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Our History

From April through June 1994, the U.N. estimates that 800,000 Rwandans were brutally slaughtered by fellow citizens in a state-led genocide targeting the Tutsi ethnic group. About 75% of the Tutsi population was killed.

 

The country was devastated; survivors were physically and psychologically damaged. Families were decimated, and their homes and communities were destroyed. Up to 2 million people fled the country, including many of the Hutu ethnic group perpetrators. A million people were displaced within the country. Of the survivors, 75,000 were children who lost one or both parents.

 

This is what Denis Mugabo came back to upon returning to Rwanda leading him to ultimately build the Peace International School (Nyanza Peace Academy).   

 

In an interesting twist the new government issued a law that if perpetrators of the violence repented of what they did and would be willing to go and help with the rebuilding of the communities they had destroyed they could receive parole. Although not all issues are resolved there are numerous amazing stories of victims and perpetrators reconciling. Again Denis Mugabo has been a champion in letting people share their amazing stories at his Peace Conferences.

 

Although this is a story of great tragedy it is also an amazing story of rebuilding a nation from scratch. Rwanda has turned itself around with the efforts of many like Denis who desire peace.

Our Story

Peace International School (Nyanza Peace Academy) was born out of a passion to see the next generation of Rwandans empowered to live free from the burdens of the past, and joyously look forward to their bright future. 

 

Founder Bishop Denis Mugabo’s life is one that has been shaped by upheaval. Even before he was born, his family was displaced from their home in Rwanda to the Congo in 1959; because of the violence between the two major ethnic groups Tutsi and Hutu. This would not be the last time his family fled unrest but also in 1974 from Congo to Burundi and later again in 1987; Burundi to Kenya. 

Bishop Denis was fortunate to receive education and was awarded a Scholarship from World University Services of Canada in Ottawa which permitted him to come to Canada to study. In Canada he was able to get his Masters in Social Work from the University of Quebec. He continued his education and obtained his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in the United States.

The course of his life changed dramatically in 1994, when he witnessed the news of the tragic genocide in Rwanda. He went back to his ancestral home in search of his relatives, no living or dead were found at that time. His heart was broken for his people and for the many orphaned children living on the streets. Seeing this need, he and his wife Dativa immediately took action; they purchased a home and opened a small school to provide services for these children. With Mugabo’s background in social work he was able to help children work through their trauma and provide education. What began as a small school grew to become the NGO;  Peace International School, now providing education and support for over 370 children. Peace International School has 14 acres of land, classroom buildings, and an expansion plan to include high school students; with dorm rooms. All through a variety of supports; Japanese Government, Japan Food for the Hungry, The Global Education Allies organization out of Utah, Emmanuel Community Reformed Church Edmonton, and you. 

There are many children still in need of support and the high school expansion can not proceed without your help. 

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Dativa & Denis Mugabo

 

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