Sunday, 20 September 2015

Rwanda Study Trip: Fall 2015

14 USP Students,
10 Honors College Students,
8 Staff Members,
 2 Drivers:
1 grand adventure to Rwanda...

Every semester we travel to Rwanda to learn about the unique history, culture and development of Rwanda, one of Uganda's five neighboring countries. We reconnect with old USP friends and organizations and connect with new ones.

Here are some of our trip highlights!:

We spent our first two nights at the Kibungo Diocese where we heard from the Anglican Bishop and participated in the community work day, Umuganda. On the last Saturday of every month, everybody in Rwanda is required to participate in a community work day to work on various community improvement projects. This year, our group partnered with community members, mothers, fathers, children, police officers, soldiers to dig trenches for a new water supply. 

On Sunday we separated into three different groups, visiting several churches in the local community. Our students and staff had the opportunity to participate in the services and enjoyed worshiping with our Rwandan brothers and sisters in Christ.

As part of studying the history of Rwanda, we spent a day visiting the Kigali Memorial, a museum commemorating the 1994 Genocide, and Nyamatta Church where one of the massacres occurred 

We also spent a day with CARSA, a local non-profit dedicated to the reconciliation of those affected by the genocide. We watched their powerful new documentary, Unforgiven, then had the amazing opportunity to meet and ask questions of some of the inspirational individuals featured in the film

To learn more about the exciting developments happening in Rwanda today, we spent an afternoon with Hope International, an organization specializing in micro-finance and loans. We traveled to the outskirts of Kigali and were welcomed by members of the community who come together to pool their resources and empower each other to combat poverty.

Students got a taste of the artistic cultural community of Rwanda when we visited Amahoro Ava Hejeru, a cooperative of women making beautiful quilts, bags and other items, supporting one another and their families. We heard from the women who work there, how it has changed their lives and were able to purchase some of their beautiful crafts. 

We also had an inspirational visit to Inema Arts Center, an art gallery advocating for social, economic and personal growth in the community.

 After an intense week of travel, seeing, learning, hearing and participating, we spent a couple of days debriefing on an island in Lake Bunyoni, just across the Ugandan border. We took a much-needed pause to share with each other what we learned in the past week, while enjoying each other's good company and this beautiful world we live in.

Life is not about the destination, but the journey! There is something about spending 30+ hours in a bus together that makes you grow closer. Here’s to all of the conversation, questions and musical melodies this long and beautiful ride Rwanda gave us!

See you next semester, Rwanda!


  1. A decade later, I still miss and love Rwanda deeply! God bless you, USP!

  2. A decade later, I still miss and love Rwanda deeply! God bless you, USP!