Monday, February 27, 2017 – How your 84 cents can turn the saddest hour in this Rwandan school into a happy one

We checked into our hotel in Kigali, Rwanda at 2:30 AM and we were up and about by 10am to our first project while others toured the genocide museum. Today, I am visiting the Kacyiru Primary School school with 1,017 students. Debra Brosseuk has been funding and overseeing in Kigali where she is investing in 53 students who come from a slum area where a marginalized ethnic group lives. I am thoroughly impressed by the principal and the school environment. The students have been transferred to this new school by Debra on her last visit. She has asked me to check out the progress of these 53 children.

Much like in Afghanistan, the children attend school in two shifts as there isn’t enough classroom space.

At the end of each shift, students take turns cleaning the classroom. This also means that the students police each other in keeping the classroom clean throughout the day.

The parents are also involved as best as they can. They have installed this water purification system.

To enhance learning, the school has a feeding program.

However, 200 children cannot afford the feeding program. The head teacher explains that lunchtime is the saddest hour in this school. The haves inside this unfinished dining room and the have-nots outside the windows peering in — I will not show those pictures. A quick calculation shows the daily meal cost per child is 84 cents CDN.

Each morning at assembly, the children face this wall and repeat that they will not engage in these activities.

After the school visit, I am off to see the parents of these 53 children. They work at a pottery and garden project that Debra has developed. I have been here several times. This time I see great improvements in the pottery facilities. Clean, organized, leaky roof fixed (it was raining heavy), and drainage repaired.

The parents are working this plot to grow vegetables. The plot had been made available by the government behind the pottery factory.

It is wonderful to see progress driven by the local people.