Cedrick Niyomugabo, 30, born and raised in Rwanda, went to Central African Republic (CAR) to find purpose in any way he could. His purpose turned out to be helping in the fight against malnutrition by growing vegetables and fruits, and also empowering vulnerable single mothers by through technical work. The Youth Association for Change and Community Assistance founder says he left Rwanda and headed to CAR because the country was out of a war and needed help from neighbouring countries. “When a country is out of a war, there are a lot of damages, a lot of broken people and infrastructure to restore. When the war in the Central Africa Republic ended there was a lot of damage, children were suffering from kwashiorkor due to a lack of poor feeding—it was a very sad situation that I felt I needed to help. Young girls were also giving birth because they lacked education, so I decided to move there to help their community,” he says. He started his association in 2021, the headquarters are located about 14 kilometres from Bangui, the capital and largest city of the Central African Republic, where he has many programmes with the youth. “I teach some of them how to grow mushrooms and cucumbers and also how to make a nutritious soup from that,” he says. Niyomugabo also exports cultivated cucumbers from Rwanda to Bangui. His motivation comes from a strong desire to help the youth in war-torn countries as they tend to be forgotten by the world. “Our association has a training to solve nutrition problems in impoverished communities,” he says, and adds that the association also teaches single mothers and young people to create jobs for themselves that will help them earn an income. “We teach them computer science and mechanics, we also provide a certificate for completion to help them work with our association, we engage them in activities like sports, and sensitise children who have dropped out of school. We also teach them about music, and empower single mothers and young girls to create jobs for themselves, like sewing,” he says. Niyomugabo also partners with the Embassy of China—which had temporarily suspended its operations in 2013—providing training on how to grow different nutritious crops. Niyomugabo believes that solutions to Africa’s problems will come from the youth. “We are the strength and solution to all problems in Africa, we shouldn’t sit around and wait for other continents to come and solve our problems, even though we can’t start with the hard ones, we can still use our efforts to solve the ones that we have solutions for,” he says. He also has a programme in Rwanda that is associated with agriculture, also focusing on empowering young Rwandans. “Our programme ‘karma k’igikoni’ teaches young Rwandans about farming and agriculture to help fight malnutrition. I hope to come back to my country and share my knowledge and also help young Rwandans that might be facing the same problems like the ones in CAR,” he says. Niyomugabo hopes to see his work reach many countries in need, and he also wishes to see young African people strive to find answers to many of Africa’s problems. “I encourage fellow young people to be problem solvers, it only requires a helping heart and efforts,” he says.