Beauty For Ashes Rwanda in four-day youth conference

Beauty For Ashes. / Courtesy

Local gospel outfit Beauty For Ashes Rwanda will host a four- day youth conference in Kigali this week, to be spiced up by live gospel music performances.

Dubbed, LIT (Live In Truth), the conference kicks tomorrow, December 6-9, at the Beauty For Ashes’ newly acquired home in Kicukiro (the former Soho Fitness Center).

The opening day of the conference will also be used to launch the new Beauty For Ashes youth center, located on the same premises.

It is the second edition of the now annual event, first staged last year at the New Life Bible Church.

Kenyan gospel music singer Bruz Newton of the Zigwembe fame will perform as guest artist alongside the Beauty For Ashes Band and the Alive And Free Band, an upcoming band under the Beauty For Ashes Rwanda umbrella. The performances will be the first test for Alive And Free Band, which is soon teaming up with Beauty For Ashes band to form a united band called The Prayer House Band, out of their Sunday night youth fellowships. The new band will also give a chance to upcoming artists that are part of the fellowship but not members of the band.

The LIT conference is organized by Beauty For Ashes Rwanda, a not-for-profit, Christian-leaning organization that is a parent company to the gospel band, Beauty For Ashes.

“Beauty For Ashes Rwanda is a registered NGO that runs so many other things. Under it there’s Beauty For Ashes Band, the Prayer House, a new generation band called Alive And Free, and high school tours, which takes evangelism to high school students,” said Olivier Kavutse, the founder of Beauty For Ashes.

“The conference is part of our evangelism campaign called High School Tours, where we combine art and music and drama and testimonies in different schools,” he added.

Last year, the campaign visited seven secondary schools around Kigali to evangelize to students. 

“To wrap up the three months of travelling to different high schools, we do the LIT conference. During the conference, those that gave their life to Jesus during the school tours come and we even baptize some of them,” Kavutse added.

According to Kavutse, both the conference and the youth center seek to reach out to sections of the youth population that are not catered for by conventional youth empowerment programs.

“In Rwanda there’s a gap among the youth. When the government thinks about the youth, it thinks about them generally. When you go to Kimisagara Youth Center for example, you find hundreds of young people, but there is another category of youth that will never go to there -the youth from middle class families. These are not interested in the programs at the youth centers, and they are the ones we are targeting. These youth were born in the computer era, in front of TV screens, they are connected to the world through internet, so their interests are very different. We try to lead those young people into knowing God and praying so as to turn them away from destructive behavior like drugs and alcohol and pornography.”

Spacious and sound proof, the youth center is soon to be equipped with recreational amenities like pool tables, fuse balls, video games, table tennis, and a computer lab.

“The conference happens right after the national exams so that all the students in holidays can find something to look up to during this period.”

After a successful debut run last year, organisers decided to increase the number of days from two to four.

Conference schedule: Day One: 4pm-9 pm, day two: 9am-8pm,day three: 9am-8pm, and day four: 3pm-9pm.