Bosco's Dream: disability rights in Rwanda

Bosco’s Dream: disability rights in Rwanda

Jean Bosco Uwikirebera impressed me when I first met him – smart, thoughtful and enthusiastic. It was Rwanda in 2014 at the social work department of the University of Rwanda where he was finishing his undergraduate degree in social work and serving as President of the Association of Students with Disabilities. I am  Susan McGrath, a professor and researcher at York University in Toronto.

Bosco worked for a couple of months that year as a research assistant on our project studying values and practices of social work in post-genocide Rwanda. He epitomized the Rwandan value of Umuganda, the culture of helping each other. In 2016, he was elected by the committee of persons with disabilities to be the volunteer commissioner in charge of Social Affairs at the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, Northern Province of Rwanda. In 2017-18, he worked part time on a project developing national indicators on disability inclusion led by Penny Parnes of the University of Toronto. Penny describes Bosco as “exceptional … smart, motivated, and a great colleague. He will make significant contributions in Rwanda.” 

Bosco’s passion is Social Work and Human Rights.  His goal is to complete his graduate studies so that he can secure a full time job in the field of disabilities. In 2016-17, he completed the first year of his MA with a scholarship at Gothenburg University in Sweden; the plan was for him to do the second year in the proposed MSW program at the University of Rwanda. But the university failed to launch the graduate program so Bosco has been left stranded unable to complete his degree.

This fundraising is to help pay for the cost of his final year of graduate school back in Sweden: fees, accommodation for 10 months, and transportation. He has been offered a position in the program of Social Work and Human Rights at Gothenburg. He applied for a scholarship again but there were 22,000 applicants and only 300 granted; he did not receive one this time. The cost of the Swedish program is $37,450 Cdn. that includes fees ($23,450) and living expenses ($1400 per month for 10 months). The first instalment of fees of $6000 is due May 31. Bosco lives in one of the poorest countries of the world. He cannot do this alone – his family and friends have been able to raise $1500 which can cover his flight.

With a completed MA degree, Bosco will be able to get a professional social work position to provide the leadership that the field of disability rights in Rwanda urgently needs. He wants to help implement the proposed National Policy on Disability and Inclusion in Rwanda.

YOU can help Bosco and disability rights in Rwanda!

1) GIVE whatever you can. No donation is too small.
2) SHARE on social media (#Bosco’sDream).
3) EMAIL this page - - to your family + friends.
  • Carole Gilbert 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 29 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
  • Cathy Cameron 
    • $150 
    • 30 mos
  • Stephanie Baker Collins 
    • $225 
    • 30 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Bosco's Team (2)

Susan McGrath 
North York, ON
Penny Parnes 
Team member
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