In Rwanda, 97% of girls go to primary school, but less than 13% attend upper secondary school. Public secondary school capacity is limited, so only those with the highest test scores are able to attend. Even a bright girl who is qualified to attend may face obstacles to success and graduation — including household responsibilities and safety concerns.

Most Rwandan girls need komera, which means “be strong and have courage” in the local dialect, to further their education. Through Komera Canada, we support them in this endeavour.

Komera Canada develops confident young women through education, community, and sport. Academically, your contributions provide full room, board and tuition at a public boarding school. During school holidays, scholars receive extensive training on how to be an agent for social change within their community. They will begin their own non-profit projects and become community leaders!

Komera builds a local community of support around the scholars because we believe in the power it has towards the scholars’ success. While at school each student will meet with a Komera mentor and fellow scholars once a week. These mentoring sessions follow a curriculum that addresses health, leadership, human rights and local development.

At home, each scholar’s parents are part of the Komera Parent Co-operative where they receive training on how to launch their own small businesses to help support their families and subsidize some modest materials for the scholar. In addition to entrepreneurship training, each young woman also attends conferences with her Komera Scholar family. During school breaks, they learn about leadership skills, career goals, computer skills and health related issues.

One of the distinctive aspects of Komera is its emphasis on empowerment and positive body image through sport. Every year since our founding, Komera has organized a Fun Run in Rwanda. The run expanded onto a global level in 2012 so now Komera supporters all over the world can run in solidarity with the Rwandan girls. Additionally, during the conferences on school breaks, the scholars are encouraged to exercise outdoors in the mornings.