Have you ever been felt awkward displaying your faith in public? I know I have. I can tell you who is not afraid of sharing his faith in public – Alexis Ruhumuriza.
Alexis is a 26 year old “edupreneur extraordinaire”. After graduating from the Kigali Institute of Management (one of the better business schools here) Alexis began praying about what God wanted to do with his life. Alexis felt God’s call to work with street children. As a single young man, he began by inviting a few of them to his home, and they became like younger brothers to him. When Alexis began to look for a wife, he decided that she must first “pass the test” (his words) – she had to be open to street kids living with them and to living a life devoted to full-time ministry.
Alexis took out his first loan from Urwego Opportunity Bank in 2006. It was a personal loan, and it was technically for “home improvement”. But he used it to renovate his then-bachelor pad so that he could accommodate more street children to live with him! He was and is a client in good standing with Urwego, which was a significant factor in his loan approval.
After coming into relationship with these street children and with the encouragement of his wife, he realized that the way he could provide the most impact in these children’s lives was to educate them. So he started a special kind of school called a “catch-up school” specifically designed for the needs of street children. His school takes children through 6 levels of primary school in only 3 years and is intended to help them pass the difficult test to get into Rwandan secondary school.
When asked why he started the school, Alexis responds that “Evangelization – reaching the children for Jesus” was his primary motive. Alexis already provides more than 3 hours of Christian instruction for his students and is ready to implement additional programs offered by Edify.
Although his school is for impoverished street children, Alexis as a businessman still charges tuition. The 8,000 Rwandan Francs per term ($5 per month) he charges in tuition is enough to cover his operating expenses. (Though about 25% of his students attend on full scholarships from local donors.)
Alexis’ loan for 11 Million Rwandan Francs ($18,333 USD) was approved for the construction of 1 additional classroom and a playground for his school. The Rwandan school year started last month, and Alexis had the classroom built in time to accommodate students for this school year.
During our Financial and Accounting training last month, Alexis (wearing the plaid shirt) took it upon himself to lead the group of school proprietors in prayer before lunch. This young man is truly an inspiration for all of us!