GoA Festival: A new basketball court will be inaugurated in the village of Agahozo-Shalom

A new basketball court at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is set to be unveiled on Sunday, August 13, as part of the Giants of Africa festival, a unique convergence of basketball, culture, education and entertainment. The addition of the courtyard to the village aims to empower young people through sport, fostering a sense of community, growth and opportunity.

The week-long event, coinciding with the festival’s 20th anniversary, will bring together more than 250 young Africans representing 16 different countries. The youth village of Agahozo-Shalom serves as a shelter for more than 500 young people. They live in family-type housing, each sharing their lives with peers and guardians.

In addition to providing a comprehensive education, including high school and vocational training, the village focuses on developing leadership skills and promoting personal growth. The inauguration of the basketball court reflects the village’s commitment to instilling confidence and responsibility in its youth.

Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village was founded in 2008 by Anne Hayman to meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Rwanda. The village’s holistic approach emphasizes healing through formal and informal education, including traditional counselling, art and sport programs. Students have access to a wide range of extracurricular activities, from visual and instrumental arts to sports teams and entrepreneurship training.

The name "Agahozo-Shalom" is a mixture of the word kinyarwanda "agahozo", which means "where tears are dried", and the Hebrew word "Shalom", which represents peace. The mission of the village is to provide many opportunities for young people to discover their passions and heal through informal education.

As the festival opens the doors to the new basketball court, the village is a testament to the transformative power of education and support. A graduate of nearly 2,000 students since its inception, Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village has proven its commitment to fostering healing, self-sufficiency and sustainability among Rwanda’s youth.

Inspired by the Israeli youth village Yemin Orde, created in 1953 to care for Holocaust orphans, the Agahozo-Shalom youth village continues to forge a path of hope and opportunity for its residents. The new basketball court symbolizes not only a space for sport, but also a place of growth, unity and building a better future for the young Rwandan generation.

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