Merci Uwimbabazi

October 27, 2016

Merci Uwimbabazi

Family: Susan B Anthony
Academic Concentration (Referred to as a Combination): Physics, Chemistry, Biology

I started my journey in the Village almost two years ago. Before arriving here, I lived in Kicukiro, Kigali with my mother, two sisters, and brother. I also have three other sisters, all of whom are married now. I went to an all girls school but it was hard to pay the fees because my mother struggled to find work. It was not easy for my mother to take care of so many of us while she was unemployed.

When I discovered that I had been selected to study at Agahozo-Shalom, I felt overwhelmed. I understood what a privilege it was to be chosen and so felt an enormous responsibility to maximize every opportunity available to me during my time in the Village. I was so curious about the new experiences I was about to have and the people I would meet.

Before coming to the Village, I remember it was hard for me to express my ideas and emotions. The educators here help me to believe in myself and encourage me to speak freely whenever I have an opinion on anything. The family aspect we have here has  also helped me to be more of an open person.

My first impression of the ASYV was a very good one. After learning about all of the opportunities that were available to me combined with the fact that I had a new loving family that was here to support me, I just couldn't believe how lucky I was. Actually, I felt like it must have been a dream.

From my very first day here, I was determined to make the most of the chance I had been given. I worked hard to improve my English skills which have resulted in higher-confidence in all activities. I learned to play the guitar and improve my talent for traditional dance - two things I perform regularly during Village Time and other events staged here in the Village. I also take my studies seriously and am proud to have achieved the highest grades of any student in the Liquidnet Family High School last year.

Furthermore, I'm involved in many initiatives here. I was recently chosen to serve as the Minister of Health in the Student Government. One of my duties is to schedule meetings with the Healthy Living Group (made up of representatives from each family) to discuss issues related to disease, hygiene, and sanitation. I've also organized a first aid group that will provide any necessary medical services at the large events we host in the Village.

This year, I've served as Miss Core Values to the Imena grade. I took it upon myself to encourage all students to be more responsible in all Village activities and take ownership of their lives. It was also a goal of mine to emphasize the importance of having personal goals and strong values in line with giving back to the community.

I also serve as Vice-President of the Female Solidarity Legacy group here in the Village. My duty is to encourage people of all genders to work together and to advise/organize activities for the girls here on how to be strong and independent. 

I hope to go on to study Medicine abroad after graduating from ASYV. It is an ambition of mine to be a doctor, but I haven't made my mind up as to where exactly. I'm also interested in starting my own business which will help to create jobs. Aside from my professional goals, I'd like to continue helping girls build their self-confidence and join the effort for gender equality worldwide.