The heartbeat of the YEGO Rwanda Foundation is friendship in shared love and compassion for those who are suffering the after effects of the 1994 Genocide. Founded by a husband and wife along with three of their close friends, there was a strong sense of community and love from the start. This love flows out to the staff, creating a sense of kinship and mutual affection in everyone. It extends into all of YEGO’s activities, touching the beneficiaries’ lives and becoming a tangible expression of the love of God. Below are the members of the YEGO Rwanda family.
Emmanuel and Athanasie Gatera
The visionaries who first dreamed of assisting orphans and vulnerable youths, Emmanuel and Athanasie were the first to work towards establishing the YEGO Rwanda Foundation. They gathered other likeminded friends, used their experience in ministry and working with NGOs, and began turning their dream into a reality. Emmanuel is the former Provincial Secretary for the Anglican Church in Rwanda and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Trauma Counselling in Canada. He is also YEGO’s National Director. Athanasie works for YEGO and another Rwandan NGO. She is also Vice Chairman in the local government and serves as YEGO’s President and Chief Legal Representative.
Charlotte’s compassionate spirit and love for orphans and vulnerable youth is spurred on by her own experiences. A survivor of the 1994 Genocide, she has taken several orphans into her own family and continues to provide support to widows, youths, and other orphans. When the Gateras approached her with their vision, she gladly joined them as one of YEGO’s five founders. Charlotte is also an excellent accountant with work experience in other Rwandan NGOs. She serves as YEGO’s treasurer and sits on the Board of Directors. While managing the YEGO accounts, she also takes time to visit the beneficiaries and hear their stories. Her quiet generosity, vocational competence, and strategic insights provide priceless assets to the Foundation.
Celestin and Genevieve Buhuru
Celestin and Genevieve Buhuru are also treasured members of the YEGO family. Celestin is one of Rwanda’s only licensed lawyers, works on a team of international attorneys, and has served on the International Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania. He is YEGO’s Vice President and has been an invaluable source of legal advice. Genevieve is a survivor of the Rwanda Genocide and is a nurse at a local hospital. They are also founders of YEGO and serve on its Board of Directors.
Ben Andrews is an American who loves people, is devoted to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and is passionate about trauma counselling and healing. He came to Rwanda soon after finishing his undergraduate studies in order to learn about their experiences, explore the possibilities of counselling and trauma healing, and to connect with other cultures and the global Body of Christ. He was an integral part of the strategic planning and building YEGO’s foundations as it was just beginning. He is currently pursuing his graduate education and volunteers with YEGO Rwanda in various capacities as his time permits.
Ashley is a volunteer from Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about dance, drama and arts, and works as a counsellor. She also has experience as an event planner for consciousness communities. Her passion for people, event planning, therapy, and spirituality came together when she joined YEGO Rwanda, where she used her artistic talents and therapeutic skills to help bring healing to traumatized Rwandans. An immediate favourite of the staff, local Rwandans, and beneficiaries, her time in Rwanda made her a part of the YEGO family immediately. Ashley helped YEGO to develop its infrastructure, and she continues to help YEGO by working to raise awareness and funds in Canada.