Our Story

Our Core Belief

We believe access to education is the fundamental right for all -- not just a privilege for those who can afford it.


Gashora Girls Academy

Our all-girls secondary boarding school, the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology, was founded to enable Rwanda’s young women to reach their full potential, becoming the future scientists, entrepreneurs, advocates, and thought leaders that the world needs. These young women will bring insights and solutions to the biggest global challenges we face. 

The Gashora Girls are the most engaged and intellectually curious young women in Rwanda, and we’re fostering a culture that encourages them to boldly seek answers to some of the world’s biggest challenges and spark positive change in their communities. Their brilliant minds will lead Rwanda (and the world!) into a brighter, more equitable future.

The students at Gashora Girls Academy have diverse backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs. They represent every geographic region of Rwanda and every socioeconomic status. The community values respect for all experiences and perspectives. Because of this, they are better equipped to lead with empathy, understanding, and compassion. We’re fostering a generation of leaders who not only know how to think critically but also have a rich appreciation for the ongoing success of their country.


Our Mission

To educate and empower girls of Rwanda to reach their highest potential.


Our Vision

To create a world where all children, regardless of country of origin, will be socially, emotionally and intellectually prepared to succeed in school, life and in their community.

When I came to Gashora, I realized anything was possible. I spent my whole life with people who told me I couldn't change anything and my dreams were too big. After becoming involved in projects and running a successful business, I realized I CAN DO ANYTHING.

— Christine, Gashora Girls Academy Class of 2016, Duke University Class of 2021


 Our History

The Rwanda Girls Initiative was founded in 2008 by Shalisan "Shal" Foster and Suzanne "Soozi" Sinegal McGill, with the vision of providing access to high-quality education for children, no matter where they were born. 

On a fact-finding trip to Africa, Shal and Soozi were struck by the obstacles that stood between young students and their education. Shal says, “We met so many girls who desperately wanted to continue their schooling, but their opportunities were very limited. Many of the girls who did continue to secondary school were burdened by household chores and safety concerns, so they tended to drop out at a higher rate than the boys.” 

While studying the relationship between education and economic development, Shal and Soozi became increasingly confident in the critical role of education in breaking the cycle of poverty. Soozi says, “There are mountains of irrefutable evidence that educating girls is the most powerful tool we have to solve some of the most challenging problems we face globally.” After months of listening and research, Shal and Soozi formed Rwanda Girls Initiative in order to establish an all-girls boarding school, which would become the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology.

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Why Rwanda?

In 1994, Rwanda suffered one of the greatest human atrocities in history: the genocide that took the lives of nearly 1,000,000 men, women, and children in 100 days. Immediately following the tragic genocide, Rwanda’s population was 70% female. The country’s leadership recognized that the future of the nation was dependent on women’s participation in the country’s development and creating true gender equity. 

Soozi recalls, “After our first visit, we were convinced Rwanda was the ideal location for the school. It is a beautiful country, brimming with massive potential and hope.” Our school was founded to support, educate, and inspire the brightest young minds in Rwanda so that they can build a brighter future for their country and the world.


Gashora Girls hold the key to unlocking solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems.