Meet Our Team

A non-profit organization designed to foster Rwanda's sustainable development initiatives through practical learning and action.

Canada Team

Lama Mugabo


Lama Mugabo is a Community Planner who uses storytelling as a powerful planning tool. He holds a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and an MA in Planning from the University of British Columbia (UBC). In 2005, Mugabo co-founded BBR – Building Bridges with Rwanda, a non-profit organization focused on fostering collaboration between international volunteers and Rwandan counterparts dedicated to rebuilding their society. Returning to Rwanda in 2008, Lama played a pivotal role in various initiatives, including creating educational opportunities for Rwandan students, supporting a cooperative of weavers to enhance their market presence in Canada, and facilitating international support for Rwanda's sustainable development initiatives. Back in Canada in 2016, Lama shares knowledge by teaching courses in the Continuing Studies Department at Simon Fraser University's Liberal Arts 55+. These courses cover Rwanda's sustainable development model and shed light on the hidden history of Hogan's Alley, Vancouver's Black neighborhood displaced by urban renewal policies in 1972. Additionally, as the Baraza Podcast Host, Lama engages in weekly conversations with change agents, delving into topics related to community development, nutrition, and wellness, further contributing to the dissemination of valuable insights and knowledge.

Cedric Habiyaremye

Vice Chair

Cedric joined BBR in 2010 when he was pursuing his undergraduate studies in Agricultural Sciences in Rwanda, serving as Technical Assistant and Program Coordinator on various BBR’s community development projects, and stakeholders’ engagement programs. Cedric is the visionary behind BBR’s famous Kitchen Garden Project, a project that aims to fight against hunger and malnutrition by equipping the community with gardens that allow them to access fruits and vegetables all year round. His passion and a love for agriculture and food security and his association with BBR earned him the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at Washington State University, where he received MS and Ph.D. degrees in Agronomy and crop science. Currently, Cedric serves as a Special Assistant to the CEO at Food Systems for the Future, a nutrition-impact investment fund. In this role, he supports the CEO in developing and executing strategic initiatives, conducting research and analysis to inform decision-making, managing special projects, and liaising with stakeholders. Previously he served as a Research Associate at Washington State University, where he led the Global Participatory Quinoa Research Program.

Jeanne Ingabire

Secretary, BBR Goodwill Ambassador

Jeanne Ingabire has played a pivotal role as a valuable board member of BBR, holding the positions of Secretary and Goodwill Ambassador since July 2022. Based in Ottawa, Canada, her network in Nairobi, Kenya, enables BBR to forge connections with like-minded organizations and potential partners in both Canada and the East African Economic Community. Bringing a wealth of experience in healthcare and public service, Jeanne currently serves as a Briefing Officer within the Indigenous and Intergovernmental Affairs Directorate at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Prior to her dedicated public service career, she worked at the Ottawa Hospital, where she served as a Sleep Technologist, conducting EEGs at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. With a Diploma in Medical Electro neurophysiology Techniques, she possesses a strong foundation in medical sciences. Beyond her healthcare roles, Jeanne has actively contributed to the African Perspective Magazine (TAP Magazine) in Ottawa, Canada. There, she not only expanded her knowledge but also promoted African stories by Africans. Her passion for healthcare, particularly maternal and children's health, extends into her spare time, where she dedicates herself to family adventures, indulges in movies and reading, and volunteers at children's hospitals. Jeanne's diverse interests and commitment to community well-being make her an asset to both BBR and her professional pursuits.

Steven Kega

Treasurer, Strategic Development Advisor

Steven joined Building Bridges with Rwanda while pursuing his studies in agricultural sciences at the Institute ISAE in Rwanda. Originally enlisted to support BBR's food security initiative in Gashora, Rwanda, he rapidly ascended the ranks, eventually taking on the role of Stakeholders' Engagement Coordinator. In this capacity, Steven provided essential support to foreign volunteers and their Rwandan counterparts involved in community development projects. Leveraging his agricultural expertise and unwavering commitment to Rwanda's sustainable development goals, Steven emerged as a key contributor to the execution of BBR's Gashora Integrated Community Development Project. This project focused on enhancing food security, nutrition, and overall wellness in the community. Steven's affiliation with BBR also paved the way for further educational pursuits at Thompson River University, where he earned an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences. Currently, Steven Kega serves as a civil servant with AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) in the Government of Canada, holding the position of Physical Scientist - Geoinformatics.

Rwanda Team

Maurice Kwizerimana

Country Director

Maurice Kwizerimana holds the role of Country Director at Building Bridges with Rwanda, concurrently serving as the Youth Champion and Peace Ambassador in Rwanda. His journey in community service commenced during his high school and university years when he actively participated as a member of AERG – the association of genocide survivors' student association. In 2013, Maurice joined the AEGIS Trust/Kigali Genocide Memorial team through the One Million Voices Project, marking the beginning of his impactful contributions. By 2015, he took on the position of Youth Officer at the AEGIS Trust/Kigali Memorial Centre, collaborating closely with over five hundred youth champions and peace ambassadors across Rwanda. Progressing in his career, Maurice became the Engagement Officer in 2016, establishing connections with more than forty thousand visitors to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. In 2015, Maurice founded GIRA UBUMUNTU, a community-based organization dedicated to supporting unhoused children in their journey towards family reintegration. GIRA Ubumuntu extends its services to teen mothers and other vulnerable youth, providing them with training skills for sustainable livelihoods in society. In 2023, Maurice assumed the role of Country Director for Building Bridges with Rwanda, becoming the organization's inaugural country director. In this leadership capacity, he heads a technical team committed to supporting COVAGA members in developing their brand within Rwanda. This includes overseeing the production of high-quality products and leveraging the cooperative as a platform for fostering unity and reconciliation in Rwanda. Maurice's unwavering dedication to community engagement and reconciliation is evident in his diverse roles, establishing him as a pivotal leader in Building Bridges with Rwanda.

William Kamili


William Kamili serves as the BBR Rwanda team's Project Coordinator and oversees capacity-building support to COVAGA in Gashora. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Crop Science and an Advanced Diploma in Crop Production from the University of Rwanda College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (UR-CAVM), formerly known as ISAE Busogo. William's affiliation with BBR traces back to 2012 when he joined as part of the BBR – Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. This collaborative internship initiative brought together American and Rwandan agricultural students, aiming to support sustainable development projects at the Covaga Innovation Centre. Over two weeks, Rwandan and American students collaborated in constructing a passive solar dehydrator, a dry toilet, a mushroom production process, and a composting system – all contributing to soil regeneration without using chemical fertilizers. William played a pivotal role in the success of BBR's training of trainers program, resulting in the establishment of over thirty-six household kitchen gardens for the benefit of Gashora residents. Leveraging his background in horticulture and a profound understanding of Covaga's vision and mission, William is a crucial asset to the BBR Rwanda team. His expertise significantly contributes to supporting COVAGA and fostering the overall community development of Gashora through the initiatives led by the Covaga Innovation Centre.

Yvette Abayizeye

Financial Coordinator

Yvette Nelly Abayizeye is a candidate for a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, specializing in the Department of Procurement and Supply Chain Management. Demonstrating a keen interest in the humanitarian field, she boasts seven years of experience at GIRA UBUMUNTU. Additionally, Yvette has accumulated six years of expertise in customer service and supply chain roles with various companies. As a quick learner with a penchant for acquiring new skills, she pursues her passion for storytelling through photography. Yvette is characterized by her enthusiasm for multiculturalism and an unwavering commitment to continuous learning. Her overarching goal is to achieve personal success as a woman and, in turn, provide financial support to others.

Lewis Nziza

Social Media Coordinator

Meet Nziza Lewis, a visionary storyteller, photographer, and videographer hailing from the picturesque landscapes of Rwanda. With a keen eye for capturing moments that transcend the ordinary, Nziza weaves visual narratives that resonate with depth and emotion. His lens not only frames images but also tells stories that linger in the hearts of those who experience them. Through the art of storytelling, Nziza Lewis invites you to see the world through his unique perspective, where each image is a chapter, and each video a journey into the soul of his subjects and surroundings.

Fundraising Team

Jasmindra Jawanda

Fundraising Lead

Jasmindra is an Urban/Rural Planner who is committed to “creating space for people and place” that lead to inclusive, socially just, sustainable, vibrant and resilient communities. With over 20 years of professional experience, Jasmindra has a varied planning career working in the areas of land use planning, community planning, social planning, cultural/anti-racist planning, environmental planning, gender planning, youth development, arts and culture, corporate social responsibility, and international development. She has worked with diverse and marginalized populations including racialized and Indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees, youth, girls and women, seniors, and peoples with disabilities. Jasmindra has also worked in provincial, municipal, community, private, academic and non-profit/NGO sectors, locally and internationally, providing her with a unique and strong understanding of a myriad of planning issues from the global South to the local North. She has a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning and a bachelor’s degree in education both from the University of British Columbia, as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics and Japanese from the University of Victoria. Jamindra’s master’s thesis was conducted in the Amazon region of Ecuador in the areas of community development, sustainable development, environmental planning, cultural preservation, and Indigenous capacity building. She is excited to engage in stakeholder relations and fundraising initiatives for BBR to ensure that the team can continue their community projects throughout Rwanda which have already led to economic, community and environmental benefits for many women, youth, and farmers.

Benita Ikirezi


Benita is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia in the School of Community and Regional Planning. With a passion for Pan-Africanism and a focus on housing, transportation, and community development, she advocates for human-centered practices to foster equitable and just urban environments, particularly in Rwanda and across Africa. Through her academic and professional journey, Benita has recognized the transformative potential of education and the global exchange of knowledge in shaping equitable and sustainable societies. At BBR, she is part of the fundraising team, leveraging her skills to secure financial resources through grant applications and donor relationships to advance the organization's mission.

Uakapita (Waka) Zaamuani


I'm Uakapita (Waka) Zaamuani, a Namibian-born student currently calling Canada home. As a final-year geography student, I'm passionate about cultivating more connected, empowered, and resilient communities. When I'm not buried in textbooks or working on my artwork, you'll find me helping at Bridging Bridges for Rwanda (BBR) or delving into agro-climate analysis as a student at AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). My time at AAFC has ignited a profound fascination with the complex connection between agriculture and climate in rural landscapes and urban environments. I plan to pursue my passions through continued education in urban and community planning. My journey is a commitment to bridging gaps and cultivating environments that empower, connect, and build resilience within communities, one project at a time.

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