Rwanda – Gisagara: First Lady urges Imbuto Scholars to defy odds with Excellence


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Some students at the 13th Annual Holiday Camp, “Edified Generation”, at Groupe Scolaire Sainte Bernadette in Gisagara District on September 14.

First Lady Jeannette Kagame told Imbuto Foundation scholars that their ability to rise against challenges is a pillar of strength to the country and they should continue doing so with excellence.

She made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the 13th Annual Holiday Camp, “Edified Generation”, which attracted 788 students, on September 14, at Groupe Scolaire Sainte Bernadette in Gisagara District.

The camp aims to empower these young scholars by teaching them essential skills in health management, financial literacy, and personal development, which will contribute to their success both professionally and personally.

The four-day camp covered a wide range of topics, including adolescent sexual and reproductive health, drug abuse prevention, volunteerism engagement, professional development, and proper use of social media to protect the country’s image.

It featured inspirational speakers and facilitators from diverse backgrounds, who interacted with the students and provided valuable insights and guidance.

Charles Habonimana, CEO of Rwanda Airports Company, had an opportunity to speak to the students during the camp and shared insights on the country’s history and journey towards development.

According to him, the young students have ambitions to contribute to the development of the country, yet, they lack truthful knowledge about the history because parents are not forthcoming to talk to them about it.

Habonimana recounted his life journey of resilience and interacted with the participants on issues rampant in society such as mental health and unemployment.

The ceremony also saw Kelie Umutoniwase awarded as the most excellent performer in the O-Level national examinations out of 131,000 students nationwide.

In her address, Mrs. Kagame requested the participants to take time and reflect on how they can effectively apply the knowledge they have acquired to achieve desired outcomes.

“We are always delighted to hear about different impactful ventures taken by your elder colleagues. Those success stories are a source of strength, showing us that the hardships you endure are not in vain.”

With a vision and perseverance, nothing should hinder you from achieving your goals, she added.

“The most powerful weapon you have is your knowledge, be protective and always endeavour to sharpen it even more through physical exercises, reading, innovating, and leisure. However, shun immoral practices including alcohol and drug abuse because they are deadly.”

In this ever-evolving world of technology, the First Lady encouraged the participants to grab opportunities given the exposure they received, while making the right decisions.

She also emphasised the importance of positive mental health, stressing that they should opt to open up about their struggles and seek help in case it weighs heavily on them, instead of using harmful substances.

Overall, she urged them to face life head-on with strength and embody cultural values of integrity, truthfulness, patriotism, and hard work, among others.

State Minister in the Ministry of Youth, Sandrine Umutoni, reminded the participants that greater responsibilities await them, which should be an everyday motivation to excel in the right paths they choose to take.

“In whatever you do, be people of integrity…be good listeners and critical thinkers who demonstrate truthfulness as you endeavour to participate in the country’s development.”

Chalose Uwera, a Senior Six graduate from Kayonza Modern School, is thankful for Imbuto Foundation’s scholarship programme that paid her annual school fees while she pursued Physics, Chemistry, and Math.

According to her, this camp empowered them with financial literacy skills to make the most out of any amount of money they might have and challenged them to live with a vision.

The Imbuto Foundation’s scholarship project primarily focuses on paying tuition fees for high-achieving secondary school students from vulnerable backgrounds.

Since its launch in 2002, the Imbuto Foundation has awarded 10,641 scholarships to secondary school students, promoting access to quality education for boys and girls throughout Rwanda.

The foundation aims to create a generation of empowered and socially responsible individuals who will contribute to the overall development of the nation.

The holiday camp serves as a platform to engage, educate, and empower the next generation of leaders, and innovators in Rwanda.

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