Project #2106

Housing to Empower Rwanda's Future Leaders

by Generation Rwanda

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


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.





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.


Four students in front of their university
Four students in front of their university

GlobalGiving’s Alexis Nadin has been traveling around Africa in order to learn, firsthand, about the impact of GlobalGiving’s projects. In May, Alexis spent a few days getting to know our students and she wrote a great update, which is available below. Enjoy reading about the students you are supporting and please spread the word about our project! Thanks, Michael


First and foremost, I want to extend our gratitude to each of you for your generous support of the deserving students in our scholarship program. I also want to let you know that in order to provide more frequent updates about the impact of your support, we have shifted the focus of our GlobalGiving project by reducing our scope to supporting two of our group houses. Both of these houses are in Kigali – one is for eight of our young women, and the other is for six of our young men. This change will help us realize our goal of raising $7,200 to support these talented young men and women. Thanks to your donation, we’re already about one-quarter of the way there!

From the field, we have lots to report about the students you are supporting. One of our volunteers who serves as an adviser to our students recently sent the following update about the impact of group housing on our students’ lives:

“My advisees who live in group houses have the opportunity to study together for their exams and this can really help, as they all have different skills and abilities. By living and studying together, the students bond and become very close, creating that brotherly and sisterly environment they thrive in, and which some have never had before in their lives. During trying times such as April, when genocide commemoration activities occur, housemates provide encouragement and support for each other.”

A scholarship from ORI is about much more than university tuition. It’s about empowering young people from the most vulnerable segment of Rwandan society to achieve their dreams. And they are well on their way -- on the ORI blog, I posted news about Jackson and Janvier, two of the young men who live in one of the group houses supported by this project. Jackson interns with Miracle Corners of Rwanda as a Program Development Consultant, and his housemate Janvier is one of our ambitious students at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

Read the blog posts about Jackson and Janvier here:

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more information about the students supported by this project. Again, I thank each of you for your investment in the futures of our students. I also encourage you to read a cover story about ORI that recently appeared in Miller-McCune magazine, which is the first major piece ever written about our students (see attachment).

If you have any questions, please contact me at And please spread the news about this project!




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Organization Information

Generation Rwanda

Location: Cambridge, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Michael Brotchner
Executive Director
New York, New York United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 83 donors like you, a total of $7,219 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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