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Rwandan honoured as young person of the year

Joseph Nkurunziza, a doctor by profession and founder of Never Again Rwanda, was last week honoured as one of the ten 2010 Junior Chambers Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) in the category of contributing to children, world peace and human rights.


In a ceremony held in Osaka, Japan last week, Nkurunziza with fellow winners received their awards. A statement from JCI Rwanda states that Nkurunziza was honoured specifically for his extraordinary work through his organization Health Development Initiative (HDI), which serves to improve health care access and human rights awareness in the country.

“Nkurunziza was instrumental in founding HDI which advocates for proper health care in disadvantaged communities,” the statement reads.

“HDI lobbies local and national government officials and mobilizes support among members from the East African communities to serve the community”.

Fabrice Shema Ngoga, the JCI Rwanda president, said in an interview that Nkurunziza’s award would serve to motivate Rwanda’s youth in contributing to their communities positively in order to improve their livelihoods as well as the livelihoods of their countrymen.

“Many young people sometimes use their energy and wisdom to engage in activities that are neither building them nor the state. However, Nkurunziza, having been recognized internationally, will motivate the youth of this nation to follow in his footsteps,” Shema said.

He also urged the youth to have self esteem and courage and showcase their new innovations in whichever field that they serve.

“All you need is an idea to start up something great. You don’t have to have a lot of money; all that young people need is a heart to serve their society, improve the livelihood of people and promote peace,” he said.

At the event, Fabrice Shema, was also elected as the JCI International Vice President for Africa and the Mid East, in recognition of his services to JCI Rwanda.

JCI honours ten outstanding young people between the ages of 18-40 each year.

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