About Rwanda

Today, Rwanda shows much promise. Rwandans speak of themselves as Rwandans rather than Hutu or Tutsi, and an amazing level of reconciliation has occurred that is now a model for the rest of the world. It is a safe and stable sub-Sahara country that does not tolerate corruption. Some interesting facts about Rwanda include the following:

  • Rwanda was granted independence from Belgium in 1962
  • It has population of about 11 million and is roughly the size of Maryland
  • The native language is Kinyarwanda, although French and English are also spoken by many
  • Rwanda is referred to as “Land of a Thousand Hills;” in Kinyarwanda, the phrase is “Igihugu cy’Imisozi Igihumbi”
  • Primary agricultural crops include bananas, coffee, potatoes, and cassava (yuca root)

Rwandans are friendly and optimistic people who genuinely appreciate and value the outside support they receive. Even so, 40 percent of Rwanda’s population is under the age of 14, most families live in small villages with no electricity or running water, and so the people of Rwanda still need help. Education is the key to improving living conditions and preventing the intolerance that leads to violence. Ultimately, education will also give Rwanda’s people the dignity and power of being able to help themselves and others too. The Kittelson Charitable Foundation is helping to educate this country one child at a time.

Why Rwanda?

Rwanda is an ideal place to have significant, positive, and enduring effects on the lives of individual people and, at the same time, to leverage that impact to the benefit of many others throughout the world. In 1994, a genocidal civil war took place in Rwanda, killing a million people in just 100 days. Nearly 400,000 children were left without parents or families, making them orphans. Refugee camps were overwhelmed, and international relief services were either curtailed or slow in coming. Rwanda’s infrastructure was destroyed. And yet today, just one generation later, Rwanda shows much promise. Rwandans speak of themselves as Rwandans rather than the ethnic identities that separated and condemned them before. An amazing level of reconciliation has occurred that has become a model for the rest of the world. Rwandans are friendly and optimistic people who genuinely appreciate and value the outside support they receive. Even so, 40 percent of Rwanda’s population is under the age of 14, most families live in small villages with no electricity or running water, and so the people of Rwanda still need help. Education is the key to improving living conditions and preventing the intolerance that leads to violence. Ultimately, education will also give Rwanda’s people the dignity and power of being able to help themselves and others too.

The Kittelson Charitable Foundation is helping to educate this country one child at a time.