Who we are
The Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology (GGAST), is an upper secondary boarding school for 270 girls located in the Gashora Sector of Rwanda in the eastern province of Rwanda. Opened and operated by the non-profit organization, Rwanda Girls Initiative, the school opened in February 2011 with the first class of 90 students.
Though the school’s focus is on science and technology, GGAST addresses the needs of the “whole girl” by providing a supportive and healthy environment with optimal conditions to ensure each girl's success. In this spirit, GGAST has partnered with various volunteer teachers and organizations to expand the curriculum and opportunities for the girls.
One such partnership is with California artist Lisa Rico who headed up a campaign to bring an art elective to the school shortly after it opened. “There is healing power in art,” said Lisa, adding that drawing and painting provides an opportunity to expand the girls' creative voice. “Everyone needs a creative outlet, especially teenage girls, and definitely those from Rwanda,” Lisa said.
Thus was born the Gashora Art Project.
Enough money was raised through donations to purchase art supplies for all 90 girls. Lisa and her friend and colleague Shawn Lum, volunteered to deliver the supplies and teach the first session of art classes.
Last year Lisa and Emelyn Rico traveled back to Rwanda to bring art supplies and lessons to the girls. The journey continues when Lisa leaves this year on April 19.
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For more information on Rwanda Girls Initiative, please visit their website at www.rwandagirlsinitiative.org