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The First Lady of Rwanda, Jeanette Kagame (pictured) spoke at the annual Ms Geek 2016 Awards ceremony in Kigali, where only five out of 130 Girls in ICT were awarded for innovative projects providing solutions to the community's challenges. Our Gashora students took second and third place, the only high school students which received awards.

When you give to these motivated young women, you are fostering creativity and innovation. In fact, in her remarks at the opening of our school the First Lady called our girls the future "mothers of invention". This year, Gashora Girls won the national Rwanda Education Board (REB) science competition, the first time girls have done so. The girls developed a pump that used simple materials to draw water in a valley up to the mountain without using electricity. Winning team member, Sandrine Mutezinka said, "We developed the project after we observed children carrying water on their heads from down the valley to their homes on the hills."

Our girls have brought our "whole girl" education to life, balancing the intense and demanding academic work with our rich co-curricular offerings. They continue to be awarded for their amazing hard work. What follows is a list of just some of the girls' achievements in the past year.

  • Won the Miss Geek Competition
  • IDebate competition--1st place and best speakers;
  • Reached finals in the Spring Accelerator entrepreneurship competition;
  • Tech-innovation competition: 2 teams reached the semi-finals;
  • JICA National High School Competition: 2nd place;
  • East African Debate Competition Competition;
  • Won the National High School Public Speaking Competition organized by Girl Up;
  • Code Club Programing competition: 1st and 3rd places at HeHe Labs;
  • 2 students participated in the Students on Ice Expedition in Greenland (First ever from Rwanda);
  • Winner of the National Youth Entrepreneurship Debate Competition 2015;
  • Participated in the "100 women who will impact Rwanda Camp";
  • TAHMO ICT and Water Competition: Reached Finals;
  • Won 3 gold certificates from Commonwealth essay competition.

Our girls continue to gain recognition for their "Gashora Gold Peanut Butter." One of our Senior 6 students so impressed Africa Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina and Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi at an exhibition of Gashora Gold Peanut Butter and the girls' new product, passion juice, at the 7th Africa Agriculture Science Week 7 in Kigali. The girls were later asked to speak spontaneously at a FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa) conference session on youth and agribusiness. The President of FARA Africa, was so impressed he gave them a grant of $5,000 to expand their business.

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