Bahati Hakizimana (22) and Jean Habarurema (23) never stopped dreaming of one day studying at university and now their dreams are about to be realised. The young men grew up at JAM’s Fred Nkunda Life Center (FNLC) orphanage in Gitararama, Rwanda after being displaced and separated from their families during the 1994 genocide.
Both Jean and Bahati cannot remember where they were born and have very little memory of their families. Their only memories are of being separated from their families during the tumultuous 100-days of the genocide. An international rescue committee rescued the boys, along with hundreds of other children, and took them to safety camps before they were placed at the FNLC.
The pair demonstrated a keen interest in education and both excelled at school says FNLC’s Manager Doreen Nkunda. Their hard work has paid off and the two have been awarded university scholarships by the Rwandan government for their impressive academic results. They will both study towards a degree in agriculture, but focussing on different specialities. Jean has chosen Agri-Business and Bahati Agri-Economics.
Once destitute and vulnerable, Jean and Bahati are now set for a future filled with opportunities. They will become productive citizens who will contribute towards building a better future not only for themselves, but for all Rwandans. JAM is proud to have helped nurture and care for these two future leaders of this country that was once known for tragedy, but is now becoming known as a country famous for its beauty and impressive education standards.
JAM’s intervention in Rwanda began with emergency relief feeding shortly after the genocide ended in 1994. Two years later the orphanage was built to provide a place of safety to the vulnerable children affected by the genocide. To accommodate the evolving needs of the children over the years, the centre has now been converted into a vocational school to equip the children with skills and qualifications so they can better their lives and become successful members of society. A demonstration of how JAM continues to Help Africa Help Itself!