Alumni Award Finalist

Bahati Kanyamanza

Co-founder, COBURWAS International Youth Organization to Transform Africa

Brattleboro, VT
Cohort: Ashoka, New York, 2017

Bahati Kanyamanza was born in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  He became a refugee in Uganda at the age of 14 where he lived in a refugee camp for 18 years before he got resettled in the U.S. He witnessed abuse of human rights, bad governance, hunger, poverty, diseases, lack of access to quality education, abductions by the rebels and other injustices. These issues motivated him to become a social entrepreneur. In 2005, at the age of 22, he co-founded COBURWAS International Youth Organization to Transform Africa (CIYOTA), a volunteer-based nonprofit organization in Kyangwali refugee settlement, Uganda. The organization provides quality education to young people affected by conflict in the Africa’s Great Lakes Region, and trains them in social entrepreneurial leadership and active nonviolence so that they can become changemakers in their communities. Each year, CIYOTA programs provide services to over 1500 direct beneficiaries both in Uganda and DR Congo.