About our organization
In 2005, while attending a talk about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Anne Heyman learned that the country had 1.2 million orphans. Without a systemic solution to support the well-being and development of Rwanda’s vast orphan population, especially orphans well into their teenage years, many were being left behind. Anne recognized a parallel between the orphan crisis following the Holocaust, which Israel addressed by building residential communities that ensured the orphans’ safety, security, and development. Anne was inspired to bring this model to Rwanda. From there, thanks to Anne’s perseverance and her collaboration with some of Rwanda’s brightest minds, The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) was founded with the mission to empower vulnerable and orphaned Rwandan youth to build lives of dignity and contribute to a better world through healing, education, and love.
In 2008, ASYV opened its gates to the first class of 128 students. Currently, 1242 alumni have graduated from ASYV and the student population from grade 9 to 12 is 503. We offer 4 science subject combinations (Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics, Mathematics, Economics and Geography), and one humanities combination (History Geography and Literature). In addition to the core subjects, students study supplementary subjects including entrepreneurship, General Studies and Communication Skills, English and Kinyarwanda which is the mother tongue. Apart from the formal education our students receive at school, ASYV has 3 other pillars which foster healing and learning. Through the parental wholeness model, students become a part of a stable and supportive family unit, providing each student with a sense of belonging and security. Through the pillar of Health & Wellness, students are provided with all the physical and mental health needs they could require from clean water and nutritious food to medical care, psycho-social support, and life skills education. Finally, the 4th pillar of Life Enrichment Applied Programs (LEAP), our extra-curricular programs, teach our students practical, creative, and expressive skills that allow them to explore their talents and passions. These extra-curricular activities include hands-on science and technology workshops, arts, music, media, dance, sewing, culinary arts, salon & hairdressing, and community service. These 4 pillars, formal education, LEAP, Parental Wholeness, and Health & Wellness guide all activities at ASYV which aim to create a trauma-informed and supportive environment and ASYV family.
This holistic approach to our students’ well-being and educational development crafts confident, dignified and accomplished alumni, many of whom opt to continue onto further education. Many of our alumni have studied outside the country in different countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and Ghana as well as the top universities in Rwanda. Because our student body is made up of only vulnerable students from across Rwanda who receive a full scholarship to attend ASYV, they must also rely on fully-funded financial aid, scholarships, or loan programs to access further and higher education after their graduation. We hope that our membership in the HALI Access Network will help facilitate more of our students in accessing further education and the scholarships they require to do so!
For more information about ASYV, our mission, model, core values, and stories from our students’ and staff please visit us at our website Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village!
Our core values
The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village changes more than our students’ lives. 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.