Goats, dusty roads, and dancing — these were all experiences shared by eight young women in Rwanda this February. Led by African Road Executive Director Kelly Bean, and sponsored by the Imago Dei Fund these young leaders traveled to Rwanda to learn about the country’s difficult yet hopeful legacy and meet with African Road Changemakers.

Learning Trip participant Meazy Silva says:

“The trip to Rwanda has been an eye opener for me. It has taught me about confidence, kindness and love towards one another, and what it means to work together to change the world, and make it a better place.”

Read highlights from the girls in their blog:

Visit with All Souls Women and Togetherness Cooperative
by Guest Author | Mar 1, 2018 | African Road projects, Learning Trips

By Natalie Karakey, Learning Trip Member

Today, we drove 40 minutes to the All Souls Church in Gasogi, Rwanda where we spent two hours worshipping and enjoying their music, dances, and skits. The church itself was dug out of the red earth mountainside. They had orange decorations wrapped around the support beams. After the service, we listened to empowered women describe their “VICOBA” system, which stands for Village Community Banking. The program entails a group of women, coming together to save money and giving loans to those who need it to start small businesses. These include: a self-sufficient bakery, jewelry making, and a goat, pig and chicken farm… Read More

For more highlights from the trip, most recent at the top:

Final Reflections

After such a meaningful, impactful and profound trip, taking time to process and debrief is paramount. Using the following “Don’t Just” charges by Roy T Bennett, we spent some time talking about each of them. We then individually highlighted the one “don’t just” that we most related to and then explained why. We humbly share our meditations below… Read More

Church Memorial and A Reconciliation Movement

Friday morning we took our van to the Nyamata Church Memorial. This was the place where thousands of Tutsis sought refuge on April 7, 1994, after the genocide began. Days later, they were attacked by Hutus who threw tear gas and grenades inside the church in an effort to drive the people out. The deaths began, and over 10,000 people were massacred… Read More

Komera = Be Strong

Wednesday morning we drove up approximately 100 km from Kigali to a small town. There, we arrived at Komera, a non-profit that aims to provide a select number of girls with both financial support, throughout their studies, and emotional support, in their household. As we shuffled out of the bus we were greeted with huge smiles and extended arms… Read More

Rwandan Genocide

Today we visited a foundation started by Philbert Kalisa in 1996 in response to the need for healing for his fellow citizens and country after the tragic genocide of 1994. We were greeted by Philbert, and he gave a 45 minutes history of the genocide while we enjoyed African Tea. We learned about his personal story, the work of his foundation, and its impact on Rwanda. He then accompanied us to the Rwandan Genocide Memorial Museum where we were taken through heart-wrenching yet enlightening exhibits that told the horrific stories of both the survivors and those lost. Over one million people were brutally tortured and killed in just 100 days… Read More

We’ve arrived!

We’ve arrived in Rwanda! After a long 18 hour journey and very little sleep all around, we are safely in our “Heaven” hotel. After a lovely meal, we are in our hotel rooms excited to sleep in our mosquito protected beds… Read More

Rwanda Facts

Kigali (Kinyarwanda: [ciɡɑlí]) is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is near the nation’s geographic centre. The city has… Read More

The Organizations

We are traveling with the guidance of a wonderful non-profit, African Road. In addition to the Togetherness Cooperative, we will also… Read More

Preparing for Rwanda

Thanks to the generosity of the Imago Dei Foundation, eight teenagers are traveling to Kigali, Rwanda. We are so excited… Read More

Leaders of the Togetherness Cooperative