Children need the love and support of a family to thrive. When a family isn't stable, due to societal trauma or personal tragedy, a youth village can fill the gap. Through healing, education, and love, the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) empowers orphaned and vulnerable Rwandan youth to build lives of dignity and contribute to a better world.
A persistent orphan crisis arose in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This tragedy left between 800,000 and 1,000,000 million dead and had devastating long-term consequences for Rwandan society, with up to 1.26 million Rwandans orphaned by violence, poverty, and HIV/AIDS by 2007. Although Rwanda has made strides in providing its youth with access to education, only about 18% of Rwandans of graduation age complete secondary school annually.
Inspired by the youth villages established in Israel to shelter orphans of the Holocaust, our founder, Anne Heyman, built the ASYV to care for Rwanda's most vulnerable and orphaned youth. ASYV combines four essential elements to nurture our kids' intellectual and emotional growth: the loving support of a family unit; formal education; extracurriculars and service learning; and mental health and medical care.
Our impact goes beyond the Village's gates as we help young people acquire the skills and confidence they need to change the world, in ways big and small. 68% of our graduates take on leadership roles after leaving the Village and 50% are financially supporting two people on average. It is our vision that all children deserve a loving family and safe home. We believe ASYV can serve as a global model of how to heal a traumatized society through caring for its children.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).