Rwanda’s First Lady inspires youth to excel

Joseph Biziyaremye, a vulnerable 20-year-old from Kirehe District in Rwanda’s Eastern part, lost his parents when he had just joined secondary school.

His hope of going back to school was over.

Despite being well disciplined and bright, Biziyaremye’s relatives could not manage to raise Rwf90, 000 ($128) a year to send him back to school.

He started looking for other options. “My next move was to go on streets for drugs.”

In the process, he heard good news from Imbuto Foundation officials. They were looking for vulnerable children to sponsor.

The Foundation, formerly ‘Protection and Care of Families against HIV/AIDS (PACFA)’ is a project under the office of Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame.

In 2003, it created, among other noble activities, a Scholarship project, in response to children with high academic potential failing to pursue their secondary education due to lack of funding.

Biziyaremye was selected among the beneficiaries of Imbuto, marking the beginning of a new life. Imbuto sponsored him with all necessary school needs, including tuition, uniform and other scholastic materials.

This program provides funding requirements for the entire secondary school cycle, at a cost of $300 per year, per child.

Those selected must have scored above 70%. The 10-year-old-project has so far supported over 6000 vulnerable children.

Over 900 boys and girls converged for Imbuto-sponsored Youth Camp at Groupe Scolaire official de Butare, Southern Rwanda
Over 900 boys and girls converged for Imbuto-sponsored Youth Camp at Groupe Scolaire official de Butare, Southern Rwanda

On Saturday, (December 6), Biziyaremye was at Groupe Scolaire official de Butare, Southern Rwanda. Over 900 boys and girls converged for Imbuto-sponsored Youth Camp.

The annual event, is a platform that brings together students where, during holidays, discuss issues relating to their daily lives.

Mrs Kagame sees her project as a catalyst to future generation of Rwanda.

While opening the camp, she said: “Once a seed is well planted, watered, nurtured and given all the necessary support, successfully grows into a healthy plant.”

“By investing in the youth, Imbuto is giving its contribution towards efforts to empower the youth and prepare them to become productive citizens who will drive the country’s future to success.”

Thousands of Rwandans have benefited from Mrs. Kagame’s charity organisation. It currently runs over 10 projects.

One of them is Isange One Stop Centre– that supports national efforts in fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV).

In 2012, it was awarded United Nations’ ‘Public award’ for promoting ‘Gender Responsive Delivery’ of public services-the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.