Jessica Markowitz was awarded the 2009 Youth Award for her work with young women in Rwanda. In 2015, she received the Alumni Award at the inaugural Alumni Honors event in Beverly Hills, CA.
A tireless advocate for global education and a spokesperson for social justice, Jessica founded Abari B’Inyamata when she was 11 to support educational opportunities for girls who had survived the genocide of 1994 in the rural area of Nyamata, Rwanda. Her organization supports educational costs such as school fees, supplies, shoes, insurance and lunch. World of Children’s funding ensured that Rwandan girls who survived the genocide could complete their education. Jessica will use the funds from this new Award to fund the continuing higher education for these same girls, providing them with the knowledge they need to change their communities, country and the world.
Every time she goes there, Jessica Markowitz is deeply affected by the tales of genocide she hears from children in the communities of Rwanda. Jessica takes very seriously the need to give back and has spent countless hours working to establish her organization Abari B’Inyamata to ensure Rwandan girls receive the education they deserve in a safe and nurturing environment.
Her trips have allowed her to get to know the girls better and assess their needs. She recently designed a tool kit for girls who are interested in starting their own chapter of Abari B’Inyamata in their own communities in the US so that more children in Rwanda can be served. Jessica’s leadership is empowering other students to take on key roles in supporting and growing Abari B’Inyamata, while also allowing her to grow and serve as a kind and passionate role model.
In the Spring of 2014, Jessica joined our Co-Founders, Harry and Kay, on a trip to Rwanda for the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, and to visit Abari B’Inyamata and another group of children in rural Rwanda. Read about the trip »
Abari B’Inyamata was founded by Jessica after listening to Richard Kananga, a representative from the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission in Rwanda, talk about his experiences during the genocide. Richard was a guest in the Markowitz’ home. In this audio clip, listen to Jessica reflect with her mother about the impact Richard’s visit had on her and her choice to be a changemaker.