Priority will be given to students in the College of Engineering

Join the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement and the Women and Minority Engineering Programs on a transformative Alternative Service Break (ASB) trip to Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills! Focusing upon cultural exchange and STEM Outreach, the inaugural ASB allowed participants to engage with faculty and students at the University of Rwanda’s Engineering Program; gain cultural and historical insight as they toured one of Kigali’s oldest neighborhoods; enjoy a traditional Rwandan meal at the Nyamirambo Women’s Center and meet the seamstresses the center supports; visit Kigali’s Genocide Memorial and “Hotel Rwanda” to deepen understanding of the Rwandan Genocide and the powerful sentiment of reconciliation; explore the bustling, colorful markets and beauty of downtown Kigali; strengthen excitement and understanding of STEM at a local school as we engage in hands-on activities; and travel to Akagera National Park for a safari rich in biodiversity and breathtaking views.

In 1994, Rwanda suffered 100 days of an ethnic genocide killing as many as 800,000 people. Through a system of community justice known as the Gacaca Court, Rwanda has focused upon restoring peace through reconciliation.  Participants will not only have the opportunity to engage in impactful service during this ASB but also broaden their understanding of the challenges this developing nation faces. As a country roughly the size of Maryland and comparatively devoid of the natural resources of its other East African neighbors, Rwanda has realized that their future truly lies in its people. With a goal of shifting away from a 90% agricultural sustenance society to a “knowledge based” society by 2050, there is an enormous push for the education of engineers in Rwanda. Therefore, this ASB aims to share our passion and enthusiasm for STEM and maintain a bridge of cultural and information exchange for years to come.

Important Information

  • Trip dates: March 6-15, 2020
  • Location: Rwanda
  • Cost per person in spring 2020: $3,460.00
    • College of Engineering students will owe $500.00 and the remainder of the expenses will be covered by the College of Engineering.
  • Trip cost covers transportation, housing, meals, and activities.