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Meet the Founders

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"Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make in every life you touch for the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow."

Leon Brown 

Changing the Narrative of Street Children

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Sheer Love Rwanda was founded in December 2017 by Alexis Amani Simbayobewe. Amani is a remarkable young man who lived as a street child for five years after being separated from his family during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Amani was fortunate to be helped by some incredibly kind individuals and the children's center, Center for Champions, who provided him the support, accountability, and assistance to get off the streets and into school. At the age of 18, he started his high school education at Rwamagana Leaders' School. 



Through his hard work and determination, Amani graduated from secondary school at the top of his class and received a scholarship to the Southern New Hampshire University, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in business. After graduating, Amani dreamt of giving back and help other children like himself. In 2017, he founded Sheer Love Rwanda to help his kids realize their dreams too.  

In addition to running SLR, Amani is continuing his education as a social entrepreneur. He enjoys participating in additional training, speaking at conferences, and attending accelertor programs, such as the Watson Institute semester accelerator program. 

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Jimmy was born to a Rwandan family in the neighboring country Uganda. James’ parents fled Rwanda after the first genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1959. Having lost his father at an early age, life was hard. Education being expensive for his single mother who had 9 children to raise on her own, James dropped out of school in grade 9. While in grade 9, James was forced to drop out of school because his single mother could not afford his education for him.

However, at the end of the same year, he was lucky to be awarded a full scholarship as he was one of the best performers. This was the turning point in his life. It gave him the opportunity to perform in the National Exams and joined Cornerstone Leadership Academy Boys-Uganda.

While at Cornerstone Leadership Academy, James was mentored in Leadership, Character development, and Discipleship for two years. There he developed a passion to give back to the community. As the saying goes, “to whom much is given, much is expected”.

After graduating, James moved to Rwanda to join Nyamata High school and later Kepler college for university. It was here at Kepler that James met with Amani. Amani shared with him his initial idea of visiting street kids and sharing Christmas with them. One year later, their outreach gave birth to Sheer Love Rwanda (originally called Rukundo Foundation at that time). Later in 2020, James quit his two jobs as an administrator at Select Safaris East Africa and as an economics teacher at Nyamata High School to fully focus on supporting the SLR children. He became the first full-time volunteer at Sheer Love Rwanda. James continues to fulfill his passion and purpose in serving at Sheer Love Rwanda.

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