- The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman
Rwandan Orphans Find Hope in Innovative Youth Village
Some of the country’s most vulnerable teens are getting a good education and valuable skills through a pioneering program.
In 2005, Anne Heyman, a South African-born former lawyer for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, sat at a table with a Rwandan genocide survivor at a fundraiser and asked him, “What is the biggest problem facing Rwanda today?”
“The orphans,” he told her. “In a population of 11 million, we have over 1 million orphans.”
And so Heyman had an idea: bring the Israeli Youth Village model to Rwanda.
In the 1930s and 1940s, tens of thousands of Jewish children and teenagers fled the Nazis. Many landed in what would eventually become Israel, where they were welcomed into a system of residential communities called Youth Villages. And so in the mid-2000s, Heyman believed a new youth village system could help solve