Initiatives to launch Youth for Christ (YFC) Rwanda began in May 1993 with a group of young adults who started a youth ministry called "ABABONYE YESU" whose mandate was to reach the youth of Rwanda with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their base was in Bilyogo. By then, the salvation message was rare throughout Rwanda. Though passionate about Christ, these change agents were not fully equipped to start nationwide evangelism. They therefore needed a ministry that could equip them to effectively reach out to the youth in Rwanda.
Having consulted with several local and international youth ministries, these young adults decided to submit to the leadership Youth for Christ International. The dramatic change was after the invitation of Mr. Donald Osman, the then Area Director for Youth for Christ Africa to Rwanda from 9th-12th January 1994. On meeting with the leadership team of “ABOBONYE YESU," alongside other church leaders and and Christian organizations, Mr. Donald was satisfied by the group's vision that he strongly recommended YFCI to allow the leaders to start YFC/Rwanda.
The first significant meeting of YFC/Rwanda was held on 19th March 1994 at a Presbyterian Church in Kiyovu. About 60 people attended. Mr. Simon Pierre Mugabo was elected as an interim chairman. Mr. Israel Havugimana was mandated to head a special committee that would review the constitution and the by-laws. Mr. Jean Baptiste Mugarura who had founded the "ABABONYE YESU" was appointed the national coordinator of YFC/Rwanda. Other leaders in the group included Mr. Emmanuel Nkusi, Mrs. Zerda Mukakibibi, Mrs. Thamar Nyirarukundo, Mr. Gahungu Pierre Claver, Miss Beatrice Ingabire and Mr. Habarurema Silas.
The interim arrangement was to end on16th July 1994, but no sooner had it started than the 1994 Rwanda genocide reached its climax and claimed lives of many people, including most of the key people on YFC/Rwanda's leadership team.
Despite the tragedy, the remnants did not give up on their dream. In January 1995, the team met again and recruited new members who were officially recognized on 29th January 1995 with Mr. Emmanuel Nkusi as the board chairman, Bishop Onesphore Rwaje and Mr. Samuel Ndengeye as vice chairmen while Jean Baptiste Mugarura continued as the national coordinator.
In July 1996, Mr. Jean Baptiste Mugarura was appointed as the national director and YFC/Rwanda became a fully chartered member of Youth for Christ International.
For almost 7 years, we were not registered with the government of Rwanda. During that time, we operated under the umbrella of our sister organization (Scripture Union) which legally covered us even when we acquired land for our future development in Kibagabaga in 1997.
We got funds for our land in October 2000 and paid early 2001. We also registrated officially later that year.
Currently, we have an active board, 6 missionary chapters, Kigali Christian Schools and various evangelism activities in Rwanda.