Volunteer at GGAST
Our mission is to educate and empower girls of Rwanda to meet their highest potential; the basis of this belief is rooted in educational equity. We strive to create an environment where girls will be prepared inside and outside of the classroom.
We have benefited enormously from the contributions of both short and long-term volunteers. Depending on the volunteer opportunity you are considering, your experience will be unique. There are different timelines and expectations attached to each opportunity. However, none of these will be easy. The goal of each of these experiences is to bring your passion and excitement to the school and ultimately help the students. These experiences will push you out of your comfort zone, and we ask you to keep this in mind as you consider applying.
Life as a GGAST volunteer will challenge you with a series of adjustments, including moving to Rwanda, adjusting to new ways of working and socializing, learning a new language, and eating unfamiliar food. While these may be a part of the excitement and adventure that initially sparked interest in Gashora, the adjustments will require your effort, energy and accommodations. Working at Gashora is an incredible opportunity to dive into a new environment and have an experience that will directly allow you to create change; this is a life changing experience, both for you and for the brilliant students who attend the academy.
(We are thrilled you are considering joining us to volunteer and deeply appreciate the time and expertise that you are dedicating to help our students advance. As a non-profit we are extremely conscious of every dollar we spend and consider ourselves stewards of donated funding. It is expected that volunteers will contribute $40/day to cover housing, food and support.)
"Before I came to Gashora, I had never done any significant fundraising and had never initiated a self-defense workshop or a professional volleyball clinic. Before I came to Rwanda, I could not speak one word of Kinyarwandan. I had not yet met future friends like Michael and Jonah—and all my students—but I had read a dozen books about the genocide of Tutsis and Rwanda’s unprecedented recovery. From them, I learned to forgive. Armed with what I have learned about the depth of my own perseverance, as well as my new-found faith in forgiveness, I feel blessed by all that others have taught me. From reading their words, I know that Gashora's students feel the same way." -Anne Shaughnessy
"Sometimes, you go places and you make friends. Sometimes you don’t. But sometimes, on very rare and special occasions, you go somewhere and make a family. At the Gashora Girls Academy I made a family. Yes, I missed my other family in the United States, and I cried when I left them, but I would also cry when I left Gashora, for I would miss all of my sisters just the same. In Rwanda, they say it takes a village to raise a child, but perhaps all it takes is a school." -Jenn Larr