ROGERS FAMILY FOUNDATION & the Gashora Girls Academy
The Rogers Family has from the beginning sought a better way, not only a better way to roast coffee but a better way to exist in the world. One effort that came into existence because of this corporate commitment is a scholarship program created for six high school girls in Rwanda at the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology.
On October 4th, 2013, the first of the six graduated. Her name is Annemarie Mukamurenzi, and she specializes in Biochemistry and Biology.
During the graduation ceremony, President Kagame referenced, “the belief that the domain of science and technology was created for the rustic strength of a male brain is just but a myth.” He went on to say, “In the last 20 years, we have done everything we could to expose this myth and to change the mindset of Rwandan society. Our guiding principle has been that never again should a Rwandan get less than they deserve or be regarded as a second-class citizen in their country…”
To understand this achievement is to acknowledge the tremendous and almost insurmountable odds a Rwandan girl has to overcome to become an educated professional.
Annemarie was born on the 18th of July in 1992, two years before the Tutsi Genocide. She grew up with six sisters and four brothers on a coffee plantation in Muhewe, Cyangugu, Western Rwanda. Both, her mother and father are still alive and working as farmers on their 500-coffee-tree plantation.
The following is her story in her own words when asked about her family, education, ambitions and desires in life.
"I can describe my education at Gashora Girls School as an awakening opportunity, such as when someone turns the lights on in the dark night, everyone in the room may find her or his own way. So the education at Gashora Girls Academy has turned my darkness towards the light, where now my eyes have opened enough and start seeing even the object in the sky.
The opportunity of a high school education has impacted me a lot, where I have built the solid self confidence and I came to set the records to break in my future after being successful in my studies, which I believe I will, without this education, my life would have become miserable, for example when I turn around and see how the girls who are home suffering due to unwanted pregnancy, I think was possible that could have been the way I was going to look in the absence of an education.
Through this schooling I have got, I have improved my critical thinking, where I have learned that we do not live for selfish reason, we live for one another, so I wish to become a doctor or a nurse, so that I can help the patients in my community and other remote places in this country.
I wish I could go on to a foreign university, where I believe that I shall learn more skills and gain knowledge since outside there may be enough resources which can help someone to carry out any experiment she or he wants.
Again all this hope has been possible so far because of the Rogers Family Foundation and Social Programs in Rwanda. I really appreciate what you always have done for me.
Have a wonderful day….. Annemarie"
Pete Rogers says it best, “the support for the Gashora Girls academy started as an idea to provide continuing education for the daughters of Rwandan coffee farmers. Most of these girls attended the elementary and middle schools built by the Rogers Family Company over the years but their education finished after the 8th grade. Our plan was six new girls every year, but certain constraints prevented this from happening, today. We are working diligently to improve the programs while working directly with the school. We are very proud of Annemarie. She is the first of the group to finish, and next year, we will be congratulating the rest of these inspiring young women.”
If you would like to learn more about the Gashora Girls or the Rogers Family Foundation please send us a message below or email firstname.lastname@example.org