Special Projects

Tufts Hillel's Alternative Summer Break
Short-Term Service & Learning Trip to Rwanda

May 25 - June 5, 2011

Did you hear about Race4Rwanda?
Would you like to see the place where it all began?

Tufts Hillel will be leading another service learning trip to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village of Rwanda, an innovative and groundbreaking residential community for orphaned teenagers in Rwanda.

This 10-day service-learning experience is open to undergraduate students of all faiths.

Applications: Due Thursday 3/3
(sign up for interview)
Download application

Interviews will be from March 7-10. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on March 11.

Contacts: Talia Lieber,
Lauren Estes

What we will do?

  • Socialize and share experiences with youth in the village
  • Meet with Rwandan survivors to learn about the genocide and the high number of orphaned children in the country
  • Help with service projects on the village: including constructing or renovating youth village facilities
  • Accompany the students to perform community service projects in the local community
  • Study texts that provide the rationale for humanitarian assistance
  • Tour sites of general interest, visit memorials and museums, and see the Rwandan countryside, “the land of a thousand hills”

For more of an idea about trip activities, please read the reflections from last year’s group on their travel blog from May-June 2010: Tufts in Rwanda Blog

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village?

The Agahozo Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) aims to create a safe and structured residential community for orphaned children in Rwanda. The village will be a place of hope, where traumatized youth can “dry their tears” (Agahozo) and “live in peace” (Shalom).

Over the course of just three months, over 800,000 people were murdered, the country was left in ruins and nearly 1.2 million children were orphaned. These children were not only robbed of their families, of their homes and of their communities, but also of their hope for a viable future.

ASYV aims to be a solution to the challenge of healing these traumatized youth. The village offers the students an excellent education both inside and outside of the classroom. From music therapy to dance, athletics and a religion club, the children have new, powerful ways to express themselves. Additionally, the village provides the children with the sense of community, family, and security that allows the students to thrive. Outreach and community service programs are also an integral part of the informal education curriculum, as helping others serves as a methodology for personal healing and leadership development.

Within this caring environment, the rhythm of life will be restored, so that youth who have been through great trauma will find a home and a community, as well as a place to learn and become leaders for tomorrow. The youth who come to live and learn in the ASYV will grow into healthy adults who are not only able to care for themselves and their families, but who are also committed to making their community, their country, and indeed the world a better place.

A unique and ambitious project, the ASYV will serve as a model for caring for the disrupted lives of youth across Rwanda, Africa, and beyond, to wherever there are traumatized youth who need a place to call home.

Upcoming Events and Programs

No events scheduled.

Tufts Hillel homepage Tufts Hillel homepage