In 2007, ASEF Founder and President Erik Schmollinger first came to Rwanda as a tourist. He was immediately struck by the good nature of the Rwandese people. He was traveling throughout East Africa and to hear him tell it, “It was like a breath of fresh air” when he crossed into Rwanda.
There was something tangibly different. Given the troubled past, Erik could not believe that these were the same people that had suffered so greatly just over a decade before. The joy and incredible spirit of Rwandans inspired him to want to share in the healing and the light present here in Rwanda. He extended his stay and spent a few weeks volunteering in an orphanage in Musanze. During this time he met numerous children who were in desperate need of help.
He decided if he could help a few children go to school, he could somehow join in creating a brighter future for all of Rwanda. That first year he sponsored 3 students to go to secondary school. He came back the next year and added 5 more students. He has expanded every year since then to sponsor more and more students. This year, ASEF is providing tuition and supplies to over 1,150 students in Rwanda.