Youth First Rwanda


Rwanda has made remarkable social, economic and political progress since the 1994 genocide, gaining a well-deserved reputation for a growing middle class and for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.

However, significant challenges continue to adversely impact the health, wellbeing and education of its population, particularly youth.

Over half of the Rwandan population lives below the international poverty line, and while primary education rates have improved, less than half of students transition to secondary school. A compilation of factors, including gender based violence, rising rates of teenage pregnancy, drug use, and suicide, impact the day to day life of millions of youth.

Investing in the Inner Health and Wellbeing of Rwandan Youth

Youth First Rwanda is a school-based integrated resilience and adolescent health program designed to build the skills of inner wellbeing and improve education-related outcomes among lower secondary school (S-1) students (ages 13-15).

Youth First students build skills that prevent mental health challenges and promote mental wellbeing and resilience, such as identifying inner strengths, building emotion regulation skills, learning effective communication strategies, and setting and working towards personally meaningful goals.

Through Youth First, Rwandan youth build the skills necessary to shape not only their own futures, but collaborate with their broader communities to ignite positive social change.

"I have learned how to fight against violence. Not only for others but also for me."

Preparing to Scale

Launched in  2021, Youth First is currently being implemented among 7,000 youth in 55 schools across Rwanda. A formal mixed methods evaluation of the program is also being completed.

Over the course of 2023-24, WorldBeing will be working closely with the Rwanda Basic Education Board | RBEB, the Rwanda Ministry of Education, and our local partner, The Wellspring Foundation for Education on an extensive scale-up plan for nationwide rollout.

In 2023, 6,987 students in 55 schools received the Youth First program in Rwanda. The program was facilitated by 209 trained teachers. A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was conducted on the program and a follow-up study is currently underway.

Program Results

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