Network for Africa staff met Abdoul ten years ago. He was working as a driver, taking tourists to Rwanda’s sites, but he had greater ambitions. Because of the genocide, Abdoul never finished school. During the genocide an estimated 85% of Rwanda’s teachers were killed or fled, and many schools were destroyed. This meant that for years after the war, young people were unable to get an education. By the time the schools re-opened, Abdoul, a genocide orphan, was working, supporting his younger sisters who had survived the genocide. He thought he had missed his chance to get an education.
However, when Network for Africa heard his story, we knew Rwanda needed people like Abdoul, and that it would be a waste of an excellent brain if Abdoul could not fulfil his dreams. A sponsor was found, and Abdoul returned to school, picking up where he left off years before. It took courage for a grown man to go back into the classroom with much younger people, but Abdoul grasped the challenge. He has now completed a master’s degree in business administration.
As soon as Abdoul had completed his final exams he asked Network for Africa if he could do voluntary work at one of our projects, to repay the help we had given him. Now Abdoul is teaching at the Aspire project in Kigali, where he is training would-be entrepreneur women how to prepare business plans. We are proud of Abdoul’s achievements, and grateful he is completing the virtuous circle by helping the people who helped him ten years ago.