Through its diverse portfolio of initiatives, Tujenge Africa Foundation strives to create thriving educational centers of thought and inspiration to transform post-conflict youth into innovators, leaders, entrepreneurs, and peace agents in their communities.
We seek to create empathetic institutions that truly understand the plight of impoverished people, as well as anyone who might experience discrimination or marginalization based on ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religion or creed, and area of residence.
The Tujenge Scholars Program (TSP) is the flagship initiative of the Tujenge Africa Foundation. The first of its kind in Burundi, TSP is a one-year intensive preparatory program designed to empower the next generation of leaders in Burundi with the connections and skills that they will need to move the country forward. In teaching fundamentals like English and Math, focusing on leadership development, and offering individualized counseling, TSP has become an essential launching point for incredible change-makers in East Africa.
TSP commits to one high-achieving, low-income cohort of exceptional Burundian young adults each year, for a 12-month-long post-secondary gap year. During the year that students spend at TSP, they are challenged to think critically about the world around them. They are introduced to college-level reading, writing and math. They are charged with simultaneously becoming local and global citizens. Classes are taught exclusively in English, in recognition of the importance of the language in the East African Community economic bloc.
Beyond classes, scholars select, plan, complete and document a year-long community service project. These projects are a hands-on exercise in real-life leadership, and reflect the bright creativity and potential of these students to effect real change in their communities.
The Tujenge Africa Foundation believes that education is not just an end to be attained by an individual, but rather the collective achievement of a large group of people who have supported each scholar along the way. We believe that education carries with it a moral obligation to better the lives of others, and the overarching mission for the Scholars Program is to empower the next generation of ethical Burundian leaders who are closely linked to the region and the broader business and political world. As such, each Tujenge Scholar is contractually required to return to Burundi and work for a minimum two years, after graduation from university studies.
TSP’s inaugural class started in March 2017, and already has seen remarkable successes. Five students have matriculated at universities in France, Rwanda and Russia. Other students from this class will apply to university programs in the U.S., Europe, and across the African continent. Regardless of where they go to study, all TSP scholars have committed to spending a minimum of two years in Burundi following their education.