Ineza Umuhoza Grace

Roles at NAAEE:

30 Under 30

CEO
The Green Fighter

Ineza is an eco-feminist working towards climate justice through education, amplifying voices, and advocacy.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

I am using education to teach youth, children, and the general public about the environment and climate change. We use writing competitions, debates, and other events to educate public school children. In 2017, while I was still a student, I started what is known today as The Green Fighter, a youth-led NGO aiming to increase active youth participation to create a better environment in our community. Our past years’ achievement includes writing five community-based projects, conducting more than 10 community environmental education events, and reaching 3,500 young people and 15 schools in Kigali. Since 2020, we have been developing a curriculum that will be disseminated across schools in Rwanda and will be accompanied by animations and other resources to build the storytelling capacity of Rwandan youth.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today. 

My journey of deciding to act arose from my experiences of being exposed to climate change impacts and feeling powerless. After I finished high school, I was reminded by our local media of the vulnerability of women and children, especially to climate change. From that, I feel the eagerness to do what I can when I can, and I am focused on doing small actions that can have a long-term impact.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Don't be afraid to show your full colors, and never give up on doing what you want.

What keeps you hopeful for the future?

My hope for the future is based on the fact that we now see more women and youth being invited to the table.

Who do you look up to as inspiration?

My inspiration is President of Rwanda Kagame Paul as he inspires me to be a leader who serves to improve my community, and Rihanna Robyn Fenty who inspires me to be the true version of myself at every moment.