About This Project
About the project
The school was founded in 2005 by a local pastor and nurse and now has about 250 students including day students from the area. Located about a 3 ½ hour drive north of Kigali in the driest part of Rwanda, the Umutara Deaf School has 86 boarding students (in addition to many non-boarding students) who sleep on foam mattresses on the floor at this rural school for deaf children. The 86 children who board at the school share old foamy mattresses with thin blankets on the concrete floor of the dormitory buildings. It can get quite cold in this part of Rwanda, especially in the rainy season and the children need better bedding. The infrastructure at the school is lacking. There were two classrooms when we started, one of which was open sided. The rain came in during storms. The other was enclosed but unfinished and lacking doors and windows. The kitchen is an open structure with a metal roof, which still has holes left from shrapnel from the 1994 genocide. There is a lack of water in this part of Rwanda and the children must fetch water from a muddy stream a 30 minute walk from the school.
One of A Better World’s missions is to seek the disabled and provide for their needs. Rwanda is starting to provide facilities for the disabled but the need is high. A Better World plans to meet the school’s primary needs in several phases. Phase 1 supplied new mattresses and bedding for the 86 boarding students. Phase 2 supplied bunk beds for the students, a rainwater catchment system, teaching materials targeted for hearing impaired students, a food self sufficiency programme which includes animal breeding, and crop cultivation (agricultural experts are required to help plan and implement this programme). Phase 3 included building infrastructure improvements such as completing current buildings, installing windows and doors. Four new classrooms have been built in following phases, as well as toiets, water tanks, and new vocational classrooms.