Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Executive Director Named Finalist for Africa Education Medal
Jean Claude Nkulikiyimfura, the Executive Director of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda, has been named a finalist for the 2023 Africa Education Medal. This prestigious award celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions, demonstrated exceptional advocacy, and exhibited remarkable leadership in the field of education in Africa.
Reflecting on the nomination, Jean Claude expressed humility and gratitude, stating, “I am humbled to be a finalist for this incredible award. I have always believed that the greatest honor is to serve a purpose greater than any individual. Everyone at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, both staff and kids, has worked to create a safe and loving family where trauma can be healed and young people can learn and thrive.”
The nomination has garnered support from Gaspard Twagirayezu, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education, who acknowledged Jean Claude’s impact by saying, “Jean Claude is a visionary leader who is making a positive impact on the education system in Rwanda, and his dedication to improving the lives of young people is truly inspiring. Jean Claude embodies the qualities necessary to educate ethical, resilient, and capable changemakers.”
The award, presented by T4 Education and HP in collaboration with Intel and Microsoft, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of education in Africa.
Jean Claude Nkulikiyinka posing for picture with students and H.E Paul Kagame during the graduation ceremony
The winner of the African Education Medal will be announced in July, alongside other remarkable finalists who are shaping the future of education in Africa. While we eagerly await the results, it is worth noting that last year’s winner received praise from Oprah Winfrey herself. In a video message, Winfrey remarked, “It’s an honor to recognize leaders who are making a positive impact on education.”
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is home to over 500 youth, who live in family-style houses with their peers and house parents. The Village provides a comprehensive education, including high school, vocational training, and leadership development. It also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, and arts and other essential life skills, and develop into confident and responsible young adults.
Nkulikiyimfura also works to strengthen education in Rwanda nationally through ASYV’s
Educational Resilience Programme (ERP). A groundbreaking partnership with the Ministry of Education, Mastercard Foundation, and the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology, Mastercard Foundation, and the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology, the ERP is training secondary school teachers from across Rwanda in digital education technology and life skills education concepts like mental health, gender equity, and sexual and reproductive health. The ERP has already impacted over 60,000 students.
The focus of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is to restore hope and opportunity to children who have experienced trauma. Rather than being mere students, they become part of a supportive and stable family unit that provides them with a sense of belonging and security. The education provided emphasizes critical thinking, workplace readiness skills, and career guidance. Additionally, the village ensures that students have access to basic necessities such as regular meals, clean water, housing, and medical attention. Beyond academics, students have the opportunity to explore visual and instrumental arts, participate in sports teams, and engage in entrepreneurship training and science center classes, enriching their learning experience.
About the African Education Medal:
The African Education Medal is an esteemed award that recognizes exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions, demonstrated advocacy, and exhibited remarkable leadership in the field of education in Africa. The award aims to celebrate the achievements and innovation of individuals who are shaping the future of education on the continent.