Spoken Word Artist
Born in 1990, Angel Uwamahoro, fled the pre-genocide violence in Rwanda to Uganda as a newborn with her mother. Unlike many Rwandan refugees, she had a happy childhood in Kampala and was an active student involved in acting, singing, and dancing. At age seven, she and her mother moved to California, U.S.A where she continued to nurture her passion for art. In 2001, when her mother decided that they should return to Rwanda, Uwamahoro was very skeptical of what life would be in such “war-torn” country.
Today Angel is active in the theatre scene and her education in NewYork a path she started when she joined Mashirika, one of the leading theater performing arts group in Rwanda where she has played many roles as a leading actress, travelling across the country and abroad. Her life ambitions are to build a Rwandan Theater and Performing arts school in Rwanda when she returns home.
Ariane has evolved in peace initiatives for over 5 years in Rwanda as a public relations agent, researcher, consultant and project coordinator. As a researcher she's worked on the challenges to peace and social cohesion in Rwanda and advocating for change using media.
The eldest of seven, Ms. Brown was born December 9, 1930 in Commodore Pennsylvania a small coal mining community. She is the mother of five, grandmother of 17 and Great Grandmother of 14. The majority of her life was spent as a housewife & mother, nurse, substitute teacher and finally as a group leader in a local electronics plant. As she says, “I was a very ordinary person doing ordinary things.”
She feels that “From the beginning I was in training for the life I would lead after I retired from the work force. A life dedicated to serving needy, abused and abandoned children in Rwanda.”
In 2006 after several trips to Rwanda, Ms. Brown sold her home, car and all her possessions and made the move to Rwanda to spend the rest of her life. Her heart is for orphans.
Urukundo Foundation; Hope Made Real are the products of many who joined Ms. Brown in her mission to give hope to both the children and adults in Rwanda and to make their futures brighter.
Dr. Getrude Fester
Women's Rights Activist
Dr. Gertrude Fester is a feminist activist, educator, poet and writer from South Africa, who is a former Member of Parliament, and a Commissioner of the Gender Commission. Gertrude Fester has a long history of political activism focusing on women’s liberation within the national democratic struggle in South Africa. She has hence held various formal political portfolios post-1994 and has pioneered together with others, seminal NGOs working towards popularizing the African Feminist Charter and promoting a united Feminist Voice. Her key passions include transformation and education.
Gertrude has a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies from the London School of Economics. She has published widely, both fiction and non-fiction. Prior to 1994 she was an educator for 21 years and was inspired by the future teachers whom she trained. She is currently Professor at the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development, Kigali Institute of Education, Rwanda.
Footballer and Youth Activist
Jacques Kayisire is the founder and vice-Chairman of the Association of Former Soccer Players (Association des Anciens Footballeurs du Rwanda) and operates a football academy known as the “Dream Team Football Academy”. He is also a chairperson of the youth Football Committee in Rwanda Football Association, FERWAFA. Jacques has also worked in the ICT sector and government administration sectors.
His Dream Team Academy has won support from the Rwandan government among others for its mission to empower Rwandan youth to become confident, team-oriented leaders in their communities and by providing a safe and positive after-school environment.