An interesting article showed up today about a school assisting former child soldiers in Ngoma, Eastern Province, Rwanda called ASOLATE (Association for Youth Literacy and Trades Education). From the ASOLATE website:
The Association for Youth Literacy and Trades Education is a registered not-for-profit organization founded by a group of young Rwandan technicians in response to the challenges faced by Rwandan youth in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide.
According to the article, the school was started by a former child soldier Seleman Nizeyimana, who was only 12 years old when he joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front fighting Hutu militias. When he came home after two years of fighting, he saw children on the street, “using drugs or prostituting to deal with trauma and survive.” He started the school to teach orphaned, illiterate youth skills such as welding, weaving and sewing.”
After he finished high school, Nizeyimana got friends to pool funds. ASOLATE held its first class in 2005, teaching 41 youths language, math and a trade. The government funded a class of 60 in 2006. In 2007, Nizeyimana trained 120, funded in part by Elder. ASOLATE also pays school fees for 81 orphans. He hopes to help grads start businesses, but lacks funds.