Ernest Ngiyembere, SJ - Rwanda-Burundi Region
[From “Jesuits 2022 - The Society of Jesus in the world”]
Journeying with the youth and marginalized towards a hope-filled future in Rwanda.
The Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus and
the theme of the 2021-2022 Ignatian Year are at the core of the mission of the Jesuit Urumuri Centre (JUC). Founded in
1992, JUC is the social apostolate centre of the Society of Jesus in Kigali,
Rwanda. In its relatively short history, JUC has undergone transformation and
conversion. Thankfully, through the UAPs and the Ignatian Year, it is called,
once again, to conversion and “to see all things new in Christ.” JUC journeys
with the youth to create a hope-filled future, seeks reconciliation and justice
for the poor and the marginalized, and works for the protection of our common
home, thus, showing the way to God.
Rwanda is a young country. Recent statistics
show that 40% of the Rwandan population are young people, aged between 14 and
35 years old with an average age of 20. The Rwandan youth faces many and
intertwined challenges. Adolescents in high schools are confronted with the
problem of school dropouts and high rate of teenage pregnancies. Young
university graduates face unemployment and underemployment, which expose them
to illegal or forced labor, prostitution, and human trafficking.