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Stories from Rwanda

Every Peace Corps Volunteer has a story to tell. Read stories from Volunteers about what it's like to live and work in Rwanda.

1-20 of 43 results
colorful houses on a hill side

Don’t expect Yanick Douyon – a three-time Peace Corps Response Volunteer and a two-time Virtual Service Participant – to slow down anytime soon.

Group photo of Brina, counterpart, and students

As a Peace Corps Volunteer of color, I experience unique challenges during my service. One such challenge is when host country nationals question my nationality as American. My skin is not white; therefore, I don’t fit their stereotype of what a “typical” American looks like.

PCV Maya writes in log book with mother and baby looking on

All Maternal and Child Health Volunteers in Rwanda work on behalf of the First 1000 Days Program, which addresses the issue of childhood stunting that results from chronic malnutrition. This includes a wide umbrella of target areas such as preventing childhood illness, improving levels of nutrition, and increasing attendance levels of antenatal care visits.

Image: (left to right) Education Volunteer Nile, English teacher Rose, math teacher Valintine

At the end of each term, all Rwandan schools have a marking period.

PCV Grace and her counterpart weigh a baby with the help of the baby's mother.

Over the past few months, my counterpart Xaverine and I have visited each of the 25 villages in our health center’s catchment area.

Student and PCVs gather to learn about Indoor Residual Spraying.

"Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking."
― Wangari Maathai

3 judges of the Speak Up! competition sit at a long table viewing the front of the classroom.

The room was silent, the head judge was announcing the third-place winner in Advanced level for the second annual Speak Up! competition. It wasn’t her.

PCV Niesha and counterpart speak to mothers in milk group.

This is a story of the transformation of 15 milk mothers to 15 community health leaders.

BHM 2019

I recently finished reading former First Lady Michelle Obama’s stellar memoir, Becoming. In it she expressed her feelings about being an African-American in Africa when she visited Kenya with President Obama. Mrs. Obama writes: 

A pixelated image of Elaine's hand ringing the bell

In C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, in the Voyages of the Dawn Treader, to be precise, Aslan the Great Lion declares: “You have returned for a reason.  Your adventure begins now.” 

Michael's School

Peace Corps Volunteer Alex Wang, a Maternal and Child Health Volunteer in Southern Rwanda, and his health center are in the process of building 25 latrines using a Peace Corps grant for at risk families. We sat down with him to find out more about the project.

A bean field and landscape with housing near the back of the image

Our cohort, Education 9, landed in Kigali just over a year ago.

Peace Corps Rwanda Zipline August 2018 (7 of 11).jpg

“Support each other as girls – it’s really helpful.”

Growing myself in Peace Corps Response

For many years I knew that the Peace Corps would be a wonderful experience for me. 

Image taken from the rear of the room with participants seated and Speak Up banner in front of the room

With passion and pathos, purpose and pizzazz, many a dream abounded upon a simple stage recently in Rwanda’s Southern Province.

The chalkboard in front of Lia's classroom

Click here to download the mp3 audio file of Home Sweet Staff Room, by Lia Russell.

School’s been in session for almost a month, and the first of our three terms will end in just a few weeks. I haven’t accomplished much as a teacher in this short time, but I’ve been experiencing what I longed for and optimistically predicted early on, when the walk to school still wracked my nerves: I'm gradually getting used to this and feeling an increasing sense of ease.

Blue patterned header image