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University of Global Health Equity


The Origins of University of Global Health Equity

Joyce and Bill Cummings’ August 2013 trip to Africa was most notable for spawning the notion that significant upgrades being discussed for Rwanda’s health sciences schools should be something much more. This conversation first developed in Kigali at an Oral Health Stakeholders Meeting. That session brought together experts in the field of dentistry and health care delivery, including Dr. Peter Drobac of Partners In Health (PIH) and faculty from National University of Rwanda, Tufts University, and Harvard University. Cummings Foundation had earlier offered to assist in building a dental clinic in Butaro, but upon learning that a new medical school was being considered there, Bill saw great promise. He suggested to the distinguished group of attendees that such an institution could and should instead be pan-African in scope, rather than just “for Rwanda.”

A few short months later, on October 4, Joyce and Bill emailed several interested parties at PIH and Tufts, as well as in Rwanda, with thoughts on what they then called Pan-African Colleges of Health Sciences, a school that would attract the best students from other African nations—and beyond—and help Rwanda fulfill its potential to become an economic and educational hub for Africa. That report was enthusiastically received, generating many responses like the ones below:

“What a great vision, and one that squares with the Rwandan vision of pulling people up by building a ‘knowledge’ economy while delivering care—and what better way to promote peace, justice, and development in the region.”
~ Dr. Paul Farmer, PIH founder

“This will be transformative in ways we can’t yet even imagine.”
~ Ophelia Dahl, chair of PIH’s board

Joyce and Bill’s overwhelmingly positive experiences in Rwanda, combined with their confidence in PIH’s ability to work with President Kagame’s administration to bring about meaningful change, prompted them, in 2014, to offer a $15 million matching funds grant from Cummings Foundation for this major new health sciences university. Then, acting on behalf of PIH, they were successful in soliciting the $15 million in matching funds from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other American donors to fully fund the first phase of what PIH has since incorporated in the United States as Universities of Global Health Equity.

University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), in Rwanda, will use a “One Health” curriculum to train global leaders to deliver high-quality health care. Phase I of UGHE will fully open in Butaro in September 2018, following construction of a major campus. The design work (see below) was done by Shepley Bulfinch architects of Boston. Future phases of UGHE are expected to include nursing and dentistry education. In the meantime, a Master’s in Global Health Delivery program and an executive education program have begun in Kigali and Rwinkwavu.



Cummings Foundation in Rwanda



About Rwanda

A small, densly populated country about the size of Maryland or Vermont, Rwanda has a distinctly beautiful, lush landscape graced with grasslands, small farms on rolling hillsides, rugged mountains, lakes, and volcanoes. The country is mostly just south of the equator, but its high altitude helps it avoid temperature extremes.

Despite its great natural beauty, Rwanda was the site of Africa’s largest genocide in modern times. Between April 7 and July 16, 1994, in the space of only 100 days, Hutus rampaged through the country and slaughtered an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and their moderate Hutu sympathizers. This followed decades, through the mid-20th century, when Tutsis were the aggressors.

Although reports of the 1994 genocide were horrific, neither the UN, the United States, nor any other country came to the Tutsis’ assistance, while France provided not only weapons, but also troops on the Hutu side. The scale and speed of the mass slaughter left the country and its people deeply scarred, and it was not until May 2003 that a constitution, with a balance of power shared between the Hutus and Tutsis, became law.

There are many lessons to be learned from a visit to this beautiful East African country, which spawns both the mighty Nile and Congo rivers. Rwanda is led by a very smart and determined president who stopped the slaughter and brought peace, albeit not always with everyone's complete approval.

Like many of his countrymen, President Paul Kagame is soft-spoken and reserved. He does not always champion freedom of speech as much as Americans have become accustomed. People are sometimes prosecuted, for instance, for violating strict rules governing dissemination of genocide philosophy. He is all about justice, jobs, education, and building the economy, however, and has instituted major programs to ensure stability for foreign investors and to help them succeed in this small country where average wages are still only a few hundred dollars a year. Kagame seems to be very highly regarded by a large majority of English-speaking people who have actually lived in Rwanda and seen the remarkable progress being made there.

In January 2012, Joyce and Bill Cummings, co-founders of Cummings Institute for World Justice, LLC and Cummings Foundation, and several friends visited Rwanda to learn about humanitarian efforts to heal the country and provide sorely needed services to those impacted by the genocide and its aftermath. Read Joyce’s 2012 contemporaneous travel journal here. That visit led to substantial Cummings commitments to the Partners In Health hospitals in Rwinkwavu and Butaro, and to a probable long-term involvement there by Cummings Institute for World Justice, a subsidiary of Cummings Foundation. The Cummings' returned to Rwanda in 2013 with Dr. and Mrs. Arlan and Alice Fuller, also of Winchester, MA.

 

An “Up and Coming” Center of Commerce

The government of President Paul Kagame says it is no longer looking for charity. Instead, it has stabilized the country to such a degree that any business looking to establish itself in Africa should strongly consider Rwanda as an ideal beachhead. With its second international airport now actively in planning and will soon be the center of East African commerce.

One of Africa’s smaller but most densely populated landlocked nations, Rwanda has demonstrated spectacular progress toward recovering from its horrific 100–day genocide, which occurred April through July of 1994. Under the extraordinary leadership of President Kagame, the government has worked diligently and strategically to rebuild the nation and unify its people. Integral to achieving these goals is the self-sufficiency that comes with a thriving economy.

 

Investment Opportunities

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB), created in 2008, employs a “one-stop” service model to facilitate new investment and fast track development projects. Today, Rwanda is recognized as one of the easiest countries in Africa in which to do business. John Gara, CEO of the RDB, noted that this recognition “is a result of extensive efforts by government to streamline business procedures, create a conducive legal framework, reduce bureaucracy and improve service delivery, in order to promote both domestic and foreign investment.”

A new, and much simplified, business registration process was introduced in 2006 to encourage entrepreneurship. As a result, the average amount of time it took to start a business dropped from 18 days to nearly instantaneous, and the number of new enterprises skyrocketed. Compared with an average of 700 new businesses annually prior to 2006, Rwanda reportedly registered 18,447 new businesses in 2010. The fee to register a new business in Rwanda is 15,000Rwf, but do it online, and it is free!

By creating a business-friendly environment for both foreign companies and its own citizens, Rwanda notes that it is growing its private sector and its wealth at a surprising rate. Neither Cummings Foundation nor the Cummings family will become involved in any for-profit business in Rwanda. Bill Cummings has publicly stated, however, that if he were considering opening a business outside of Massachusetts, then Rwanda might be the first place he would consider.

In October 2014, Cummings Foundation committed a major investment in medical education in Africa, to be known as University of Global Health Equity. The strictly graduate-level center could become known as the Pan African School of Health Services, and would confer masters and doctoral degrees in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Dental Medicine.

 

A Benevolent Dictator??

In a well-informed, 54-page report, Richard Johnson, who reportedly served 23 years as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, goes into great detail rebutting perennial charges leveled by Human Rights Watch (HRW) against President Kagame. Given the significant influence HRW has on international human rights discourse, IWJ offered to post Mr. Johnson’s thorough documentation of the “other side” of the Kagame story.

Rwanda is approaching the 20th anniversary of its devastating genocide, which will be marked in April 2014. Having first visited there in January 2012, Joyce and Bill Cummings were impressed with the significant progress they witnessed upon their subsequent trip in August 2013. (Click on Terror for Tourists at Victoria Falls.) Not atypical, a Rwandan student at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village credits his country’s rapid development to the fact that he and his peers are “the ‘sacrificial generation,’ who skipped the grieving in order to start rebuilding.”

Returning to Rwanda in August 2013, the Cummings found Rwanda still taking remarkable steps to become "the Switzerland of Africa." To all appearances, its graft-free, pro-business, progressive culture is taking a strong hold, as the country begins to surge forward. Rwandans are hard working and attentive, and the Kagame regime seems to be performing at a very high level.

Wherever Joyce and Bill traveled around the country, on both of their visits, they found that all the Rwandans they met very much wanted the same thing – peace. These people, who have lived through such violence and anguish, are prepared to move forward as a united nation, not wanting Rwanda to continue to be known as “the country that had that genocide.”


The Travesty of Human Rights Watch on Rwanda
by Richard Johnson

“I’m a retired American diplomat. My professional experience includes the genocide in Bosnia, and my personal experience includes living in Rwanda in 2008–2010 as the spouse of another U.S. diplomat. My purpose here is not to defend the Rwandan government, which is accountable first and foremost to its own people as well as to a variety of outside institutions. My purpose is to expose and perhaps alter the conduct of Human Rights Watch.

“With substantial funding and a mission statement whose nobility matches that of any established religion, HRW has enormous influence on Western media and foreign policy makers, particularly with regard to countries like Rwanda which are outside the core areas of Western interest and familiarity. But HRW’s decision-making process is not transparent, the aura of sanctity around its professed mission deters public scrutiny of its policies and practices, and the degree of accountability of HRW to anyone is quite unclear. This situation of unchecked power is one where things can go seriously wrong. With regard to Rwanda, they have.”

On October 7, 2013, Mr. Johnson wrote in an email to Cummings Foundation:

“My March 2013 paper ‘The Travesty of HRW on Rwanda’ was my own initiative, for which I neither sought nor received any funding. My determination to research, write and disseminate the paper stemmed from my alarm and dismay in 2010, while I was living in Kigali, when first HRW and then the U.S. Government came out in support of the attempt of Victoire Ingabire and her RDR/FDU political party to reenter Rwandan politics — even though this party has direct and intimate ties to the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.

“I continue to hope that my paper will make a difference. The paper has been widely read. There have been 13,000 visits thus far to its website from all over the world, the paper has been featured in the media in Rwanda and other parts of Africa, and I have received warm encouragement from a number of Rwanda experts whom I respect.”

Mr. Johnson's entire report is available online (54 pages)

 

 

 

Bugesera International Airport

In a country the size of Maryland, most airports are international by default. The largest of Rwanda’s international airports, Kigali International Airport, is operating far beyond its capacity, handling a projected 600,000 passengers in 2013 in a facility that was handling only 280,000 just five years ago. A planned expansion will increase passenger capacity, but is only a stopgap measure until a new airport can be built.

The brand new Bugesera International Airport has been in the works, off and on, for decades. The current plan calls for an “ultramodern” airport approximately 24 km south of capital city Kigali, with state-of-the-art facilities that can accommodate large aircraft such as Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s.

The new airport is expected to handle up to 3 million passengers per year by 2030, with 15,500 tons of cargo being moved annually. According to The African Aviation Tribune, the airport will include many amenities, including hotels and conference facilities, and there are plans to establish a free trade zone in the area.

The Rwandan government’s intentions are to reduce transportation costs for businesses and individuals, as well as attract more international travelers for sightseeing tourism and “MICE” visits – Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, and Exhibitions. As reported in The New Times Rwanda, Dr. Richard Masozera, director of the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, suggested that this airport could bring in medical tourism as well. Officials hope that with the addition of Bugesera International, this centrally located country will become an air traffic hub in central East Africa.

Plans for the Bugesera airport might be augmented by a proposed railway between Kigali and the port city of Dar es Salaam on the coast of Tanzania. Such a railway line could further boost Rwandan exports as well as bring in tourists from other East African nations.

Bugesera International Airport is designed to aid Rwanda’s aspiration to become a middle-income country (defined as about $900 USD per capita yearly, up from less than $400 in 2012). As a modern airport and easy access point into the country, Bugesera is expected to draw more businesses and services to the airport area, driving growth with an influx of foreign patronage.

China has positioned itself in recent years as a major investor in the developing world, with The Economist reporting in November 2013 that its trade with Africa was worth about $200 billion USD a year. Trade with Rwanda alone is approaching $160 million USD per year, while Chinese financial support of road construction, energy, water supply, and digital broadcasting projects have contributed to Rwanda’s economic development (Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure, www.mininfra.gov.rw).

A state-owned but privately run Chinese company, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, has been awarded the contract to build the $650 million Bugesera airport. This will reportedly be the largest investment in Rwanda’s history.

 

Foundation Partners

Cummings Institute for World Justice (IWJ) supports a limited number of national and international organizations through invitation-only grants. Wholly funded by Cummings Foundation of Woburn, Massachusetts, USA‚ this support includes some funding to Holocaust and genocide education projects outside the Foundation’s priority area of eastern Massachusetts. In addition, its international philanthropy is currently directed almost exclusively to nonprofits doing charitable work in Rwanda, as well as some other global charities with which it already has relationships.

Partners In Health

Through Partners In Health, Cummings Foundation was delighted to fund the construction of Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center, Rwanda’s first and only outpatient infusion center. On August 20, 2013, the Center was dedicated with Bill and Joyce Cummings present, along with Dr. and Mrs. Arlan and Alice Fuller, representing Cummings Foundation and its affiliate, Cummings Institute for World Justice.

Prior to traveling to Rwanda for this very special occasion, the Cummings, along with the Fullers, spent time at Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, including a swimming visit to Devils Pool, directly at the upper edge of the falls in the Zambezi River.

Serving outpatients, the ambulatory center complements the existing Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence, which treats patients who require overnight hospitalization, and whose 24 beds are always full, as it is the only dedicated cancer center in the country. This new modern outpatient facility offers oncology consultations, a chemotherapy mixing facility for both inpatients and outpatients, patient support groups, IV chemotherapy administration for 10 to 12 persons, family education, and counseling.


The Center is located in rural Burera District. When asked the reason for the location, Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health said, “No one is taking care of cancer in rural areas and so we decided to do so. Most of the cancer patients we have seen here over the years were from rural areas and had travelled all over looking for treatment. Our mission is to go where patients are and where the pathology is, hence addressing health disparities.”

Dr. Farmer says that Rwanda has made “remarkable progress” lowering death rates in the areas of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, childbirth, and vaccine-preventable illnesses. Cummings Foundation hopes that the Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center brings similar improvements in the lives of Rwandans affected by cancer.

In addition to impacting life expectancy, the Center has had a positive effect on the local economy. Already, construction of the facility provided 161 jobs and training to local citizens. The facility is staffed primarily with Rwandan health professionals.

Cummings Foundation is pleased to work alongside Partners In Health to bring healthcare to an underserved population as a step toward transforming global health, one patient at a time.

Learn more at:

Butaro Cancer Center, Designed by MASS Design Group
Architect Magazine, March 1, 2014

Butaro Cancer Centre opens new wing
The New Times, August 22, 2013

Rwanda: Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center opens
Partners In Health Blog, August 21, 2013

Partnering with Dana-Farber in Rwanda
Partners In Health, July 19, 2013

Interview: PIH founder says building systems is vital in ensuring quality healthcare
The New Times, July 15, 2013

Hope for cancer patients as Butaro centre gets upgrade
The New Times, July 9, 2013

Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center Impact Update
May 1, 2013

Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center Impact Update
April 1, 2013

Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center Update
January 2013


Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners In Health, and his daughter Catherine at Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center in summer 2014. (Click to enlarge)

(front, left to right) Bill and Joyce Cummings and Arlan and Alice Fuller attended the August 20, 2013 dedication of Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center. (Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

In addition to Cummings Foundation’s long term general interest in Cummings School, the Foundation is supporting the School’s specific efforts to combat the health threats posed by zoonotic illnesses, which are diseases that can be passed between animals and people. A significant global problem, nearly three-quarters of human diseases in the last 50 years have been zoonotic. For example, scientists believe the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa originated from human consumption of infected monkey meat.

Through its Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, and in partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Cummings School has a significant presence in six east African countries. It is using a “one health” approach that combines human medicine, veterinary medicine, and public health to treat communities holistically.

In support of the Cummings School’s “one health” initiatives in Rwanda, Cummings Foundation awarded it a 2013 grant to establish a mobile veterinary clinic with on-site diagnostic capability. The School will also offer professional development training for veterinarians and para-veterinarians. Such services and expertise are vital to the country’s “One Cow per Family” initiative, as the European breeds of cattle being imported for this initiative demand a much higher level of veterinary services than can currently be provided in Rwanda.

 

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM)

Currently, Rwanda has 11 dentists, or one dentist per 800,000 people. While it fares better with dental technicians – one per 135,593 inhabitants – these ratios leave the vast majority of Rwandans lacking even the most basic oral healthcare. Pain, bleeding gums, and infections are rampant problems in many rural areas.

TUSDM has the interest, experience, and capacity to develop effective global oral health initiatives. For example, a Tufts project in Zambia, led by Dr. John P. Morgan, uses an effective model of collaboration between local communities, government, and academia to provide an improved oral health workforce and sustainable oral health infrastructure. With a 2013 grant from Cummings Foundation, TUSDM hopes to employ this model in an effort to improve the availability of oral healthcare in Rwanda.

Dr. Morgan and his colleagues hope to create a dental clinic at Butaro Hospital, a Partners in Health facility in rural Burera District. Through training programs, they aim to substantially increase the number of qualified oral health workers who can perform routine dental exams and procedures. Ultimately, the program’s goal is to integrate oral health into Rwanda’s overall health system.

 

 

Agahozo Shalom Youth Village

Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) is a residential community in rural Rwanda serving highly vulnerable youth, many of whom were orphaned during and after the genocide in 1994. The Village is designed to care for, protect, and nurture these young people, offering a place of hope where "tears are dried" (signified by the Kinyarwanda word agahozo) and where the aim is to live in peace (from Hebrew, shalom).

The ultimate goal of Agahozo-Shalom is to equip young people who have lived through great trauma to become healthy, self-sufficient, and engaged in the rebuilding of their nation. Cummings Foundation supports ASYV’s professional skills program, designed to provide students with the tools they need to enter the job market after they graduate and leave the Village.

The Foundation was delighted to help facilitate a connection between the 500-student school and Partners In Health. This international healthcare organization is now assisting ASYV with vaccinations and other health needs, and has hired several graduates for healthcare positions at its hospitals in Rwanda.

Founded in 2007, Agahozo-Shalom was conceived, founded, and largely funded by Anne Heyman, who died in a tragic equestrian accident in Wellington, Florida on January 31, 2014. By that time, ASYV, with all of the love and devotion Anne put into it, had already become a resounding success. If there was a shortcoming to be found, it was that there was only one ASYV, rather than schools like it all over Africa.

Shortly before her untimely death, Anne traveled to Salem State University with Joyce and Bill Cummings to meet with the directors of the university’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Thanks to Anne’s special interest in encouraging a partnership, the new center incorporated a service-learning trip to ASYV in its curriculum. The first group of 11 Salem State University undergraduate and graduate students traveled to the village in June 2015, led by Professor Robert McAndrews. The experience was described as "unique and transformative."

Dr. Stephen Smith’s tribute, below, reflects so beautifully on the tremendous woman who, by age 52, had already accomplished so much more than most people might in a full lifetime.

Stephen D. Smith, Ph.D. is executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation, UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education, and USC Adjunct Professor of Religion.

Anne Heyman, in memoriam

Anne Heyman, 52, the pioneering founder of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a community for children orphaned during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, died in an equestrian accident on Friday, Feb.1 in Palm Beach, Florida. The South African-born Heyman modeled Agohozo on Israeli youth villages. It is now home to 500 children.

We live in times of deep turmoil, where hope is a rare commodity. Even among the most optimistic, creating meaning out of profound loss is hard fought. After genocide it takes vision to see the possibility of life again, it takes soul to build a home and give an education - a foundation for future - to children robbed of parents. It also takes a woman to know how to create a family of orphans. One with family units, homes and mothers at the heart of its community.

Agohozo Shalom is a haven in Rwanda - it is village, school, and kibbutz, all rolled into one. When you stand in the middle of the village, hills and lakes stretch as far as the eye can see, silence, blue skies and a farmer across the valley. Then the lunch time bell rings and four hundred beautifully dressed hungry high schoolers stream down the hill and into the cavernous dining room - everyone of them is an orphan, every one of them is also literate and on track to University or vocational training.

The dinner hall buzzes and clatters as all four hundred students eat in one sitting on long benches. I am perched next to my travel companion, Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone, sandwiched between bright eyed, ravenous kids, keen to practice their English. Renee turned to me and said "Do you know what it takes to nurture these orphans into the human beings they are today? The woman that did this truly deserves the Nobel Prize!"

Anne Heyman had the the stillness of a mill pond, the zeal of a prophet, the soul of a mother. When first you met her, her understated attire, the simple language she chose, the sincerity of her tone, all belied the woman of steel behind her fair facade. She talked about 'The Village', as she called the project she founded in Rwanda, as if it really were the neighborhood, of the same name, just a few blocks away from us in lower Manhattan. She traveled to Rwanda like it was no further than Tribeca. She had to be there, among the people she loved. She was drawn there and they filled her soul.

Tzedakah is a well practiced tradition within the Jewish world, which has become increasingly equated with the word charity, though its real sense is based on its root word 'righteous' - working to create a just, or fairer world. In recent years Anne Heyman brought us back to its meaning in quite remarkable ways. She took the words 'social action' ever so seriously, taking action and personally creating change in a society. [Related: Rob Eshman on Agahozo Shalom Youth Village]

Her philanthropy was true to the definition of the term itself - she really had a 'love of people' which far transcended the transactional nature of giving charity. Her philanthropy began with seeing the true potential in everyone. That is why she was not simply supporting orphans in Rwanda because there was a need, but because she believed in them as people.

Anne Heyman used the financial resources she had at her disposal with generosity that far exceeded the call of duty. But the real contribution she made was the complete giving of herself to others, always in the field (often literally), creating life from dirt, value from waste. No amount of money buys values. She not only bought a hill and then built a community on it. She needed electricity, so she built the largest solar plant in Sub-saharan Africa - so that the rest of Rwanda would get power too. She changed the meter on philanthropy from cash to commitment, and proved it can go further than you could ever imagine.

At times I worried for Anne. She was so far ahead, she seemed alone. Many knew about her work, she was lauded for her courage and thanked for her leadership, but few really understand what she was doing on their behalf. How brave and lonely it could be. I saw her tearful at times. I also saw pure determination as she knew social values happen when change takes place - and create change she did. I also saw the joy she expressed that can only come with one hundred graduates, all of whom had no hope, leaving Agohozo Shalom with the knowledge that are just as valuable as everyone else in this world, equipped and self reliant.

The great Jewish thinker Maimonides identified eight levels of Tzedakah, the highest being to enable others to be self reliant. Agohozo Shalom Youth Village exemplified the highest form of philanthropy, borne out of justice, fairness, love of your fellow human beings, whoever they are, wherever they are. It is a beacon of Jewish values in what was the heart of darkness.

Anne Heyman gave a gift to the world that will always be with us.

 

African Travel for Fun and Adventure

Going to Rwanda? Try a side trip first. Enjoy a brief story of the Cummings and the Fuller's epic 2013 visit to Victoria Falls, and their swim above the falls in Zambia's Zambezi River.

 

For Additional Information:

Organizations

Aegis Trust
This organization campaigns against crimes against humanity around the world, and runs the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda (with Kigali City Council) and the Holocaust Memorial and Educational Centre in the UK. Aegis is dedicated to the prediction, prevention, and ultimately the elimination of genocide, and was founded by James Smith, M.D. and Stephen Smith, Ph. D.

Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village
Founded by Anne Heyman and Seth Merrin, this village provides orphaned and vulnerable youth, many of whom are survivors of the Rwandan genocide, with a safe and secure living environment, health care, education, and necessary life skills. It uses education and service to model and create socially responsible citizens in Rwanda and around the world. ASYV admits 125 students to its four-year residential program each January, and gives them all a far better than average high school education. It graduated its first class of 125 in January 2013

Butaro Hospital
In January 2011, this new hospital opened its doors in northern Rwanda. The flagship 150-bed facility was built as part of the ongoing collaboration between Partners In Health and the government of Rwanda. With electronic access to educational resources and expert consultation, the hospital aims to be a leader in using information technology to aid patient care. In August 2013, the Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center opened adjacent to Butaro Hospital, financed by Cummings Foundation.

Kigali Memorial Centre
Built on a site where more than 250,000 people are buried, this centre contains a permanent exhibition of the Rwandan genocide and a very worthwhile exhibition of other genocides around the world. It was opened in 2004 for the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide.

Partners In Health (PIH)
Based in Boston, MA, PIH provides a preferential health care option for the poor through service delivery, training, research, and advocacy, and works globally to serve those most in need and provide an antidote to those in despair. Founded in 1987 by Dr. Paul Farmer, Thomas J. White, and Todd McCormack, PIH currently operates in Boston, Haiti, Peru, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Russia, and Kazakhstan, with partner projects in Guatemala, Mexico, Burundi, Mali, Liberia, and Nepal.

Rwanda Gift for Life
This organization strives to provide ways to address critical issues for genocide survivors, including balanced nutrition, trauma counseling, secure home conditions, school enrollment for children, sustainable economic independence, and physical, mental and emotional health.

Rwanda Travel Journal
Extensive notes with pictures by Joyce Cummings from her January 2012 journey through Rwanda.

Rwinkwavu Hospital
Launched in April 2005, this hospital was Partners In Health's first project in Rwanda. In addition to treating the ill, the staff provides knowledge and skills to improve their lives. Through a training center and garden, patients learn how to grow food on whatever plot of land they have, and are given seeds to get started.

UNICEF
Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works for children's rights, their survival, development and protection. In Rwanda, UNICEF offers programs in health, nutrition, water sanitation, and hygiene as well as HIV and AIDS education.

 

Background Material

Rwanda - The Wake of a Genocide
Includes background, multimedia reports, selected readings, current news, and ways to help.

The Travesty of Human Rights Watch on Rwanda
In a well-informed, 54-page report, Richard Johnson, who reportedly served 23 years as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, goes into great detail rebutting perennial charges leveled by Human Rights Watch against President Paul Kagame.

The U.S. and the Genocide in Rwanda 1994
This National Security Archive sites offers several government documents regarding the Rwandan genocide. This independent non-governmental research institute and library collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

U.S. Department of State
A good resource for fact sheets, press releases, remarks, and more.

Yale - Genocide Studies Program
A list compiled by the Rwandan Genocide Project of articles and research that offer information about the genocide in Rwanda.

 

News/Media

In Rwanda, Health Care Coverage That Eludes the U.S.
The New York Times, July 3, 2012

Cummings Foundation imaze gutanga 500,000 US$ yo gufasha Abanyarwanda
Kigali Today, June 1, 2012

Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village helps young Rwandans heal
Christian Science Monitor, May 22, 2012

Rwandan students meet WMHS counterparts
Woburn Patch, May 18, 2012

Hoping a trail leads to a tourist future
Boston Globe Travel, March 18, 2012

Africa's Singapore?
The Economist, February 25, 2012

James Nachtwey’s reflection on the Rwandan genocide
Time Magazine, April 6, 2011

Rwanda's medical miracle
Times Live, January 22, 2011

Rwanda: How the genocide happened
BBC News, December 18, 2008

Ghosts of Rwanda
PBS - FRONTLINE
A special two-hour documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide examining the social, political, and diplomatic failures that converged to enable the genocide to occur.

 

Books

A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It
By Stephen Kinzer

For anyone interested in the genocide in Rwanda, this book offers an enormous amount of historical information. This account of President Paul Kagame takes information from extensive interviews with Kagame and the people who know him, and tells the story of his path from a refugee and rebel organizer, to president of the land-locked nation. Kagame's firm policy on reconciliation without retribution in the post-genocide era is examined, as is the strict adherence to laws and maintenance of government free from corruption. Also included in the book is a robust background on Rwanda as a former Belgian colony, leading up to the 1994 genocide. (More)

 

 

 

Mountains Beyond Mountains The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
By Tracy Kidder

A compelling and inspiring book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, is the true story of Paul Farmer and his journey from a Harvard medical school student dedicated to curing infectious diseases and bringing lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need it most, to the founding of Partners in Health.

At the heart of Mountains Beyond Mountains is the example of a life based on hope and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb “Beyond mountains there are mountains”–as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.

 

 

 

Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness
By Tracey Kidder

This is the inspiring story of one man’s American journey and the ordinary people who help him, providing testament to the power of second chances. Having survived the civil war and genocide in Burundi, Deo arrives in the United States with two hundred dollars, no English and no contacts and goes on to attend Columbia University, medical school, and devote his life to healing.

Several Rwandan residents who had read Strength in What Remains reported that it gave a very accurate report of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, even though it principally portrayed conditions in Burundi. (More)

 

 

 

Baking Cakes in Kigali: A Novel By Gaile Parkin

A gloriously written little tale set in modern-day Rwanda, Baking Cakes in Kigali introduces one of the most singular and engaging characters in recent fiction: Angel Tungaraza—mother, cake baker and keeper of secrets. While living on the edge of chaos, her cake baking skills transform lives, weave magic, and create hope amid the madness swirling around her.


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