In May 2019, Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy asked Youthlinc to host a short round table event for a group of visitors from around the world. Among those present was Mutemberezi Pascal from Rwanda. Our Executive Director, Justin, and Pascal immediately connected as Pascal was intrigued by the intentional development aspect of Youthlinc’s programming.
They stayed connected over the next years, and when Dr. Shannon Peterson from Utah State University and Justin were inspired to open relations in Rwanda as part of the Global Community Leadership program, Justin contacted Pascal and asked him if he’d be willing to help Youthlinc set up relationships there for future student groups to visit. Pascal said yes, Dr. Peterson and Justin visited in June 2021 on an exploratory trip. The site visit went so well that not only did Youthlinc send, in partnership w USU, a team in May 2022 to Rwanda, but a Service Year team as well this past June.
Linked here are three articles (1, 2, and 3) written and published by Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy highlighting the relationships they helped foster, which made this amazing, diplomatic partnership emerge.