Welcome Back to Africa started in 2012 and was founded by a Kingston University Law student during his second year of studies. Founder and CEO; Ives Kabayabaya left Burundi in 2003 with his family during the civil war that ended in 2006. He fled to Mozambique and completed his formative years.
In 2008, aged 19 he came to the United Kingdom to settle with his family and started his new life. He first attended Lewisham College to study ESOL lessons soon completing a Higher Education Access Course at Kingston College in 2011.
Ives was inspired through his travels to various countries in Eastern and Southern of Africa, after seeing injustices throughout his trips. This strengthened his desire to work towards achieving equity for all. During his law degree, Ives for the first time created “Welcome Back to Africa Society” at Kingston University.
The society’s main purpose was to create a platform which could bring students together to exchange their experiences and aspirations while working towards aiding the development of education in Africa.
The society has brought students across different departments and campuses together in order for them to be able to exchange ideas, skills and experiences while working on various projects such as Welcome Back to Africa’s Celebration and Networking Dinner fundraising event.
The success of the event led to the distribution of certificates and speeches of the positive impacts it had on student lives. Welcome Back to Africa was also recognised by the Head of the Faculty of Law for the success and hard work of the society members.
Ives was accredited for his work with the Love Kingston Fundraising Team and was also granted a certificate of accreditation by the RBS ESSA for outstanding performance and lasting contribution to Kingston University and Welcome Back to Africa Society.
In 2014, Ives studied Law at Istanbul Bilgi University through the Erasmus programme. Ives took this opportunity to set up WBTA in Turkey. The charity is now active in Burundi, Turkey and United Kingdom with volunteers and supporting members across the globe. Welcome Back to Africa’s first project is to build a library in Burundi.