As a partner of The BRIDGE, Vanguard Economics has employed several job candidates, including B2R Fellow, Magnifique Mukundwa, who graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Environmental Health Engineering and Entrepreneurship in 2020. Check out the video to hear more about her experience working as a Data Analyst and how Vanguard is maximizing the impact that private sector development, trade & logistics, and commercialized agriculture can have on markets and populations across Africa.
“What I love most about my job is that it challenges me. As an analyst, you work on many different things — sometimes things you have never seen before. Every day presents a new challenge. I also love the learning environment at Vanguard. This company makes sure that you are learning from day one. They invest in your professional development to ensure that you are actually equipped to do the work that they want you to do.”Magnifique Mukundwa, Data Analyst, Vanguard Economics
Isomo Academy’s Pioneer Bootcamp is Complete!
The 8-week residential program concluded at the end of September and the results were truly transformational
The pioneer class of 120 Scholars embraced the challenges and exceeded expectations. They made significant strides in academic growth, personal development, and empowering one another. We are proud of the achievements made by each Scholar and look forward to working with them as they return to their high schools this year.
During Isomo Academy, Scholars had daily classes in Writing, Language Labs, Guided Reading, and Discussion Seminars. They were also introduced to new online learning tools, like IXL and CommonLit, which allowed them to immerse themselves in the writing process and sharpen their language and grammar skills.
Through IXL, students worked at their own pace to master different language skills, such as vocabulary, sentence structure, and word tenses. Through CommonLit, they were exposed to a variety of readings focused on improving literacy, broadening their worldviews, and developing critical thinking skills. These innovative platforms significantly improved students’ English skills and allowed our teachers to work effectively with many more students.
Scholars learned that servant leadership, as modeled by Jesus, requires a commitment to love and improve the lives of others. This was cultivated through daily devotions and Family Groups, which allowed students to build deep relationships with peers from different backgrounds and walks of life. These close-knit relationships challenged Scholars to build their circle of friends and use their unique strengths to serve others.
Each week, Scholars were encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial mindset by looking at the needs and challenges of their communities and developing creative solutions. Students learned that entrepreneurship requires hard work, discipline, and a commitment to excellence, getting results, and making a difference.
At the end of the program, Scholars participated in a capstone project where they identified community needs, researched potential solutions, and presented their ideas to their peers. The winning group discussed the importance of good governance in Africa and designed an application idea called “THEIRVOICE” which allows citizens to communicate their needs, participate in policy making, vote, and evaluate their local leaders.
We are grateful for everyone who believed in, supported, and championed the vision to launch Isomo Academy this year. We would like to extend a special thank you to the Minister of State, Gaspard Twagirayezu, responsible for Primary & Secondary Education at Rwanda’s Ministry of Education. Thank you for partnering with us.
With the first phase of Isomo’s pilot program complete, the Isomo team will now focus on developing remote academic content and extra-curricular activities for students, building a network of Rwanda’s top educators and expanding college counseling opportunities for students in 2022.
BE AN ISOMO ACADEMY SUPPORTER
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Your gift will allow B2R to scale Isomo Academy to support up to 250 students in 2022
We are excited to announce that B2R Farms has officially become a certified exporter in Rwanda! In the span of only two weeks, the B2R Farms’ team completed two shipments of green chillis to London, collectively weighing 3,500 kilograms. Through the use of Foundations for Farming principles, Nova Farm has become a producer of the highest quality bird’s eye chili in the country, with less than 13 kg rejected in a harvest of 1,000 kg — a rejection rate of less than 1%. We look forward to growing B2R Farms into a leading horticulture export company in Rwanda and opening doors for young agriculture graduates to gain practical experience working in every stage of the export process.
“There were many unforgettable moments during our first two shipments — spending the night in a crowded packhouse, folding boxes, sorting the chili, and packing it in “Produce of Rwanda” boxes. It was the first time we really felt B2R’s contribution to Rwanda’s growing “Made in Rwanda” brand. To see the diversity of skills and experience of our team come together in the most stressful times was truly incredible.”
– Rosine Ndayishimiye, Director of Training – Agriculture
This year, Bridge2Rwanda experienced incredible growth, unforeseen miracles, and renewed vision in our efforts to create sustainable, market-driven enterprises with the ability to improve the lives of many more people.
D O W N L O A D A N N U A L R E P O R T
|O U R 2 0 2 1 H I G H L I G H T S|
Despite incredible challenges and setbacks, Bridge2Rwanda’s Isomo Academy officially launched on Sunday, August 1, with the first cohort of 120 Isomo Scholars and 32 B2R staff receiving special clearance from the government to travel to Maranyundo Girls School and begin the 8-week residential boot camp.
This marks the beginning of a transformative learning experience grounded in:
From a pool of over 2,800 applicants from all 30 districts of Rwanda, B2R selected 120 extraordinary students for its pioneer class of Isomo Scholars. These students were selected based on their impressive academic record, well-rounded passions and aspirations, and active engagement within their communities.
See full list of Isomo Scholars.
With the rise of COVID-19 cases and Rwanda’s recent lockdown, the launch of Isomo Academy was uncertain. It is only through the incredible resilience of the Isomo team, whose commitment to finding a way, against all odds, made the program a reality for students this year.
With the support of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, Rwanda National Police, and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, the team was able to secure special clearance to travel through sectors under lockdown and establish a “bubble” at Maranyundo.
Isomo Academy kicked off with a fun-filled week of culture and leadership training, technology set-up, ice-breakers and games, academics, family group time, and fellowship. The students also received a special visit from the Mayor of Bugesera District.
Isomo Academy’s holistic approach is designed to transform the mindset, attitude and ideas of each student during the eight-week boot camp. Our prayer is that, when the Isomo Scholars return to their high schools and communities, the students themselves will fuel a new passion for learning and commitment to excellence in Rwandan education.
Congratulations to the 35 B2R Scholars who graduated from universities abroad this year! We wish them the best as they enter a new season and begin their professional journey. There is no limit to what they will accomplish over the course of their careers.
287 STUDENTS SELECTED
$ 72 MILLION SCHOLARSHIPS EARNED FROM
85 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Thank you to our incredible network of Scholars, donors, partners, host families, sponsors, and friends who have joined us on the bridge over the last 10 years. We look forward to what the next decade holds!
This month, B2R commissioned its tenth cohort of 24 Bridge2Rwanda Scholars who earned university scholarships to study abroad this fall. The event included speeches from Group 10 Scholars, Brave Jeremie Mugisha and Jeielle Habinam Claudia; B2R Founder and CEO, Dale Dawson; and Group 5 Scholar and keynote speaker Christelle Umubyeyi. Watch the full event here.
We are so excited to officially announce that our first Isomo Academy summer boot camp will be held at Maranyundo Girls School, which is located in Nyamata, right outside Kigali. The school includes beautiful classrooms with smart technology and a large computer lab, as well as spacious dormitories where students will stay during the 8-week residential program. We look forward to selecting 120 students to join the first cohort of Isomo Academy beginning July 18!
Before graduating from Middlebury College with a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology and minor in Education Studies this month, B2R Scholar, Francoise Niyigena, had the opportunity to speak at a TEDx Middlebury event. In her talk “Why re-thinking the role of schools is key to ending global poverty,” Francoise named different ways that the school system fails to serve and truly empower the most marginalized, underrepresented and underserved communities.
“My biggest passion is empowering young people and I hope to do that through a career in rethinking education systems. I have always believed so deeply in the words of the late Nelson Mandela that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon that we can use to change the world.'”
JASIRI is supported by Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy and seeks to attack poverty by investing in, nurturing, and empowering responsible entrepreneurs and leaders who benefit society by accelerating meaningful employment and ethical leadership. Learn more about the JASIRI Talent Investor.
We are excited to announce that B2R Fellow, Olivier Munyeshyaka has been selected to join the first cohort of JASIRI Talent Investor, a fully-funded, one-year high-impact entrepreneurship program that will guide them from idea generation to venture creation.
Congratulations to B2R Scholar, Diane Kabanyana, a senior business administration and economics major at Birmingham Southern College, for her work on Plant Space, an agricultural sustainability project which received international praise and advanced to the semi-finals of the Wege Prize 2021. Kabanyana and four other undergraduate students worked together to design Plant Space, a solar-powered hydroponic system that increases the supply of fresh, high-quality produce in Rwandan communities.
Working on this project has provided me with opportunities for research and has broadened my horizon in my longed-for career. I’m appreciative of my BSC education for inspiring me to think outside of the box and motivating me to work on life-changing issues.
Learn more about Plant Space and the Wege Prize 2021.