What is Urumuri?

Would you dream of a world in which our differences would be highlighted, where we would bring together our strengths and weaknesses in order to put in place our projects together? Here and elsewhere, you are welcome to develop an idea, exchange your talents, share your knowledge or simply learn from others.


URUMURI is a non-profit association based in the canton of Fribourg which has been offering spaces for meetings and exchanges for 15 years between people of different cultures and generations and carries out development aid projects. The word urumuri, “light” in Kinyarwanda, sums up the vocation of the association: to promote the discovery of multiple human realities in a warm, informal and friendly environment.

It’s to feel at a place with others, like at home,
It’s to be an artist and be able to share your passion,
It is to be able to express your ideas in order to act together to achieve them.




Our goals

  • Promote social coexistence between communities through multicultural activities in different areas.
  • Support local initiatives in Switzerland and Rwanda within the framework of development cooperation projects.
  • Promote partnership between associations and organizations by developing projects together.
  • Create meeting spaces in Friborg and elsewhere.
  • Promote diversity in Switzerland, create multicultural events open to all, encourage social cohesion through artistic, cultural and sporting activities

Our history

Gilbert Bigirindavyi, passionate about multicultural encounters and art, redesigns a space in order to realize his dream. Located in the Jura district, the “Au Galetas” space quickly becomes an essential player in the socio-cultural life and the integration of young people through several recreational and instructive activities.

The success of the “Au Galetas” space and the desire to propose partnerships with other local associations to create projects together made three men want to create an association. Thus in 2005, the Urumuri association was born with the founders Peter Jager, Philippe Rieder and Gilbert Bigirindavyi.

The Urumuri Association offers a second set of activities in addition to those offered in the canton of Fribourg. It decides to support local initiatives here and elsewhere within the framework of development aid.
Its commitment in 2009 led to the support of the IZERE center in northern Burundi (medicines and ambulance) with the participation of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

The “Au Galetas” activities help support countries suffering from natural disasters. The evenings of support made it possible to come to the aid of the people of Haiti in collaboration with UNICEF.

As part of development aid, the Urumuri association sends computers and office equipment to a local association in Rwanda to meet the needs of the administration of the Rhema Children Development project.

The Urumuri association creates its first intercultural Christmas in collaboration with other associations (Passerelle Association, LivrEchange and ISEE)

The FAC project “Civic attitude training” was created with the NGO Corpus as part of the 72h action.

Cultural integration project offered to dissocial or idle young people. This project is also open to any young person attending or discovering “Au Galetas”. Trainers teach young people how to practice a musical instrument with the aim of performing in concert during the music festival. This project was funded by the Hafen Foundation.

Citizenship contact project. (On behalf of Migros Culture Percentage and the Federal Commission for Migration Issues CFM)

The space of the Urumuri association “Au Galetas” multiplies its activities.

In the program:

Musical workshops
Culinary workshops
Conferences and shows
world dance classes
Language courses
Exchanges and testimonials
Animations “At the Galetas” and during external events

Interruption of activities at the space of the Urumuri association “Au Galetas” due to Covid19. Urumuri association is forced to leave the premises and finds itself homeless. Nevertheless, Urumuri association does not give up and introduces a new program for the year 2021:

Living Culture: A program in the canton of Fribourg bringing together all the activities of the Urumuri association.

Ride for the Future: A project connecting Swiss and Rwandan youth around education and cycling.



Photo du Comité


GILBERT BIGIRINDAVYI: President, Project Coordination and Mediation

FLORIAN DEFFERARD: General Secretariat and Treasury

ELISA CONTI: Deputy Secretariat and Project Coordination

JOELLE HUGUENIN: Communication, Fundraising and Artist, Project Coordination and Accounting

JEAN-LUC ILUNGA: Administrative and legal consultancy


STEPHAN WEBER: Technical and logistics



CLAUDE HUGUENIN: Technical project Ride for the Future