YouthConnekt Champions and Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers (CYRWA) awards, was initiated in 2007, by the First Lady of Rwanda, Mrs Jeannette Kagame, as part of the Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Programme (YEMP) aimed at empowering, educating and engaging the youth towards greater prosperity.

YouthConnekt Champions and Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers awards (YCC & CYRWA), specifically,is a bi-annual award given to exemplary young Rwandans for their achievements and commitment to developing Rwanda.

During the awards ceremony, accomplished and dedicated individuals from all over the world share their insights and achievements with the awardees and the youth in attendance to encourage them to continue their journey of excellence.

To-date, 48 individuals, organisations and enterprises have been awarded under YouthConnekt Champions & CYRWA Awards. Candidates are chosen through a public nomination process and an Imbuto Foundation panel makes the final selection. This year, YouthConnekt Champions & CYRWA Awards celebrates the 7th edition of the awards.Those awarded have forged paths of leadership for all Rwandan youth to follow.

YouthConnekt Champions & CYRWA Awards are implemented and organised by Imbuto Foundation, through its Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

When selecting YouthConnekt Champions & CYRWA Awards candidates from submitted nominations the following criteria is considered:

For Institutions, Organisations and Enterprises:
- Must be a Rwandan organization/enterprise registered in Rwanda and/or abroad
- If operating abroad, must be tailored towards directly impacting Rwandan youth
- Its policy/mission must intentionally target the Rwandan youth.
- Must demonstrate impact for achievements in one of the following areas: (Skills Development, Entrepreneurship, Access to Finances, and Labour Market Information).
- Must receive multiple nominations from different individuals and/or organisations.
- Has spent significant time empowering the youth.
- Has empowered and/or impacted a large number of youth.
- Has invested ample resources to youth.
For Individuals:
- Must be an individual, a man or woman aged between 18-35 years.
- Must be of Rwandan nationality, living in Rwanda or abroad.
- Must demonstrate vision, excellence, creativity, initiative, integrity and values in his/her field or profession.
- Must demonstrate impact for achievements in one of the following areas: (applied and social sciences, entrepreneurship, athletics, social work, art, education, and health).
- Must show evidence of having provided service to improve the quality of life of others in the community.
- Must manifest devotion towards the development of Rwanda.
- Must consistently display leadership qualities.
- Must inspire and motivate other youth to reach their full leadership potential.
- Must show how he/she has overcome personal or societal barriers to achieve his/her goals.

Rwandans living abroad/outside of Rwanda can be nominated as long as they meet the criteria listed above.

The YouthConnekt Champions & CYRWA Awards programme is designed to empower young Rwandans by inspiring them to continue their outstanding work in their respective fields, and secondly, encourage them to motivate other youth in their communities towards excellence.

Groups of people, unless they constitute an institution, organisation or an enterprise, cannot be nominated.

In the case of institutions, organisations or enterprises, please refer to the list of criteria above.

Yes you can nominate yourself. Please read the list of criteria for individual candidates above, to ensure that you meet them.

During the awarding Ceremony, Her Excellency Mrs Jeannette Kagame,First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda along with the Leadership of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, award winners with symbolic trophies. Winners are also provided mentorship and advisory services through both Imbuto Foundation and the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

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