Page 1

THE CLASS OF 2012 An 18 - year - old applying to Generation Rwanda in 2012 was

This year we received over 4,000 applications — for 28

born in 1994. That’s a significant milestone for us: from now on, our youngest applicants will have been born after the genocide. And while these students may not have direct memories of those 100 days, they grew up in its legacy — some as refugees, others as orphans of parents murdered or lost from disease, and

scholarships. We would obviously love to accept more students, but a 0.7% acceptance rate means that each student is simply outstanding. 20 of our 28 incoming students were their class valedictorian, despite many having to raise their brothers and sisters, living as refugees in Uganda, or caring for dying relatives.

all as Rwandans dedicated to rebuilding their country.

It is hard to imagine the combination of grit and intelligence that allows someone to be able to do this, and the world would be so much poorer if their only career path were subsistence agriculture. Instead, Generation Rwanda is making sure they end up as doctors, engineers, lawyers, and entrepreneurs.

In their lifetime, Rwanda has grown from one of the world’s failed states to a model of economic and social recovery that nearly every developing country is trying hard to replicate. Rwanda is a small, landlocked nation with barely any natural resources, yet it has grown more than any other in the past decade thanks to smart investment and good governance. Still, there are limits to what the country can afford. Rwanda is one of the few countries in the world that spends more on education than its military, but nearly all of it is invested in securing universal primary and secondary education. After that, university is a dream to most Rwandans: a year’s tuition is triple their average annual income.

There isn’t a single country in the developing world, from Rwanda to Papua New Guinea, that does a good job at finding its best students and getting them through university. Over the years, Generation Rwanda has built a replicable model for exactly that. We're out to show that finding and nurturing talent is a crucial piece of economic development, and this class of students is here to prove it. These big, lofty goals are powered by each student in

This means that the best high schoolers — ambitious, brainy, flawless grades — have no path to university without wealthy parents. If Rwanda is going to take that next crucial step in building an inclusive society that provides opportunity for

Generation Rwanda, and we’re excited to see how their aspirations and worldview grow alongside each other. Everyone in this class is an omnivorous learner whose talent is ready to expand by orders of magnitude in the company of peers, rivals, advisors, and colleagues.

everyone, its best students need to have a path to the best jobs. Generation Rwanda is around to show what happens when they do.

Here are a few of the stories from Generation Rwanda’s class of 2012. We hope you’ll be inspired.

PATRICK NDAYAMBAJE Civil Engineering Kigali Institute of Technology Patrick shares his father’s fascination with buildings and construction. His father hoped to become an engineer himself, but wasn’t able to afford university tuition. Instead, he took a job as a mason to provide for Patrick’s education. Patrick is now on track to fulfill both of their dreams.

NOELLA GAKUBA Computer Science Kigali Institute of Technology Rwanda has a shortage of software engineers, and hardly any women enter the field. Noella plans to change that by founding a software and design startup after graduating. She also founded and manages a dance troupe. Noella lives with her two cousins and her aunt, who is HIV positive.

MICHEL NDAYISHIMYE Economics School of Finance and Banking Michel wants to study the underlying financial causes of the recent global economic crisis. His dream is to work as a project manager for an international NGO or the UN, and maybe even one day be appointed as Rwanda’s Minister of Finance. Michel was born in Congo in 1991, where his family lived as refugees. When he was 7, his stepfather forced him and his sister out of the home. Fortunately, they had a grandmother who supported them as best she could.

JANVIER KAYITARE Journalism National University of Rwanda

“ My goal is to become a professional reporter to promote freedom of expression in Rwanda. The media contributed to the destruction of my country in 1994, and I will use my skills to restore its reputation and to educate the Rwandan people.


FABIOLA NIWENSHUTI Medicine National University of Rwanda Rwanda has a shortage of skilled doctors. Surgeons in particular are overworked and can’t keep up with demand. Fabiola wants to help alleviate this problem, while also becoming one of Rwanda’s few female doctors. She aced the National Exam and after enrolling at the National University of Rwanda’s prestigious medical program, she plans to begin her career in a public hospital that offers health care to the poor.

GODWIN MUSONERA Statistics Kigali Institute of Technology “My goal is to build systems that provide transparent and seamless access to academic research across university libraries and information technology centers.” Godwin is a born innovator, who finished at the top of his class despite caring for a single parent suffering from HIV, diabetes, and heart disease.

PACIFIQUE UMUHOZA Law National University of Rwanda Pacifique believes that Rwanda still has problems with corruption and the rule of law, despite being light-years ahead of most developing countries. She wants to become a public defender to represent those who can’t afford to hire an attorney themselves. Pacifique lost her father in 1994, and currently lives with her mother, brother, cousin, and uncle. Her mother works as a teacher to support the entire family.

TRIPHONIE MUZIRANGENGE Clinical Psychology National University of Rwanda

This was Triphonie’s third time applying to Generation Rwanda. At 33, her persistence — and intelligence — has paid off. She currently teaches science, while supporting her daughter through primary school and younger sister through university. Triphonie lost both of her parents in the genocide and wants to treat Rwandans suffering from trauma and mental illness.

1 Kigali Institute of Technology

Applicants to Generation Rwanda arrive to take an entrance exam at a partner orphanage outside Kigali.

ANGE UWIMANA Medicine National University of Rwanda

“ My career goal is to become a surgeon. I would like to provide good, low cost health services to people living in the countryside to improve their lives, reduce premature death rates, and reduce the number of patients being sent to foreign hospitals.


RENE MBABAZI Medicine National University of Rwanda Rene is a brilliant, innovative thinker, who is always looking for creative ways to solve problems. In high school, he finished at the top of his class. He plans to become a physician.

FLORENCE UWITONZE Economics Kigali Institute of Technology “My career goal is to teach people how to emerge from poverty by saving, managing their local economy, and living safely in society.” Florence developed this goal after having to take several years off to raise enough funds to finish high school. With the help of her family and community, Florence was able to graduate as her class valedictorian. She is the only member of her family to graduate from high school.

DELPHINE UWAMAHORO Finance School of Finance and Banking Delphine’s aunt is an accountant in Kigali, and Delphine would like to follow her aunt into Rwanda’s accounting or banking sector, which currently lacks women in leadership positions. Delphine was born in Uganda as a refugee, lost both of her parents, and lives with her grandparents since repatriating to Rwanda.

EMMANUEL MUSANGANYA Civil Engineering Kigali Institute of Science & Technology

Anyone who has visited Kigali recently has noticed the new $200 million dollar construction in the center of the capital, the Kigali Life Tower. Emmanuel wants to work for the firm that build that.

Emmanuel comes from a difficult family situation. His father has two wives, and Emmanuel’s mother was pushed out of his home by his father’s first wife. Emmanuel now lives with his father, his father’s first wife, and his half brothers. His mother lives nearby with Emmanuel’s younger sister. She still supports his school fees by selling beer. His father is HIV positive and jobless.






Social Science

National University of Rwanda

Kigali Institute of Education

National University of Rwanda

Aloysie was president of her high school class, belongs to the local youth Red Cross, and founded a regional chapter of Never Again, an association that provides assistance for orphans of the genocide.

Jean de Dieu plans to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a teacher before being killed in the genocide. His dream is to teach math at the university level, which he practices now by tutoring his younger brothers.

“Many people in Rwanda don’t know how to live together in society. I would like to study the social sciences to help resolve these problems.” Violette was her class valedictorian.

Aloysie lost both of her parents in 1994, and she lives with her aunt, one brother, two sisters, and three cousins. Her secondary school fees were paid for by an organization that supports survivors of the genocide. Statistics and Mathematics are two fields Aloysie would like to explore while at university. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in financial development.


Kigali Institute of Science and Technology

Kigali Institute of Science and Technology

Annibal studied Physics, Chemistry, and Math in high school. He finished 1st in his class of 64 and wants to become an architect or real estate developer.

Yves wants to become the best software engineer in East Africa. He lives with his cousin and younger siblings, who he plans to support through school with a career in technology.

NADEGE UMURUTASATE Nursing Kigali Health Institute Nadege would like to become a nurse or health provider, specializing in cancer treatment. She is the eldest child in a household supported by her mother. Her mother will be forced to retire from her current job based on her age, and Nadege hopes to support her family upon graduation.

Yves lost both of his parents to AIDS when he was in secondary school. He and his siblings briefly lived with a foster family, but after graduation, Yves had to take a job at an internet cafe to support his younger siblings. Yves was able to afford one year of university with his savings, but found it impossible to attend school, work full time, and still support his family. Now that he has accepted a Generation Rwanda scholarship, he will finally have a chance to achieve his dreams.

PAMELA NIKUZE Accounting School of Finance and Banking Pamela has a leadership role in Right to Play, a sports program that empowers local youth. She dreams of one day creating her own auditing company.





Social Science


Kigali Health Institute

National University of Rwanda

Kigali Institute of Science and Technology

Tharcienne was her class valedictorian. After university, she wants to work in social services at a hospital or the national healthcare system.

Rwanda is experiencing a mobile technology boom, and Theogene wants to take part. After graduation, he plans to intern at one of Africa’s largest telecommunications companies, while planning to found a mobile technology startup of his own.

Leonie is incredibly active in leadership organizations: she was vice president of a youth association on AIDS awareness, a youth counselor in her sector, and volunteered with an organization teaching young girls about health and disease prevention. Her goal is to become a nurse at a clinic or hospital.

Theogene finished 1st out of 50 students in his class. Still, he struggled to afford his school fees, and finished only with help from the Global Fund.

LYVINE UMUTONI ASSUMPTA UWIMPUNDU Economics National University of Rwanda

Nursing Kigali Health Institute Rwanda has a dangerous shortage of health care professionals, especially in rural areas. Lyvine wants to become a nurse to help close this gap.

Assumpta grew up with her mother, who runs a small milk shop in southern Rwanda. Her aunt, a nun, had offered to pay for her first year of university and then help find a sponsor for the remaining years, but she unexpectedly died earlier this year. Originally from the countryside, Assumpta was her class valedictorian and is presently working as an accounting assistant for a local cooperative. Her role model is Barack Obama, and she hopes to manage a bank that provides microlending and financing for small businesses.

Theogene’s mother works as a subsistence farmer to provide support for him and his 8 siblings. His father was killed during the genocide.

JEAN DE DIEU NSABIMANA Economics School of Finance and Banking

JOSEPH RUBAGUMVA Economics National University of Rwanda Joseph grew up as a refugee in Uganda, where his mother worked as a farmer to support 7 children by herself. He finished first in his class and earned a perfect score on the National Exam.

Jean de Dieu lost his father and sister in the genocide. Later, he went to live with a foster family after experiencing household violence. Despite these circumstances, he finished first in his class and plans to start his own accounting company after graduating.

LYDIE IRADUKUNDA Accounting School of Finance and Banking

Thanks for your support GENERATIONRWANDA 147 Prince Street, Ste 13 Brooklyn, New York 11201

Be sure to follow Generation Rwanda on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on the class of 2012. If you would like to contact us or receive email updates, please email or call us at (707) 654-4254.

Generation Rwanda Facebook  

Our incoming Class Facebook