This week, B2R Founder & CEO, Dale Dawson, officially became a Rwandan citizen, after taking an oath at Nyarugenge district headquarters. He was joined by seven members of B2R’s Executive Team, who acted as witnesses to the ceremony. This incredible honor was granted by the Rwandan Cabinet in February of 2021, in response to Dale’s committed friendship and work in the country for over 15 years.   

“I have loved Rwanda for a long time. I am very honored to be a part of the Rwandan community and can’t tell you how honored I am to be a Rwandan citizen.”

– Dale Dawson, Founder & CEO, Bridge2Rwanda

This month, B2R Farms completed its first harvest of French beans that will be exported to Europe this week. Of the 10,555 kilograms harvested,  we are thrilled to report that less than 7% of the produce was rejected, compared to up to 68% rejection rates from other local farms. We are grateful for our dedicated team of 17 interns and 95 day-workers whose commitment to implementing Foundations of Farming principles continues to reap incredible results across all three of B2R’s farms.

Bridge2Rwanda University (B2R-U) is a 10-week week program that gives Scholars the final push they need to be college-ready when they go to school in the fall. This year, our team of passionate teachers and facilitators taught a number of classes, from Global Issues and Race & Racism to Human-Centered Design and Speech & Debate. We are excited to see how Scholars further develop the skills and knowledge gained at B2R-U during their four years at university. 

‘’At B2R-U we were exposed to various classes, among my favorites was the Personal Development class, which introduced us to human behavior and helped us step out of our comfort zones and become [the people] we aspire to become.’’

– Happy Hadia Ingabire, G11 Scholar, Swarthmore College

B2R Fellow, Emmanuel Chol Kon Kuanyin, graduated from the University of Rochester in 2019 and currently works as an Intern Programme Coordinator at the Ministry of East African Community Affairs in the Republic of South Sudan. At the Ministry, Emmanuel coordinates Customs Union and Common Market-related activities, particularly on trade and investment, to accelerate the implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Integration Agenda.

“Working for the Ministry gave me the opportunity to coordinate and boost participation of the Republic of South Sudan in the integration meetings and workshops. It has also enabled me to travel to EAC Partner States and interact with various stakeholders responsible for the integration process. Such interactions help in better understanding the benefits of the integration, as well as my professional growth. 

Attending the Bridge2Rwanda Scholars Program was an amazing experience and a great example of East African Integration. I learned a great deal about what a small group of people, united for a common cause, could achieve. B2R is one of the sources of my inspiration to join the Ministry.”

– Emmanuel Chol Kon Kuanyi, Programme Coordinator at the Ministry of East African Community Affairs in the Republic of South Sudan

This year, Group 11 Scholar, Divin Dushimimana, founded Stand-Up for Mamas Initiative, which seeks to empower women who have been victims of domestic violence. The program helps support vulnerable women and their children by providing them with domestic animals that help generate income. Visit @stand_up_initiative on Instagram to learn more

After graduating from Pitzer College,  B2R Fellow, Justin Mugabe, returned home to the Democratic Republic of Congo to launch SillonBlue Technologies, a tech startup that develops customized software for private and public companies, NGOs, and government agencies. 

In addition to providing software development and tech products, Justin and his team have developed their own product called Sillon Document Management System. SillonDMS was designed after careful market analysis to understand the needs of the target market, primarily in digital archiving. One of the greatest features of SillonDMS is its synchronization with HP scanners, which allows users to scan 100 pages per minute. 

“As an entrepreneur, what I love about my job is that there is no specific blueprint. Every challenge is unique, and every product, service, and consumer is unique. My team and I have to learn as we go, and we keep accumulating edxperience.”

– Justin Mugabe. Co-Founder & CEO of SillonBlue Technologies

B2R Founder & CEO, Dale Dawson, joined a panel discussion for the DreamWeek 2022 Summit,  “Rwanda Then and Now: Milestone in Rebirth and Growth.” The summit, organized by the Rwandan Community of San Antonio in partnership with DreamVoice, LLC, seeks to advance and modernize the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and lay a foundation of tolerance by creating dialog across cultures and communities. During the event, Rwanda’s ambassador to the United States, Mathilde Mukantabana, drew parallels between MLK’s vision and Rwanda’s recovery after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Read more. 

“The vision of Bridge2Rwanda is to build a bridge to Rwanda that transforms lives at both ends. What we have found is that when we bring our friends from the United States to Rwanda they are inspired, and when given the opportunity to participate, to invest, and to help, their lives are transformed.”

– Dale Dawson, Founder & CEO of Bridge2Rwanda

This year would not have been possible without our incredible network of donors, sponsors, host families, employers, board members, and team! 

Because of you, the Fellowship continues to grow. 
Because of you, we continue to dream BIG dreams. 
Because of you, transformation is happening. 
Because of you,this is only the beginning. 

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year from all your friends at Bridge2Rwanda!

This month, Isomo Academy will launch Isomo Community Challenges to extend the organization’s values beyond the classroom and encourage Scholars to serve their communities in meaningful and creative ways. By the end of the two-year program, Isomo Scholars will complete at least three of the four axes of community engagement below.

The first challenge will focus on the “Heart of Gratitude” axis, which motivates Scholars to serve vulnerable members of their community during their holiday break. Scholars will have between December 24 and January 9 to submit videos, reflections, poems, and other creative projects describing their service experience.