The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) combines four essential elements to encourage the intellectual and emotional growth of our students: the loving support of a family, a structured education, health and wellness services, and enriching extracurricular programs. Each of ASYV's programs and services are designed around two guiding principles: Tikkun Halev, or healing the heart, and Tikkun Olam, the healing that comes from helping others. ASYV is also rooted in its dedication to 7 essential core values: Commitment, Role Model, Integrity, Respect, Learning Community, Support and, most importantly, the Interest of the Child.

FAMILY

“It is important for each kid to have the love of a Mama. These kids are orphans, they need the care of a mother, to feel her warmth and have her support.”  These words are asserted with conviction by five-year veteran Mama Marie-Claire Mukamitali. 

The Family Unit is key to healing hearts and developing minds. ASYV students live 16-18 to a house, all male or female, with a family mama and a big brother/sister mentor. Additional familial support comes from our Village Fellows, also known as "cousins." These international pre-professionals serve in the Village for at least one year, during which time they provide guidance to our Enrichment Year students.

In this environment, our kids receive individualized "parental" attention that heals their trauma, builds their self-esteem, and prepares them to graduate with the skills they need to forge a healthy and fulfilling adult life.

 

HEALTHCARE

The Village's Health and Wellness Center promotes the physical and mental health of our community. Our clinic delivers front-line medical treatment and ongoing health education, covering such topics as diet, malaria prevention, and HIV/AIDS. In addition to basic health care services, students have access to psychological support. Assigned to each grade, social workers collaborate with family mamas to identify students who may be in need. Utilizing individual and group counseling sessions and life skills education, social workers treat chronic conditions like PTSD and teach our students valuable skills like stress management techniques.

EDUCATION

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.

ASYV views education as the best path to a new day for Rwanda. With a robust and comprehensive secondary school education, our kids are prepared to break out of the cycle of poverty and trauma and become productive members of Rwandan society.

ASYV focuses on developing students both cognitively and socially. We follow the Rwandan National Curriculum, but teach in a mediated child-centered way that deepens a student's level of understanding and encourages a life-long love of learning.

For more information, visit the Liquidnet Family High School Profile.

 

ENRICHMENT

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.

Life Enrichment Applied Programs, or LEAP, encourages students to harness their passions and cultivate their talents. Our enrichment programs allow our students to explore the arts, including sewing, painting, and traditional dance, as well as athletics, including volleyball, football, karate, and basketball. In addition to formal extracurricular programming, there are plenty of student-run clubs for our kids to join when they are not in class. Clubs include: Theater, Poetry, Girl Up ASYV, and Unity and Reconciliation.

Other areas of focus outside of school hours include our farm and Tikkun Olam service projects.