Rwandans travel to U.S. to study, make impact on their country

(Left) Valens Hasubizmana and Felix Ndashimye visit with friends in the Fulton area shortly after their arrival to the U.S.

(Left) Valens Hasubizmana and Felix Ndashimye visit with friends in the Fulton area shortly after their arrival to the U.S.

Though both young Rwandans dared to dream they might one day study in the U.S., the fact that their dream came true is still hard for them to believe.

Felix Ndashimye, 26, and Valens Hasubizmana, 28, are both in graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Both young men have previously done translating work for the Rwanda Community Partnership Project. Valens was the project’s main translator and guide since it began in 2007. It was then that he began a friendship with Dr. Bob Hansen. Hansen and his family sponsored Valens to come to the U.S.

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Felix Ndashimye hands Reova Meredith, executive director and founder of the Center for Women's Ministries, a manual that he translated from English into Kinyarwanda. Ndashimye met with the director last month at the Kingdom Center for Women's Ministries in Fulton. The manual will be used to open a center in Rwanda.

Hansen, founder of the Rwanda project, said he wanted to help Valens pursue his dream of becoming a psychologist in Rwanda.

“The goal is to take this extraordinarily talented young man and give him the education he needs to return to Rwanda to make a significant impact there on mental health,” Hansen said.

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