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.

From January to February, B2R Scholars in the gap-year Leadership Academy in Kigali attend B2R University (B2R-U), a 6-week simulation of the US college experience. During B2R-U, Scholars are introduced to a rigorous university workload as well as university practices, such as advising, GPA, a syllabus, course catalogues, time management skills, and learning how to communicate with professors.

B2R-U courses are at university level, with a demanding amount of homework and assignments, including a final exam and/or paper for each class. Our goal is for Scholars to feel college ready, both academically and personally, when they leave for university in the fall.