Jean Berchmans Uwimana (Berky)


Berky is a medical doctor and public health advocate who is passionate about abortion education and access and sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly for rural youth in Rwanda. With support from Rise Up, Berky launched the SAVE project, a series of short informational videos aimed at increasing future physicians’ knowledge and capacity to perform safe abortions. Berky is also the creator behind Flavours of Family Planning, a series of videos using kitchen materials and an “edutainment” approach to engage more men in family planning. His life experiences have shaped his approach to this work.

While he was in medical school at the University of Rwanda, Berky joined Medical Students for Choice and helped grow and reinvigorate the student group. After graduating, he founded the Medical Doctors for Choice network, so that alumni of Medical Students for Choice can continue their education and advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights beyond medical school. Berky has served as a volunteer for a number of grassroots public health organizations, and founded the first chapter of Globemed outside of the U.S. at the University of Rwanda which links medical students and grassroots organizations to promote health equity and social justice.

Fiscal Sponsor: Healthy People Rwanda

Project Title: SAVE Project

In Rwanda, half of all abortions are provided by untrained individuals and considered to be high risk. SAVE Project aims to increase the availability of safe abortion by improving the knowledge and capacity of Rwandan medical students around safe abortion. The project will develop a series of short informational videos featuring young doctors covering topics like the Rwandan legal abortion framework, abortion by manual aspiration, and best practices in abortion care. The project will also use digital platforms to allow all medical students at the University of Rwanda to access the videos and to help spark meaningful conversations.  

Rise Up Cohort: Youth Champion 2019