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This is the story of a small group of people putting their skills and resources to work to bring a community of once conflicting people together through a soccer-focused community center. It’s easy to put it in such simple terms, but this project is much more than that, and it’s much better.

The Start of Something Big

“We got involved.”

This is how Taylor Loutsis would say Project Minembwe got started. Of course, there was a little more to it than that, but he would owe what has become a large and important mission to build a community center for the people of Minembwe, Congo simply to getting involved with Africa Health New Horizons, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to bringing better medical care and clinics to in-need areas of Africa.

When we look a little deeper, this story actually begins with an article published by the Associated Press. Taylor Loutsis was studying visual communications at Arizona State University when he came across an article detailing the 50 million people around the world that are displaced due to war and conflict. He was so troubled by this number that he dedicated his Senior Thesis around the topic. That thesis, Erasing Boundaries, brought together students of anthropology, architecture, industrial design, engineering, and graphic design to develop improved refugee camp housing in West Rwanda.

“This project changed my life. I had finally felt like I found how my passions and skills aligned to do something greater than myself. I knew that I had a way to make a real impact on the lives of others, especially those who are suffering from this kind of displacement,” Taylor says.

Part of the success of Erasing Boundaries was forming a relationship with Africa New Health Horizons, which was founded by Dr. Modeste Kigabo who had extensive outreach experience throughout Rwanda and Congo. “We connected with Dr. Kigabo, who had founded Africa Health New Horizons in order provide East Africa with lacking medical needs, like clinics and training for individuals to provide medical treatments. He was able to narrate the climate and the needs of the people.” Taylor says.

Learn more about Taylor and his team’s work with Dr. Kigabo by checking out ProjectMinembwe.org.