direction in life. They have a wealth of untapped artistic potential.

The Project

Ubuntu Mail aims to provide youth with a platform to share their artistic talents with the rest of the country and the world. The array of programs provides children with the tools and support to channel their talents into the radio and television industry. For example, our music program helps children produce their own songs and promote them on local radio shows. They can also take part in monthly music concerts and gatherings to hone their talents and become more involved in the art community.

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Stove project

The Need

Wood-burning stoves have been a traditional method of cooking in Rwanda for generations. However, in the past, little was known about the risks associated with wood burning.

Inhaling wood smoke increases respiratory problems including irritation of the airways, coughing and breathing difficulty. As a result people have also been known to suffer from aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, non-fatal heart attacks, chemical and structural changes in their lungs and in some cases cancer. These stoves generate excessive emissions that are detrimental to not only a person’s health, but the environment as well. Inhaling wood smoke increases respiratory problems including irritation of the airway, coughing and breathing difficulties. As a result, people have also been known to suffer from aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, non-fatal heart attacks, chemical and structural changes in their lungs, and in some cases, cancer.

The Project

Due to the health and environmental risks associated with smoke inhalation, work is being done to create safer cooking solutions. New coal-burning stoves are gaining popularity as a cleaner alternative, and The Stove Project trains children to design and create these stoves.

In the long-term, the training children receive through the program can eventually be used to find employment in the manufacturing industry. The products children build are sold in order to sustain the project and provide ongoing, healthy support.

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  • Copywriting
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  • Training
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