This year started off on a great note! We had a wonderful graduation for our Imbuto Grade and were blessed to have our
founder and mother Anne Heyman in our presence. As is true for all of Anne’s visits, her time with us was incredibly
enlightening and inspiring. Anne reminded us of how unique the Village is in its existence and expressed her pride in all of ASYV’s accomplishments in such a short period of time. In memory of Anne’s relentless drive we are motivated to push forward with our future initiatives. Her confidence and determination encourages us to reach our goals for 2014 to
make our Village a place that is more holistic in the healing of our kids.
The day of Anne’s passing, January 31st, 2014, was devastating for Agahozo-Shalom as well as for the country of Rwanda. Yet, in the midst of despair, we saw great resilience. We are inspired in Anne’s passing to ensure that her dreams for ASYV live on. This sentiment is confirmed by her husband Seth Merrin as well as our dedicated Board of Directors. We are continually amazed and blessed by the support we receive from her husband and children. The students of ASYV are deeply appreciative of their devotion. Their commitment to the Village has given ASYV students and staff the strength they need to stand strong.
Anne was an angel on earth and we feel lucky to have felt her impact. While it is difficult to move past Anne’s departure, we are doing our best to restore the rhythm of life within ASYV. In honor of Anne, we must put the pieces back together and strive forward for her and for the children. The foundation that Anne laid for Agahozo-Shalom is so strong that we can already see tangible results. In our continued collaboration with the Rwandan Government, Liquidnet Family High School is now recognized as a government-subsidized institution. Outside of our gates, Anne has single handedly helped to bring together the biggest solar field in the region, which will bring up to 8.5 mega watts to Rwanda’s national energy grid - close to 10% of the national electricity consumption. The impact of Anne’s work is not only evident within the Village, but also throughout the nation of Rwanda. We continue to hear amazing things about our students postgraduation. They are considered leaders within their communities. Many of our graduates have joined the Ingando and Urugerero rograms, which are national youth programs that facilitate volunteer services within local communities.This indicates that our students are taking to heart the value of Tikkun Olam, which Anne strived to instill in each student at Agahozo-Shalom. This is one of the best achievements we could hope for our graduates.
ASYV will go on innovating its enrichment programs as exemplified through the introduction of our own national Stand Up & Be Counted Event that will take place in the Village on July 10, 2014. This is the first Stand Up event we will have in Rwanda, and it will require the collaboration of every staff, student, and department. We are looking forward to sharing the diverse accomplishments of our community with all of our local partners and supporters.
ASYV will go on innovating its enrichment programs as exemplified through the introduction of our own national Stand Up Event that will take place in the Village this summer. This is the first Stand-Up event we will have at ASYV and it will require the collaboration of every staff member, student, and department. We are looking forward to sharing the
diverse accomplishments of our community with all of our local partners and supporters.
I told the ASYV students that the best way to sustain Anne’s legacy is to become the best person that each of them can be. I encouraged them to set their minds to achieve great things and live a life of fulfillment in the spirit of Tikkun Olam. To our educators, I quoted Anne in saying: “Education is the gift that keeps on giving.” With that in mind, I want them to continue giving that gift to our students so they can reach their full potential.
This is the message that must transcend from us to the the ASYV children and from the ASYV children to the rest of the world. Agahozo-Shalom kids will pay it forward! They will give 100% in all things that they do. In order for them to achieve this goal we must ensure the quality of our programs and build on the achievements that Agahozo-Shalom has already realized. This is only the beginning for Agahozo-Shalom, and with Anne’s vision, I know we will
continue to achieve great success and make the educational philosophy of ASYV a model for education known across the world.