AOG Rwanda celebrates ten-year anniversary, opens new innovation hub

On 21 September 2021 at 12:11

Acts Of Gratitude (AOG) Rwanda has celebrated ten-year anniversary since it launched programs to tackle joblessness among the youth. The event which took place on Saturday 18th September 2021 coincided with the launch of a new innovation hub in Buggesera district.

AOG is a Rwanda-based Social enterprise co-founded by 13 young social entrepreneurs in 2011.

The organization was founded by colleagues at Kigali Health Institute drawing an inspiration from their lecturers who used to support students with vulnerable backgrounds to find shelter and meet other basis needs.

It is registered with the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) as a National Non-governmental Organization (NGO) since 2014. From 2015, AOG has been focusing its programs on social enterprise development in Rwanda which helps to tackle youth unemployment and contribute to solving key social challenges in local communities.

AOG also puts emphasis on women empowerment to make them real drivers of positive change.

They have gradually expanded and introduced incubation programs for young entrepreneurs who are equipped with relevant skills to conceptualize and implement vivid business ideas.

Beneficiaries are also helped to get offices, advisory services at low cost and facilitate linkages with partners.

Since establishment in 2011, AOG Rwanda has trained 183 entrepreneurs who created 1500 jobs while their activities impacted over 150,000 people.

It currently runs operations in Kigali City and Bugesera District with plans to expand footprints to all districts across the country.

During the event held in Bugesera district to mark ten-year anniversary, the CEO and co-founder of AOG Rwanda, Jean d’Amour Mutoni said the organization is proud of achieved milestones.

“We are proud of achieved milestones where the idea initiated by 13 individuals start a social enterprise has become a great initiative with sustainable and holistic programs with beneficial to the entire society,” he said.

Mutoni explained that the launch of Bugesera Innovation Hub is of great significance highlighting that it aligns with the organization’s ambitions to have beneficiaries among top magnates in the country by 2030.

“This goal will be achieved through establishment of innovation hubs in all districts to incubate the youth coming to learn how to do business, interact with colleagues, receive advisory services, rent offices at low price, which will subsequently instill self-confidence to make great things,” he said.

Mutoni also urged the youth to keep immersing their knowledge, unleash fear and remain disciplined to maintain excellence.

Aimable Twahirwa, the Director of Cultural Promotion at the Ministry of Youth and Culture commended activities of the organization.

“We have been very excited to see such number of youth initiating the program to create jobs and improve livelihoods. It complements government’s efforts,” he said.

Twahirwa requested the youth to take advantage of opportunities available in the country and distance themselves from drug abuse to strive for a better future.

The Director of Good Governance in Bugesera district, Magella Sebatware emphaiszed that the innovation hub will promote talent development among the youth.

“The hub launched in our district presents new opportunities and complements existing efforts to promote talent and skills development among the youth,” he noted.

Beneficiaries also speak with a voice of satisfaction considering the great support received to implement their projects.

Nina Nyirampeta is a Chili farmer who exports her produce through her company dubbed Ineza Chilli.

She had had no innovative business idea until she received training from AOG which sharpened her entrepreneurial skills.

Following the training in 2019, Nyirampeta developed a vivid business idea which she implemented and has since then provided jobs to 84.

“I graduated from university in 2015 and did not get employed. I submitted my application soon as I learnt that AOG is training startups. I was qualified to join the training dubbed Ingenzi Social Enterprise Program. Before joining, I was aware that we would receive training and seed capital. However, I was worried of possible losses over ineffective management. Fortunately, I was acquainted with all necessary skills within 12 weeks which I capitalized to start a promising business. It has started yielding big that I am among thankful chili exporters,” she said.

Guests joined founders of the organization for a cutting session during the celebration of 10-year anniversary.
The celebration coincided with the launch of Bugesera Innovation Hub.