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Country background

Located in central and east Africa, Rwanda is one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. The population is young and predominantly rural. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture and mineral and agro-processing.

The hundred-day long Rwandan genocide in 1994 had an enormous and long-lasting impact on the country, and the numbers estimated to have been killed range between 500,000 and 1,000,000. This means that up to 20% of the entire Rwandan population were killed over a very short, three-month period of time. The repercussions of this seismic event are still felt today.


• 13 million people, with 42% younger than 15

• Life expectancy: 60

•Poverty headcount ratio: 44.9% (2010)

• HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 2.8%

• Government education expenditure as a % of GDP: 5% 

• Literacy: 71% of people aged 15 and older can read and write

Our Rwandan partner


Educate! tackles youth employment through implementing a skills-based curriculum across schools in Africa. Through reforming what schools teach and methods of teaching Educate! support students in developing the essential skills needed to start their own businesses and find jobs. In 2019, Lessons for Life are contributing to the funding of Educate!’s Rwanda programme which will continue to implement this new educational model.


Uyisenga N'Manzi is a child-focused organisation established post-genocide to support orphaned and homeless children to obtain an education. They do this by providing social services, education and income-generating opportunities. We started working with UNM in 2012, and our work continues to this day. In 2019, Lessons for Life are funding UNM to directly support students across all education levels through provision of school fees, materials and counselling sessions.