In 1994, Rwanda suffered a devastating genocide leading to many social hardships. One of the leading issues lingering throughout the country is a high number of orphaned children and vulnerable youth. Despite this catastrophe, the country defies the odds as it rebuilds itself into a thriving and stable country.
At ASYV, we preserve the value of Rwandan culture through our Rwandan staff and educators and by creating an inextricable link to our local community.
Why a Youth Village
Modeled after Yemin Orde, an Israeli youth village established in 1953, which originally cared for orphans from the Holocaust, ASYV is a place where "tears are dried" (signified by the Kinyarwanda word, agahozo) and where vulnerable youth can “live in peace” (from the Hebrew word, shalom).
ASYV's model combines three essential elements to encourage our youths' intellectual and emotional growth:
• Loving support of a family
• A structured education
• Enriching extracurricular programs
The family structure is key to our youths' healing. The village places each youth, by gender, into residential families of 16. The family environment fosters a 'brother' and 'sister' dynamic. In each home, a Rwandan mama guides our youth through their healing and holds the primary responsibility for each child's physical and emotional well-being.
The youth of Agahozo-Shalom come from all 30 districts in Rwanda. We aim to select four representatives from each of these districts every year. All of the children carry the culture of their home, unique talents, and the insatiable desire to learn and grow. Despite bearing the weight of incredible hardship, the ASYV kids are survivors. Our students have insurmountable drive and the determination to overcome their past and create a brighter future.
We invest in Rwanda’s most vulnerable orphans with the confidence that they are capable of great accomplishments. The ASYV students are delightful, inspiring, and eager to grow up into happy, successful adults.