In 2008, Komera Project founder and former primary school teacher Margaret Butler spent a year living in a remote village in Rwanda. She explored the countryside during her daily runs, and occasionally, a local girl would join Margaret only to stop once she realized her behavior wasn’t socially acceptable. Margaret also noticed that the few girls who made it through elementary school were expected to stay at home to tend to household duties and did not have the opportunity to attend secondary school. These few brave girls inspired Margaret to host a girls-only “fun run” to promote the rights and education of Rwandan girls. As the intrepid girls took off, shouts of “Komera!”, which means “be strong and courageous” in the local dialect, could be heard from the crowd. We worked with Partners In Health/IMB, the local government and schools and 10 girls were selected to be the first set of Komera scholars.
Thanks to Komera Project supporters and our implementing partner, Partners In Health, we now support the secondary education of 75 girls and have launched a comprehensive leadership incubator! Each girl receives a comprehensive scholarship package that includes tuition for boarding school, health insurance, as well as the personal and educational supplies needed to successfully achieve their academic goals. In addition to her schooling, each Komera scholar enters into a three year intensive program that provides her with additional services such as mentorship, leadership training, and social entrepreneurship training.