University of Winnipeg | 50 Years Search

Amanda Furst

Alumna, Educator, Community Builder

Unwavering humanitarian and community builder

After graduating from The University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education, Amanda Furst has dedicated her career to international humanitarian work.

She first began volunteering in refugee camps in western Tanzania through the Canadian-based organization, Right To Play. Furst then spent two years volunteering as a math and science teacher and teacher trainer in rural Rwanda with Voluntary Services Overseas, where she organized numerous biology workshops for Rwandan teachers.

Later, she co-founded Growing Opportunities International, known as the GO! Team, which has spent the past decade working in Rwanda and Tanzania helping villagers build everything from daycares and libraries to rainwater catchments.

Furst has tremendous resilience and inner strength, which was tested in 2015. That year the latest accomplishment for Furst and her team was on track — the creation of Hero's Home, a small community centre and living quarters outside the town of Kisesa. But while Furst was out for a jog, she was attacked by a male stranger. Villagers heard the attack and chased him off.

In spite of the brutal attack, and three different surgeries to repair torn tendons on her hands, slashed by his knife, Furst is determined to return to her humanitarian work in Tanzania, saying a whole community cannot be held responsible for the actions of one person.

In 2011, she was awarded The Manitoba Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year.

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