B2R Farms launched its second cohort of 15 interns from the University of Rwanda in April.  These recent graduates are learning how to adopt the techniques and principles of Foundations for Farming’s conservation agriculture model in Rwanda. We are also encouraged that the majority of our first cohort, who completed their training at the end of 2020, have received fellowship opportunities and successfully launched their careers as farm managers and agriculture entrepreneurs. B2R Farms will welcome its third cohort of UR interns in July.  

Every day I gain a new and deeper understanding of what it means to have a career in agriculture. I feel confident that I can use the skills gained throughout this internship in my future career because I am now more aware of the opportunities in the sector and how to handle some of its challenges.

– Adeline Umutoni, B2R Farms Intern

This internship is shaping me to be a person who brings solutions to community needs … It is challenging me to think deeply about agriculture in a global context. I used to think of agriculture only in a local context, but now my mind expands day by day to think beyond local agriculture.

– Sosthene Niyonshuti, B2R Farms Intern

This internship changed my perception of my agriculture career.  I used to think farming was a cursed activity. I now think of agriculture as a blessed and noble career and I feel confident that my future business will be based in agriculture. Being a farmer is the best solution for myself, my community, my country, and even the whole world. 

– Alexia Uwimbabazi, B2R Farms Intern

We are responsible for managing the farm, so we can come up with solutions to existing problems and determine how and when to implement those solutions.  I have learned that teamwork is the best way to accomplish any task. When someone comes up with an idea, we share our different views and we make a decision together. 

Gisele Uwizeye, B2R Farms Intern

 I have gained knowledge and skills that I believe will help strengthen my career in agriculture. I was exposed to practical experiences on the farm which, together with the theories I learned while at university, will be strong assets that I can use as a change maker. 

– Jean Damascene Ntizihabose, B2R Farms Intern

It is amazing how the B2R Farms staff members care about us and share their knowledge, skills, and experiences simply for the betterment of others! Before we started the internship, we thought that it was only going to relate to agriculture, but it turned out to be an amazing experience where we learn skills that apply to many different facets of life.

– Emmanuel Dusengumuremyi, B2R Farms Intern 

Last month, B2R celebrated the commissioning of its eighth cohort of Scholars at the Kigali Convention Centre. The ceremony included speeches from Group 8 Scholars,Paterne Iradukundaand Winnie Gire Scopas, and keynote speaker, Rosine Ndayishimiye, B2R Fellow and Senior Associate of Agriculture at Bridge2Rwanda Services.

Having completed B2R’s 16-month Leadership Academy, the 27 Group 8 Scholars are now preparing to start university this fall!

This summer, 30 B2R Scholars graduated from university! We are so proud of all they accomplished during their four years abroad and are excited to see the impact they make as they return to home and start their careers!

 A huge thank you to Michael Marand, our summer volunteer from UNC Chapel Hill, for organizing the event and guiding Scholars through the process. 

This month, B2R’s four new analysts began the 18-month C. Dan Adams Business Analyst and Manager Training Program in Kigali with accounting training led by Don Murphy and the Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith (BMSS) team from Birmingham, Alabama (pictured above.) We are grateful for the experience and knowledge the BMSS team brought to the team!

B2R is launching the training program in collaboration with Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropies, who will lead a two-week training on Ethical Leadership this fall. 

Last weekend, four students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, including B2R Scholar, Francis Simbi, presented on their summer internship experience with B2R Farms at the CUSP Experiential Learning & Commencement Celebration. The past three months, these students have worked under the supervision of Rosine Ndayishimiye, B2R Fellow and Senior Associate of Agriculture at Bridge2Rwanda Services, on horticulture development, seed trials, farm business models, and community outreach programs on B2R’s Nova Farm. 

“I am so happy to not only be the bridge that connects these students to a sector that urgently needs their talents, but also to help them calibrate their knowledge to Rwanda and attract them to come back”

– Rosine Ndayishimiye, Senior Associate of Agriculture, B2R Services

All 27 members of Bridge2Rwanda’s eighth cohort have been awarded international scholarships to study at top colleges and universities around the world, including: Columbia, Dartmouth, Davidson College, Northwestern, Notre Dame, UPenn, Texas Christian University, and many more!

“In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place.” This April marks the 25th Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi, when 1 million Rwandans were killed in the span of 100 days. President Paul Kagame opened Kwibuka, a time of remembrance, with a moving speech illustrating the devastating realities of 1994 and Rwanda’s remarkable decision – powered by the hope and courage of its people – to write a different story.Watch President Kagame’s speech below or read the complete script (as delivered) here. 

“In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place… Rwanda’s young people have everything needed to transform our country. They have the responsibility to take charge more and more, and participate fully in securing the Rwanda we want and deserve.”

-His Excellency, President Paul Kagame

After a rigorous interview process, B2R has officially selected the following four B2R Scholars as the pioneer class of analysts at the C. Dan Adams Business Analyst and Manager Training Program in Kigali. The 18-month program will begin this summer and allow these university graduates to work on active business ventures, while completing an extensive training curriculum, including accounting, financial modeling, entrepreneurship, and manager training. 

Bridge2Rwanda would like to thank Francine LeFrak and Rick Friedberg for their generous partnership to sponsor the education of four Bridge2Rwanda Scholars studying at universities in the US.  The LeFrak-Friedberg Scholars are all currently freshman and sophomores and attend four different universities in the northeast – Columbia University, Trinity College, Wesleyan University, and Lehigh University. This partnership will help support the essential needs not covered by students’ university scholarships and help the scholars thrive as they pursue their education abroad. 

Another Bridge2Rwanda Scholar, Diane Akimana Mukundwa, is the beneficiary of Ms. LeFrak’s generosity as she was a Same Sky Scholar at the FAWE School and received a Same Sky Scholarship for her first year at University.  Diane is studying Engineering at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas.

Francine LeFrak is an award-winning theatrical, television and film producer, a successful entrepreneur, and a distinguished philanthropist.  She began working in Rwanda in 2008, when she founded Same Sky, a socially-conscious jewelry line that creates employment opportunities for women struggling to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Not only does Same Sky offer employment and fair pay, it also provides the training and education necessary for women to live empowered and self-sustaining lives. 

We are grateful for their support and impact this year! Click here to learn more about Same Sky’s mission or you can follow Same Sky on Instagram @samesky or Francine on Twitter @FrancineLeFrak.

After reviewing over 1,300 applications and interviewing hundreds of talented students, we have officially selected our ninth cohort of 31 B2R Scholars! The new group includes 22 students from Rwanda, 4 students from South Sudan, 3 students from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and 2 students from Burundi. 

These exceptional students moved into the Scholars Dormitory and began their first pre-sessional English term this week. We look forward to seeing all that they accomplish during their time at the Leadership Academy this year. 

This summer, B2R is launching the C. Dan Adams Financial Analyst Program in Kigali with a pioneer class of four financial analysts. 

The 18-month program will begin in June 2019 and end in December 2020. Analysts will work on active B2R Ventures and will also complete an extensive training curriculum, including accounting, financial modeling, entrepreneurship, and local rules and regulations.

After completing the program, analysts will have several career opportunities including working full-time on a B2R Venture, working for other businesses in Rwanda, launching their own venture, or becoming a B2R Services Associate. The four new analysts will be selected by the end of next month.

A special thanks to Dan Adams, President and CEO of The Capital Corporation and friend of B2R, for making this program possible.