Sharing Our Survival

Explore efficiency and equity of vaccinations, animal welfare, and international trade


Biotech, Vaccines and conservation
Boston,USA and Kigali, Rwanda
12- 15 days

The below itinerary represents the most recent iteration of the program. Alterations will be made to best fit the educational objectives of traveling participants.


Boston & Cambridge, USA

DAYS 1-4

The future of science and medical technology

Boston’s striking skyline glitters with architectural gems, while every corner gives way to a new triumph of music, arts and theater. This invites intimate discussions that introduce a framework for our travels and bring the group together as a traveling team. Intellectual sparks fly as students meet leading scientists, academics, and professionals at Moderna, the Broad Institute, Harvard, and MIT to learn about research into the creation of vaccinations against COVID and other diseases.


DAYS 5-6

We board our flights from Boston to Kigali and enter the capital city of Rwanda, a vibrant metropolis sprawling across numerous hills, ridges and valleys.

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”

Dian Fossey


DAYS 7-9

The lack of vaccine production capacity in African countries has been the subject of much concern throughout the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Solving the gravely unequal access to COVID-19 vaccines between developed and developing countries is not only a critical issue for the continent of Africa, but a moral imperative for the world as a whole. We meet with senior officials at the Rwandan Ministry of Health to learn more about the context of governmental health policies in the country. We then tour vaccine manufacturing and distribution facilities and meet with medical and public health professionals working on the ground in Kigali.

The Ellen Fund

Day 10

Situated at the heart of the Albertine Rift, Rwanda is among Africa’s most biodiverse regions and a haven of rainforest endemism. We travel outside the city and visit the Ellen Campus to learn about conservation efforts around the iconic mountain gorilla of the Virunga Massif. After check-in at our lodge, we end our day with the Fossey Fund team, hearing stories from their work on gorilla conservation, trekking in Rwanda, and their career paths. We take inspiration from these resilient and talented conservationists, learning how to provide protection for endangered species no matter what path we take.
Day 11
Gorillas are beautiful, resilient animals. However, poaching and habitat destruction have pushed their populations to extinction in recent decades. The famed researcher and conservationist Dian Fossey dedicated her life to ensuring that gorillas would survive. Today, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is dedicated to continuing and expanding Dian’s work. They protect gorillas and their forests daily while providing employment and training for the surrounding communities. Gorillas remain critically endangered and face severe threats to survival, but decades of daily, direct protection have saved critically endangered mountain gorillas from extinction and stabilized their population. Each morning, Fossey Fund trackers locate their assigned gorilla group, locating where the gorillas built their night nests and following the trail of crushed vegetation left behind as the group moves away in the morning. Envoys students have the unique opportunity to become a part of this daily work in the Volcanoes National Park, putting our efforts into keeping gorillas safe and helping them grow as a species.

Ellen Campus

DAY 12

The Ellen Campus is the vision of the award-winning MASS Design Group. Named one of Africa’s ten most anticipated architectural projects, the campus has been featured on 60 Minutes and in Architectural Digest. Built with locally sourced materials and supplies, the facility embodies the Fossey Fund’s mission to conserve and limit its environmental impact through rainwater harvesting, green roofs, the reforestation of former agricultural land, and a constructed wetland to treat wastewater and promote biodiversity. The project represented an investment of $15 million in the Rwandan economy and provided 2,400 construction jobs for local community members. We start our day with a guided tour of the new campus with a Fossey Fund researcher, with behind-thescenes access to their new purpose-built scientific labs and centers. In the afternoon, we travel to the Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda, hugging the border with Tanzania.


DayS 13 – 14

We spend two nights in a unique lodge with a fantastic view of the Akagera National Park elevated above the savannah, with exceptional views of Lake Ihema. Akagera National Park offers a truly unforgettable wildlife experience, as the only Big-5 reserve in Rwanda, and also home to the rare swamp-dwelling Sitatunga antelope. Characterized by woodland, swamps, low mountains, and savannah, the varied terrain shelters wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, elephants, and lions. In the southern part of the park, the vast Lake Ihema is home to hippopotamuses and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of species of birds. We spend our time crossing the savannahs on guided game drives as well as journeying along the lake by boat. This provides the perfect setting to reflect on our journey and what it has meant to us, individually and collectively. Looking ahead with ambition and intent, we start the next chapter of our lives with a new understanding of the world. We use our newlyaquired knowledge to build sustainability-driven organizations and drive initiatives that generate crosscultural collaboration.
DaY 15
We travel back to Kigali for our return flights home.