Death & Rebirth: Genocide & Human Rights in Rwanda

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Program Description

Previous coursework in genocide studies, human rights, and history of sub-Saharan Africa is helpful but not required. The program is designed to give optimal access to Rwanda’s history and people. It is an intensive program geared for highly motivated students.

Through a combination of workshops, site visits, advocacy meetings, and volunteer service with grassroots NGOs, students will learn and act on key human rights issues in Rwanda that may include: gender and human rights, human rights of children, LGBT populations, historically marginalized indigenous groups (i.e. Ba’Twa), refugees, poverty reduction, and public health. They will participate in seminar discussions and work collaboratively to identify concrete action steps to support current and future efforts for human rights protection and promotion. Students will then travel to Rwanda where they will join with Rwandan peers in a three week intensive Global Youth Connect program to learn about human rights achievements and challenges in Rwanda.

During the first part of the program, students will participate in a 5-week online introduction to the history, culture and politics of Rwanda and, to a lesser extent, the Great Lakes region. Topics to be addressed include: a) the roots of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, b) the role its legacy has played within Rwanda and the region, c) “good” governance and the Rwanda Patriotic Front, and d) how the country is attempting to rebuild today. This experiential learning program and study visit brings together American and European students and Rwandan peers in a unique hybrid learning environment to study the 1994 genocide, reconstruction, and human rights achievements and challenges in Rwanda.

Sample Itinerary (subject to change)

Day 1: Departure from port of origin
Day 2: Arrival in Kigali and transfer to St. Paul's Hostel
Day 3: Orientation and City Tour
Day 4: Human Rights Exploration - full day seminar
Day 5: Human Rights and human Development - morning seminar and afternoon site visit to youth organization
Day 6: Human Rights Protection: The Law and the Media - morning seminar on legal issues and activism and afternoon site visit to media and legal aid organizations
Day 7: Genocide: History, Memorializing and Prevention I - morning seminar and afternoon site visit to Kigali Memorial Center
Day 8: Genocide: History, Memorializing and Prevention II - morning debriefing session, seminar and afternoon site visit
Day 9: Human Rights, Community Service, Natural Disasters - morning departure to Kabuga Village and volunteer service project, afternoon panel discussion
Day 10: Human Rights in the Refugee Context - workshop with refugee youth at Kiziba Camp
Day 11: International Diplomacy and International Aid - morning seminar and afternoon site visits
Day 12, 13: Weekend homestay with Rwandan family
Day 14, 15, 16, 17: Youth and Civil Society - volunteer service projects with grassroots NGOs (past projects have included working on healthcare accessibility, HIV/AIDS education and service projects, after school programming, domestic violence, and legal aid)
Day 18: Optional activity (not included in program fee) - Akagera National Park, Butare Town visit, Muzane District (mountain gorilla or yellow monkey tracking, hiking)
Day 19: Human Rights from the Refugee Perspective - morning visit to Gihembe Refugee Camp and afternoon meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Camp Youth Council
Day 20: Human Rights from the National Government Perspective - morning debriefing and afternoon site visits to government ministries
Day 21: Human Rights: Sharing, Celebrating, Planning - morning debriefing and closing celebration
Day 22: Departure


Explore the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, Consult with leaders of national and international NGOs, Experience a weekend homestay with Rwandan family, Collaborate with Rwandan students on a service-learning project.

What`s Included

Tuition covering 4 university credits and official transcript, housing, approximately half of all lunches and dinners, in-country transportation, museum entrances and fees.


African Studies, Development Studies, International Relations, Political Science/Politics

Program Locations

Kigali, Rwanda

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Program Details

Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts
  • Rwanda: Kigali
School Term:
American, European, WorldWide
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