Following the one year anniversary of the Kigali Reading Center, YaleNews published an article summarizing Parfait Gasana's achievements in founding the reading center. The 2015 alumnus is the assistant director of UMass Boston's Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development. An excerpt of the article can be found below; the full article is available here.
An immigrant from Rwanda, Gasana decided he wanted to create a similar program for Rwandan children and founded the Kigali Reading Center in 2014. Now in its second year, the center serves approximately 100 children every week, with a second center scheduled to open by the end of the year.
Gasana credits the late Alexander and New Haven Reads for his success. After learning English, he graduated from Gateway Community College and earned his BA in political science from the University of Connecticut, with a minor in human rights. Gasana also earned an MA in international relations from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Seeing the impact education had on his life, Gasana decided to return to Rwanda.
“I thought, ‘What can I do to actually contribute to a sustainable Rwanda, where the devastation of the genocide not only destroyed lives but also human capital?’ Two decades after [the genocide], education is now a priority, but in the years following the genocide it was not, as other issues, such as the delivery of justice, were much more pressing,” he explained.