The light Magazine

Miss Yasipi Casmir’s first days

Written by: George Kalisa
Sunday, April 28th, 2019, 3:10

Rwanda’s youngest little known philanthropist blames the presence of street children on domestic violence, child neglect, heinous history and grinding poverty. 


“As Casmir Foundation, we’re trying to help street children appreciate the need to start living normal lives. We counsel and teach them in order to prepare them psychologically for rehabilitation and reintegration into the Rwandan society,” Miss Yasipi Casmir,18, told The Light Magazine.   


Raising the 21st century juniors with values is the main objective of Miss Yasipi’s project from which it derives its name. Thus, “The 21st Century Juniors with Values” project midwifed this last February by Rwanda’s beauty queen, Yasipi, is engaged in activities that assure the entire Rwandan posterity [the 21st century juniors] a brighter future through encouraging the most vulnerable youth mostly the street children to live normal lives.


However, the financial challenges have so far limited the Foundation’s activities to the City of Kigali and a snail pace progress. But, Miss Yasipi habours dogged conviction and hope that humanitarian organizations will soon get on board to support her noble cause currently exclusively shouldered by herself and her family. 


“Till now I don’t have …so far, I am solely depending on my family for financial support (…) but am soon getting to apply to different NGOs who are getting this as a responsibility to sponsor the six-committee member Foundation,” said Yasipi, the Founder-Director of Casmir Foundation.


The beauty queen said that she has managed to interact with isolated groups of street children, including the largest group whose “home” is located a stone’s throw from Rwanda’s main landfill and dumpsite in the Nduba Sector. 


Explaining more about the street children’s outreach, Yasipi said that the Foundation has so far met 25 full time street kids and 45 part time children [those staying with their parents] but spend more of their daytime on the streets in search of basics like food.  


Every Tuesday the Foundation interacts with them and has already chosen coordinators in a bid to involve the children in fast-tracking the process of demonization and reintegration, stressing that without their participation the Foundation’s efforts will be misplaced.   


“We’ve approached those street kids the Foundation will be working with (…), added Miss Yasipi.


Besides complementing national efforts towards  uplifting the livelihoods of the vulnerable segments of the Rwandan  citizenry, her contribution explains the relevancy of Miss Rwanda platform in the socio-economic transformation of the country, torn into pieces 25 years ago bu the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Not to mention, Miss Yasipi’s first days since she was crowned the First Runner-up have brought a smile and a ray of hope for meaningful life to street children particularly in Kigali during the first phase of implementation of the charity Foundation that will roll out in Rwanda’s 30 districts following anticipated funding from Good Samaritans and stakeholders in children’s cause, especially the underprivileged.


One would say she jumped out of her purported comfort zone that comes with her social place as the First Runner-up in the Miss Rwanda beauty pageant 2019, but to Yasipi addressing children’s plight is a source of genuine gratification and part of her goal to create “positive impact in society through her work”, especially in the uplifting the welfare of women and children. She added that women are generally more vulnerable than men, and lag behind in development.  


Rwanda’s youngest little known philanthropist blames the presence of street children on domestic violence, child neglect, heinous history and grinding poverty. 


The survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi have also been beneficiaries of this charity Foundation’s activities in her first days.


The Hutu Interahamwe militias flogged and brutalized Leone Mukakarangwa who was left for the dead in 1994. She survived with a broken back and several fatal injuries all over her body, a situation that made her survival very difficult over the last 25 years.


Mukakarangwa who has undergone surgery with two more pending, is one of the 1994 genocide survivors whose families were wiped out locally called Intwaza, Miss Yasipi revealed during the interview with this writer.


The Foundation provided her with the basic needs within its means along fixing access to clean water.

“For the last 25 years, Mukakarangwa has survived with the injuries and her back was broken and she struggled to have a surgery,” added the beauty queen.     


Yasipi is grateful to the youths of Kinyinya who joined her to “fix some of the basics within her life and help Mukakarangwa access clean water in her home”


“And we have reconstructed her toilet because it was not that easy for to use a pit latrine with her physical impairment,” she added.   

The Foundation has also carried out youth outreaches as part of a broad programme aimed at mobilizing the young generation to love their country, avoid a repeat of past mistakes and work hard to sustain steady fast economic progress, security and unity.  


Among other activities the youth are encouraged to learn the country’s history by visiting genocide memorial sites.


“We visited the Kigali Memorial at Gisozi before week-long commemorations kicked off so that we could get to understand all about the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi so that we can explain more to the rest (…),” said Yasipi. 

  Miss Yasipi Casmir (extreme left) laying a wreath at Kigali Genocide Memorial where 25,000 victims were buried


Yasipi who is an ardent admirer of the current Secretary General of the Francophone, Louise Mushikiwabo, said that the youth are the custodians of the country, which they will “take over from predecessors and hand it over to future generations” and hence have to safeguard it from threats including revisionism and deniers of the 1994. A short video the Foundation made on the issue has gone viral. 


She said the youth being the majority of social media users have the power to inform the world about genocide and water down the lies and fabrications traded by genocide deniers and revisionists who use social media platforms as main tools.


The assertive, down-to-earth, eloquent slender lady with a chocolate skin complexion is the second born [of four children] to the family of Mr Juvens Kazimire and Jeanette Zaninka who lived in Ubumwe village, Karenge cell, Kibungo Sector of Ngoma District in Southeastern Rwanda before they relocated to Kigali.


Yasipi whose best dish is sweet potatoes and chocolate flavour went to Les Hirondelles Primary School before proceeding to FAWE Girls School and Lycée de Kigali for secondary education.


While in High School, she was a vocal student leader who mobilized fellow learners in various activities including sports, entertainment besides being an active member in Science and Technology Club.


Her fellow students remember her for starting an environment conservation initiative called Green It Technology (GIT) and a students’ saving scheme.


The beauty queen and talented  Poet likes playing Basketball, reading books and adventure. 



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