We arrived early in the morning to 'Fruits of Hope Academy', a thriving school serving the local Rwandan community of Gisozi. Today is hot, the dusty air humid and dry. The bus arrives at our destination but can take us no further. We get off the bus and trek down hill to get to the school which is carved neatly into a hillside. I understand why this country is known as the land of a thousand hills, the land is an undulating expanse of greenery. The red terrain is unforgiving and unsuitable for vehicles, it's gutted surface littered with crevices and boulders. I tread carefully, ensuring each step is well placed. My covered shoes serve me well today.
We head inside to meet the teachers. They are all young, but I am not surprised. Much of The population of Rwanda is young because so many died in the 1994 genocide. At the introduction address the principal reminds us about the effects of the genocide, it is on everyone's lips and a constant reminder of the past. "It is our history" one young teacher tells me, "but my vision is to see a generation rising up to change that history, I am a part of that, I am working hard to see this happen." This young man is twenty seven. His family escaped to Uganda before the 1994 genocide. I asked him what made his father leave Rwanda. He tells me about the killings that happened in the years leading up to 1994. "My family returned after the genocide but there were many family members that had disappeared", he responds. He is not bitter. He believes he has a specific purpose for restoring hope to the youth of Rwanda. This determined young man shares more of his heart with me. His dreams are big, very big. His next statement takes me by surprise, "We are lucky that some of us remained alive so we can start again", he tells me matter of factly. I think on this and marvel at his optimism. 'It is better to be positive than negative', he informs me. I nod my head emphatically, his words are truly humbling.