Rwamagana, 10 January 2013
Today in Rwamagana, President Kagame attended the first graduation ceremony of Agahozo Shalom Youth Village. With over five hundred students, Agahozo Shalom Youth Village was established to enable orphaned and vulnerable youth to realize their maximum potential.
Opening the ceremony, Guest of Honor and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Sharon Haba told the students that they were the future of this nation. “You have been given all the tools…we look to you to set the pace for those behind you,” Permanent Secretary Sharon Haba said.
President Kagame began his remarks by reminding the students of the invaluable opportunity Agahozo Shalom represents. “You have a strong foundation on which to build your future, this is just the start of many opportunities to seize and explore,” President Kagame said. Reiterating the importance of the role of the youth in Rwanda, President Kagame told the students: “Rwanda counts on you to contribute to transforming this country…we will be with you all the way. We want you to leave this place with the faith and the confidence that with your invaluable contribution, we will shape the future of our people”
“A lot of what we want in the future has been denied to many of you in the past, but that can only be a hard lesson we can build on to shape the future we want,” President Kagame concluded.
Congratulating them on their achievements, Founder of Agahozo Shalom, Anne Heyman told the students : You are leaders and trailblazers. I have no doubt the future will be what you make it. Do not wait for the change, be the change you wish to see.”
“Go forth and make a difference for people around you and always stand up for what is right,” she added.
Founded in 2006, Agahozo Shalom is modeled after Yemin Order, the highly effective youth village model established to aid Holocaust orphans in Israel. Located in Rwamagana, Agahozo Shalom Youth Vilalge began operating in 2008 and today seeks to provide orphans with a safe and secure living environment, health care, education in order to create socially responsible citizens in Rwanda and the world.