RWANDA

Annette is a Guest Relations Manager at Africa New Life Ministries, where she oversees group tours for people visiting Rwanda on missionary work. Beside her is Beltilda, who works for Azizi Life’s all-women’s coffee collective. I had joined Annette’s coffee workshop, where we sang, danced and learned about the traditional method of producing coffee. I was thrilled for the chance to support the collective through attending the workshop, and purchasing some of their impressive artisanal crafts.

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Nicolas is a 21-year old university student studying IT in Kigali. He’s photographed at KLab, a tech hub funded by the government to help youth develop tech skills. He wants to make software that will help society in Rwanda. “The more I do the more I know” he says. “The world must know that Rwanda is developing and that the government is doing good things, and encouraging us to become educated and work hard to succeed. We don’t have many natural resources, so we have to innovate."

Marie-Aimee has been the President of the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre since 2011. She’s helped it grow from a group of under 18 women with four sewing machines, to a collective of over a hundred women and 80 machines. Originally the group received foreign funding, but are now fully self-sufficient. They run English, math, sewing and hair styling classes, and teach women how to open their own small businesses. They also generate revenue through tourism by offering a variety of tours in Kigali.

Millions suffered as a result of the Rwandan genocide, making a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial painful for anyone who empathizes with those who experienced such devastating trauma. While there is pain, there is also education, growth and reconciliation, thanks to people like Serge and his fantastic Engagement Officer colleagues. Serge is a survivor, having lost his father and brother. He is proud of Rwanda’s reconciliation efforts, which include 232 memorials and 3 peace education centres

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World-class wildlife attractions, and the cultivation of a tech and social enterprise boom makes this rapidly growing country one of Africa's hottest new destinations. 

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"I really don’t want to go live somewhere else. I love to visit other places in the world, but I want to come back and live in my own country."