Kwizera Hope's mission is to build tangible hope for orphaned children in underdeveloped areas of Rwanda, starting with food and education, through the sale of Kwizera Hope products.


Kwizera Hope: History

Kwizera Hope was founded by Michelle Allison Jacobsen in 2013. In Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda, Kwizera means "hope."  Kwizera Hope's mission is to build tangible hope for children in underdeveloped areas of Rwanda, starting with education.  This passion project, based out of Southern California, provides school fees and supplies, as well as funding for food, shelter and medical support as needed for orphaned children in the country of Rwanda.

Michelle A. Jacobsen: Founder & Advocate

Michelle is a Southern California native and holds a B.A. in History and Politics from La Sierra University and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Public Policy from Loma Linda University. She is a recent graduate of American University's Graduate Certificate in Peacebuidling Program. 

Between schooling, Michelle craved adventure and decided to set off for Africa.  In June 2009, Michelle traveled to Rwanda for the first time.  She was instantly enchanted by Rwandan culture and fell immediately in love with the local people.  She knew Rwanda was where she belonged, but it was when she met the children that her heart was truly stolen.  It was on this trip where she became a visionary for the children and an advocate for affecting change as she managed Gakoni Orphanage with its 85 children for a year and a half.

Through prayer, strong will, and modern medicine she was able to survive and was soon hungry for reparation again, as her passion lies where there is injustice and corruption.  Fighting against political barriers, Michelle decided to create Kwizera Hope to bring hope to the orphans she had grown to love, who were and are struggling beneath the corruption of a system built to aid them.

Gay Jacobsen: Product Designer

Michelle was raised to highly value family values and put them first.  Which is why the orphans at the Gakoni Orphanage are more than just a project, they are part of the Jacobsen family.  Strong family ties, also mean that Michelle is not the only one in her family involved in making Kwizera Hope successful: Michelle's mother, Gay Jacobsen, is the artist behind all of the products in the Kwizera Hope "SHOP". All items are individually handcrafted with the finest materials by Gay on her own time, with 100% of Kwizera Hope's profits going directly to providing for the needs of the orphans.