Yves Theoneste Muridangabo, a former student in the Agrostudies internship program is a great example of determination leading to results and creating a ripple effect that touches and improves the lives of many.
Born in Rwanda, Theoneste began studying agronomy and then came to Israel to participate in the 11 month Agrostudies internship. His time in Israel exposed him to new technologies, growing methods and business practices and made a deep impression on him. Not one to waste time, he quickly put his newfound skills and knowledge to practice.
After completing his bachelor’s degree he began working with different farmers and advising them on better growing methods based on the knowledge he acquired in Israel.
He took the initiative and established a cooperative called HADASICO (Hadash agro-promoters for self employment and innovation) of which he is President, along with 15 other students who are all graduates of the Agrostudies internship program. The cooperative members pulled together their mental and physical resources, and received funding from the RGB (Rwanda Government Board) to establish a greenhouse in which they grow vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbages, peppers and more. In addition, they take interns from local universities and villages and pass their knowledge and experience in technological agriculture forward.
They have been so successful in this endeavor that they are able to grow enough to sell in local markets and supermarkets, creating a viable and sustainable business model.
I asked Yves how he is able to do so many wonderful things and he said “My key point is to be creative and that I can’t fail if I try all I can. Another key is to work hard and to keep looking for knowledge anywhere I can get it“.
Yves Theoneste has expressed his thankfulness for the skills and knowledge he acquired in Israel through Agrostudies and his continued wish to share these with the people of his country. He is now doing everything in his power to return to Israel and receive a scholarship to continue his studies as he wants to attain a Masters in Agriculture that will provide him with vital experience and knowledge in horticulture, pathology, irrigation and most importantly in agricultural export, which is critical to the economic growth of Rwanda.
In the meantime he is not wasting time and has already been gaining some experience by working for a French beans export company in Rwanda (Proxifresh Rwanda Ltd), although he still hopes to find sponsors who will help him make his dream come true. Through his many endeavors he is able to touch the lives of many and inspire his fellow countrymen with his knowledge and his endless creative energy, knowing with full confidence that this is only the beginning.
Here are a few more pictures from his endeavors: