About Us

Grace Rwanda is a B.C. registered charity founded in 2009 by genocide survivors Elizabeth Mujawamaliya Johnson and Marie-Louise Kaligirwa. We’re based in Langley, B.C. Our core moral values are to be inclusive and welcoming and to benefit all children and youth, irrespective or gender, race, religion, creed or ethnicity.

Our purpose is to help Rwanda overcome its past by ensuring the next generation is educated and able to help rebuild. To do this, we improve youth literacy by boosting access to books. Rwandan Ministry of Education statistics show there’s one textbook for every three elementary students, and one book for every five secondary students. UNESCO puts the youth literacy rate at 77 per cent. We aim to change that, with your help.

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Our Successful Past Projects

Grace Rwanda has initiated and completed several successful sustainable community development and literacy projects since our founding in 2009. To date, we’ve built 8 new classrooms for Rwinkwavu School in the Kayonza District, plus 16 latrines, a kitchen, and a garden with livestock. The multi-year project was completed in 2012 and serves 1,500 students.

In 2011, we created 6 mini-libraries of 500 books and 250 dictionaries in rural Rwandan schools, providing more than 3,000 children access to books. In 2013, we created a community library in a youth centre in Muhanga, the first of 21 planned regional youth libraries.

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Our Current Projects 

Grace Rwanda’s current priority is to supply books to every student in the Muhanga District. Muhanga of Rwanda is a rural, agricultural district of 350,000 citizens including 87,000 students. Resources and books are scarce.

In the fall of 2013, we launched our Toonies4Change.org Let’s Read Together Mini-Libraries program to support the Muhanga schools initiative. Our life-changing literacy projects have the full support and endorsement of the Rwandan government at both national and local levels. We have signed agreements with the Ministry for Youth and Information Communication Technology as well as the local Muhanga district government.

 Phase 1:

* In the fall of 2013, we installed a new $8,000 YEGO Muhanga Youth Centre Library, a community resource stocked with more than 1,000 books, newspapers, magazine, tables and chairs.
* In the spring of 2014, we installed a second YEGO Youth Centre Library in Kayonza District, in Rwanda’s Eastern Province.
* In late 2015, we shipped a container packed with books and supplies to Rwanda, and plan to use the books to set up two additional libraries in Kimisagara and Nyanza in early 2016.
* Each library serves up to 30-50 youth a day, who come to the centres to do their homework, and is also used by community members. We were also able to install some e-readers and computers to enhance the students’ technology literacy as well.
* COMPLETED: Completion date: 2013-2015. Cost: Approx. $8,000 each.

Phase 2:

* Grace Rwanda is currently fundraising to be able to install portable book boxes with mini-libraries in all Grades 1 to 3 classrooms in Muhanga, serving 43,500 students.
* We are already rolling out this project with two schools. In spring 2014, Biti Elementary, a school of 650 students in Nyamabuye district will receive their mini-library. In early 2014. Gitongati Elementary, a school of 1,200 students in Muhanga district will also benefit from a Grace Rwanda mini-library.
* Once every Grade 1 to 3 class in the district has a mini-library, we will move on to supplying mini-libraries to the remainder of the total 146 primary, secondary and senior secondary schools in the district.
* IN PROGRESS: Target completion date: 2016. Estimated cost for all K-12: $360,000.

Phase 3:

* Grace Rwanda is fundraising to install libraries in 21 YEGO (Youth Empowerment for Global Opportunities) District Youth Centres across the country.
* Our goal is to enable students and youth in every municipal district in Rwanda to have access to a free youth centre library, right where they live. We aim to stock each centre with up to 2,000 books and print materials. 10 e-readers, and five computers.
* To date, we have set up two libraries in Muhanga and Kayonza and are in the process of setting up a third in Kimisagara and fourth in Nyanza in 2016.
* Additional youth centre libraries will be rolled out in the following districts: Karongi, Rusizi, AGR Gikondo, Club Rafiki, Huye, Ngoma, Nyagatare, Ngororero, Rulindo, Rubavu, Nyamasheke, Rutsiro, Bugesera, Vision Jeunesse, Nouvelle, Kabuga, Iwawa, Kamonyi, Kirehe.
* IN PROGRESS: Target completion date: 2018. Estimated cost: $160,000

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Volunteer On Our Projects

Grace Rwanda thrives on community involvement and the support of volunteers. We are always interested in adding new, passionate people to our team. We welcome volunteers for both our local and international efforts. Locally, volunteers can get involved in fundraising efforts, project co-ordination and community events.

Internationally, Grace Rwanda makes one to three trips each year to Rwanda to distribute books, install new libraries and check-in on past projects. Self-funded volunteers are welcome to join our team on these life-changing trips to help out on the ground in Rwanda and see for themselves the difference our literacy programs are making. Tourist opportunities, such as Mountain Gorilla treks and Akagera Park safaris can be arranged. To arrange learn more, please contact: Elizabeth M. Johnson, 
Grace Rwanda Co-Founder
: elizabeth@gracerwanda.org or info@gracerwanda.org.