MEET the LEAF Intore Cultural Troupe

David Kwizera - LEAF Intore Cultural Troupe Leader • Odilon Uwambajimana • Emmanuel Niyoyita • Jean Bosco Ngabitsinze • Emmanuel Nshimiyimana • Emmanuel Habineza • Olivier Murigande • Eugene Havugimana • Jackson Uwimana • Augustin Havugiyaremye • Maric Karangwa • Jean Paul Ndayisaba • Gaspard Uwiringiyimana • Fabian Tembasi • Emmanuel Uwitonze • Jean Bosco Gasagure • Patrick Ngirinshuti

Leonard Mutwarasibo- LEAF Intore Cultural Troupe Vice President
Leonard has been the LEAF Drum and Dance mentor since 2006. He is a well respected teacher of traditional music and works in local Rwandan schools and at University. He has traveled all over the world as a performer and teacher in the Rwanda National Ballet.


Emmanuel – ‘David and Ali has said all there is to say, but I have just a few thoughts more that I’d like to add. When we were born, we had parents, but for reasons beyond our control, we had to come to the streets. Thank you Jennifer, who encouraged us to live together. People said that there was no hope for us, and that we could not be disciplined, but now I am the General of Discipline, and we have managed.’

Daniel – elected Assistant Choir Leader. Also assists the LEAF Intore Troupe in vocal instruction • Daniel has extraordinary natural musical talent and passion for traditional Rwandan music. 1 year ago, Leonard introduced Daniel to the inanga – a traditional African stringed instrument. Daniel is a natural at the instrument and his voice soars over the delicate plucking of its strings. He has already begun to write his own songs (which brought a few of us to tears), and performs with the ease and expression of a musician way beyond his years. There are no limits to how far Daniel may fly on his talent, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to become a symbol of hope and musical preservation to Rwanda and the world.

Patrick – elected Leader of Technical Performance. *Helps lead the LEAF Intore Troupe in dance and performance technique, *Sets an example of how to perform on stage: smile, arm placement, routines. • Patrick shines on stage and is a natural dancer. Front and center, Patrick seems years beyond his training in traditional Intore dance. He performs with strength and precision. The audience is in awe of how fast he can do the Intore head roll with his neck!

John Bosco – elected Store Keeper. *Maintains the storage and shape of the drums.

My name is David Kwizera. I was born in 1989, in Gisenyi. I grew up without my parents. I was living with a older woman who I considered was my grand mother. When I was 9 years old I asked her about my Father and she told me that he would come for me. I pressed her for details and she finally told me she found me abandoned in a field. When I was ten thieves invaded our house, took our belongings and killed my grand. Left with no family, I ended up living on the streets in Gisenyi, but life on the street was tough. I ended up in Kigali where the situation was not much better. I was lucky to meet Jennifer Pickering with LEAF International who’ve helped me get schooling and accommodation.

My name is Olivier Murigande and I’am 20 years old. My Mother’s name was Beatrice Niragire and my Father’s name was Celestin Havugabandi. Both of my parents were killed during the 1994 genocide. My sister and I fled to Uganda. When we got there my sister became a prostitute. Five months after the end of the war, I returned to Rwanda to find our home was just a wreck. I went to live with my aunt but after a while she died of AIDS. Having no one else to rely on, I went to live on the street. Presently, I thank LEAF international which rescued me from the street.

My name is Patrice Usengimana. My father's name was Cyprien Bakomez, my mother's name was Immaculée Mukaburanga. During the 1994 war in Rwanda, my parents and I fled to the Congo. When we arrived in Goma, I was taken from both of my parents. Given that I was very young, I just followed other people. For a short time a kind person took me, unfortunately after a short period he passed away. I had no one to turn to so I ended up living on the streets.

My name is Patrick Mbonyinshuti. I was born in 1992 in the province of Kigali City. My father's name was Dominique Gasasira. My mother's name was Pascasie Mukandahiro. Both my parents died. I was born with 4 siblings. I am the third child. After the death of my parents, my family did not do anything to help me, things were tough and that is how I ended up living on the street. Thus, I stopped my studies. At that time I was in 9th grade (accounting section).

My name is Emmanuel Nshimiyimana. I was born in 1988 in the province of Kigali City. My father's name is Emmanuel Safari, my mother's name was Venantia Nyiraneza. I have one other sibling. Right after the death of my mother I separated from my father and my family did nothing to help me. Poverty and hunger are the reasons that I ended up living on the street. I am thankful for LEAF International, my family that rescued me from the street.

My name is Daniel Ngarukiye. I was born in January 1, 1987. My father's name was Antoine Ndatsikira, my mother's name was Theodosie Uzamukunda. When I was 15 years old, my father died in a car accident. I stayed with my mom who was sick. Understandably life was not easy. My extended family perished in the 1994 war, so I had no other choice but to live on the street. I am grateful to LEAF international and Jennifer who rescued me from the street.

In Memory

REMEMBERING and HONORING one of the LEAF Brothers who was shot to death in September 2009:

Hamza Jeanpaul

Jeanpaul is pictured in the middle

Jeanpaul’s death brought into light the boys extremely vulnerable situation. The open sky parking lot where they had been sleeping on cardboard boxes for years was no longer a safe haven. "Police patrolling happens every night so the children were in constant fear," says Volunteer Coordinator Celestin. Since Jeanpaul's untimely death, the boys have received temporary housing through a generous donation from the Worrell Family.

LEAF Intore Football Team, Watch out!

These street kids are stepping out into the community through the music & dance and NOW also the LEAF INTORE FOOTBALL TEAM!! At the beginning of 2010 they won a football tournament in Kigali!!

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