Mission & Vision
In Rwanda, “Komera” means “be strong, have courage.”
Komera develops self-confident young women through education, community development, and sport.
At Komera, we believe women are strong, powerful and full of potential. We use a holistic approach to development composed of three pillars, designed to provide opportunities for women to unleash their potential!
Komera sponsors scholars with full tuition, including room & board, health insurance, and personal & academic materials to study at public boarding schools in Rwanda. Komera provides intensive leadership and social entrepreneurship training during school break periods.
Komera builds a community of support for our scholars. At school, a scholar meets with her Komera mentor and fellow scholars weekly. At home, her parents and family work with the Komera Parent and Guardian Cooperative.
Sport is deeply ingrained in our work at Komera, not only to promote excellence but also to promote female participation and play. Komera implements sport programs at primary and secondary schools for both boys and girls to come together on an equal playing field; learning gender norms and dynamics of power, along with confidence-building and teamwork.
How did we find ourselves down a red dirt road, in a very rural village two hours from the nearest city, in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda?
Komera founder Margaret Butler was working and living in Rwanda in 2007 when she saw first-hand the need for education and leadership programs for young women. Not only were girls missing opportunities for education, but many vulnerable young women had no support system or hope for their future once school was over.
After enrolling the first ten girls in secondary school, we launched a network of holistic support programs that has evolved into what we now know as Komera. Programming for Komera took root in 2013 when we hired a dynamic Rwandan leader in Dativah Bideri Mukamusonera. With her vision and expertise, Komera began to blossom and develop.
Transformative tuition scholarships, school materials, sexual and reproductive health training, mentorship and leadership summits provided girls with everything they needed to have the best chance for a successful future. Shortly after followed the parent and guardian cooperatives, community support programs, post-graduate transition courses and university scholarships to see to fruition our goal of long-term support for the entire community.
Today, Dativah is joined by an incredible staff of Rwandan activists who are leading change in their community and developing the future female leaders of Rwanda.
Komera hires talented Rwandan staff to run all programmatic work on the ground. We are proud to have a team of all fierce female leaders!
The tiny nation of Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa with a population of more than 10 million in an area smaller than the state of Maryland. Rwanda is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 166 out of 187 countries listed in the U.N. Development Program’s Human Development Index.
Beginning in April 1994, the Genocide against the Tutsi took the lives of close to a million people in just 100 days. The genocide destroyed Rwanda’s already fragile economy, further impoverishing the population, and leaving the country desperate. Since 1994, Rwanda has rebuilt and grown at an astonishing rate.
Komera works with the local government in the South Eastern Province of Southern Kayonza, in Rwinkwavu, a very small town about two hours from Kigali. We work closely with the local community who survive mostly on subsistence farming and working at the local hospital.