140613_KOMERA-GFR048Rwandan secondary school is split into lower secondary (senior 1, 2, and 3) and upper secondary (senior 4, 5, and 6). Education is free for primary and lower secondary school. However, while approximately 33% of girls attend Lower Secondary School[1], only around 8 % of young women attend Upper Secondary School[2] due to both the expense and societal expectations for girls. As such, we focus on young women in Senior 4-6, funding their tuition and all indirect costs.

After passing her lower secondary exams, a committee of local officials considers a potential Komera scholar’s economic vulnerability. We select the girls who absolutely would not be able to attend secondary school without Komera’s help.


komera mentorsOnce we get a Komera Scholar into school, we want to ensure that she stays there. We train teachers to be Komera mentors at each of the fourteen boarding schools in the Kayonza District that Komera scholars attend. Every week the Komera mentor meets with the Scholars to support them in handling financial, social, and academic problems, as well as provide them with financial and entrepreneurial literacy.

These meetings also give our scholars the chance to learn about sexual and reproductive health, relationships, and gender-based violence in a safe space. They are an essential part of the program and ensuring that our scholars remain happily in school.

Post Secondary Transition Program

QAESl7gFfcnBBZvZ2EPBQwWJ1n2kD0H_w5tDA4x_bu0In Rwanda, secondary-school students do not receive support or practical skill sets to help them transition into the post-secondary world. They are often faced with applying to university, internships, vocational school and starting businesses all on their own.

We know this need exists because we currently have Komera Scholars who are struggling to make the transition from secondary school to post-secondary success. Some students are very strong academically and receive scholarships to attend university. Some students are not as fortunate and are struggling to figure out their next steps. Many of these young women do not have families or mentors to guide them through to the next phase of their lives. We believe that if they receive practical assistance and guidance, they will excel.

In Rwanda, there is a nine-month gap between graduation from high school and the start of the university year. Over the 9-month period our Komera graduates take intensive English classes, Leadership Development classes, Computer classes and business development classes.


Our goal has always been to provide opportunities for our students and open doors. If they work hard and get into University or vocational school, we want to support their dreams! In 2016 we launched our first ever cohort of University scholars. Komera will provide zero interest loans to all of our students who have successfully applied and been accepted to University in Rwanda.

Over the past few years, the Government of Rwanda and many local partners have focused on access for females to secondary school. In the 2015 school year in Upper Secondary, 51% were female and 48% were male[3]. It is important to note however that the Net Enrollment rate for Upper Secondary is still only at 20% of the population of students from age 16-18 and the percentage of girls dropping out before the end of Upper Secondary is nearly double that of boys [3]. Komera is changing this statistic by providing opportunity for University and beyond!


[1] Ministry of Education’s Educational Statistical Yearbook, p 18/Thematic Report on Population p 19

[2] Ministry of Education’s Educational Statistical Yearbook, p 18/Thematic Report on Population p 19

[3] Mineduc 2015 Educational Yearbook. p 56