May 1st, 2012, by Nora Gregorian
Last July, I had the pleasure of assisting a group of high school graduates with their trip to Rwanda. During my daily communication with the group leader, I found out that the students were members of Richard Rwanda IMPUHWE and had been raising funds through their bake sales, car washes and various other fund raising activities to go and visit the school that they had financially supported since the first grade.
Reading their story brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. It gave me a great joy to know that, despite all the negative sentiments towards the younger generation’s careless and indifferent attitude, that social consciousness is still alive. Young kids do care for the well being of their community, and their charitable hands could reach even to the furthest points of the globe.
IMPUHWE means compassion in Kinyarwanda
Richard’s Rwanda is a group of Seattle students who are working together to support Rwandan girls’ education. The group provides financial support to low-income girls in the rural area of Nyamata to enable them to complete their primary education and 6 years of secondary school.
Richard Rwanda-IMPUHWE was founded by Jessica Markowitz when she was eleven years old to support educational opportunities for girls in Rwanda in the rural village of Nyamata. Jessica’s original inspiration stemmed from a Rwandan man named Richard Kananga, a representative from the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission in Rwanda. Richard stayed with her family in the United States, and he recounted many sad tales about the horrendous 1994 genocide. With his inspiration, Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE is reaching out to 40 girls to help them achieve an education by supplying them with what they need in order to attend school. Richard’s Rwanda IMPUHWE has established student chapters in several middle and high school across the Unites States working together to support Rwandan girls’ education.