Generation Rwanda

Orphans of Rwanda, Inc. (ORI) is dedicated to helping orphans and other socially vulnerable young people in Rwanda pursue a university education and ultimately become leaders in fostering economic development and social reconciliation. ORI provides holistic support – including tuition, housing, health care, and supplemental training programs – to ensure that students are prepared to excel. One hundred and twenty students throughout Rwanda now attend university through ORI scholarships.
Aug 7, 2009

Please help ORI win the GlobalGiving Challenge

Dear ORI Supporters:

Muraho from Kigali! I have some great news to share: thanks to your efforts, ORI is currently in 3rd place in the “Alive and Learning Challenge.” We have received more donations than anyone in the competition and we’re about halfway towards our goal.

But we still need your help! We’re $1,458 short of the level we need to reach by August 14 in order to qualify for bonuses from GlobalGiving. Remember: a gift as little as $10 will have a direct impact on our students’ lives by funding an ORI group house for one day.

The other exciting news is that we have another university graduate as of yesterday: Gilbert Nshimiyimana. I attended his defense of his dissertation at the Universite Libre de Kigali and he passed with flying colors. Many ORI students were in attendance to support him.

Finally, read my latest blog (below) about how an ORI student had the honor of meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame.

Please help us win the challenge so that ORI students like Gilbert have the opportunity to show the world what they can do! Murakoze!

-- Michael


Jul 28, 2009

Please help ORI win a challenge on GlobalGiving

Muraho (hello in Kinyarwanda)!

Please help ORI win a challenge that will provide housing to 16 of our bright college students for one year! ORI is one of the organizations competing in GlobalGiving’s “Alive and Learning Challenge.” The goal is to fully fund our project on the GlobalGiving website: “Housing to Empower Rwanda's Future Leaders.” If we raise the remaining $5,305 by August 14, our project will be fully funded and we will be eligible for hundreds of dollars in additional bonuses from GlobalGiving!

You can help us win this challenge by giving as little as $10 (which funds one ORI group house for one day) – and by encouraging your friends to do the same!

In other ORI news… 

Check out our latest blog post, “The Future of Rwanda: A Preview.” It has information about the newest ORI university graduate and students’ reactions to President Obama’s historic speech in Ghana.

The last news I want to share with you is that ORI just joined Twitter! You can follow us at the link below.

Please help ORI win this challenge and spread the word!!!! Thank you again for your terrific support of our students.




Jun 17, 2009

A Postcard from Housing & Healthcare for 180 Rwandan Students

Alexis Nadin is a student at American University and former intern at GlobalGiving. This summer, she is traveling through Africa and visiting a number of GlobalGiving projects. She visited this project on May 25, 2009. Here's what she had to say:

During our two day visit with Orphans of Rwanda International (ORI), we spent most of our time hanging out and talking with ORI scholars at their group homes. As two college kids ourselves, we felt right at home. As the students joking pointed out to us who was the “mom” or “dad” of the house, we began to understand what Yvet, the Director of Career Development said: “for these students, the group homes provide families, something many of them did not have as children.”

ORI serves orphans and vulnerable children by, as the students said, providing absolutely everything they need for a successful university career and preparing them to become competitive in the job market. ORI is the only organization, aside from the government, that offers university scholarships in Rwanda. As a result, ORI is only able to offer scholarships to a small percent of applicants (46/1500), making this a very competitive process. The orphans selected for this scholarship are at the top of their class, and some of the brightest and most motivated in the country.

Not only does ORI pay tuition for students to attend the top six universities in Rwanda. They also provide housing in the group homes, as well as a stipend. To ensure the sound mind and body of all students, ORI provides a nurse, full medical care (even glasses!), and mental health counselors, which the students told us they really appreciated. ORI recognizes how competitive the job market will be when the scholars graduate, so today they provide career development services such as internships (a new idea in Rwanda), mentorships, and workshops. In these workshops, students learn how to create CV’s, develop time management skills, and use the internet (some students got their first email through ORI). Recently, many Rwandan university students have been struggling because the government just changed the official language of instruction from French to English. ORI gives their scholars a leg up through three months of an intensive English program, and ongoing English workshops.

The interim director, Charles, told us that ORI is in an uphill battle. Tuition and housing cost are climbing sharply; indeed everything is going up, except for donations. Despite the financial struggles, ORI is continuing its important work as much as funding allows. The students we talked with continually reminded us that they are the future of Rwanda, and that they will be the leadership of the next generation. Without ORI, these students would have no way of receiving the education they need to become successful members of society. By empowering strong students, GlobalGiving is creating strong leaders.

Alexis said she would tell her friends this project is: Incredible: You need to see this!

GlobalGiving is committed to incorporating many viewpoints on our 600+ projects. We feel that more information, especially from eyewitnesses helps donors like you continue to support organizations doing great work in the community.