Kigali, 04 August 2011

President Kagame today granted audience to a delegation of students from New York based Long Island University. The delegation of graduate students, some of whom are practicing as Mental Health Mentors, was led by Dr. June from the Department of Counseling and Development. The students are participants in a credit-course that enables them to visit foreign countries and gain knowledge and awareness of global experiences, while they explore the related implications for their profession as counselors. The main objective of their study tour in Rwanda is to develop global collaboration and exposure to become cultural relevant, compassionate, caring and competent professional counselors.

During the interactive meeting, President Kagame told the students that they are welcome to work in Rwanda and make Rwanda their second home: “We have confronted extreme odds and have drawn strength from overcoming challenges and from partners like you.”

Speaking to the press, Dr. June Smith said: “Last year we had a group of 20 students and they had such an awesome experience and when they went back they shared their stories and experiences and inspired everyone. We are mental health therapists and we are here to forge a relationship with the university here to provide training and support to mental health centers and clinics here. This is a sustainable relationship and we have been inspired by this meeting with the President.”

One of the students, Jarrett Rubin said: “We were excited to meet the President and talk to him. We were able to ask him several questions and he told us that he wants everyone to have the same benefits and opportunities and this is what influences his decisions. We are very motivated to work with Rwanda in areas of counseling and mental health.”