The Tujenge Scholars Program (TSP) is the flagship initiative of the Tujenge Africa Foundation. The first of its kind in Burundi, TSP is an eighteen-month intensive preparatory program designed to equip the next generation of Burundian leaders 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 post-secondary "gap year." Scholars are challenged to think critically about the world around them. They are introduced to college-level reading, writing, and math, and 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, execute, and document a year-long public service project. These projects are a practical exercise in leadership, and reflect the bright creativity and potential of these students to effect real change in their communities.
Education is the collective achievement of a community, not just a journey in solitude. Education carries with it a moral imperative to better the lives of that community and others. The overarching mission of the Scholars Program is to incubate 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 of two years after graduating from university.
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 have applied to university programs in the United States, Europe, and across the African continent.
The second cohort commenced in January 2018.