Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Polepole = Slowly

Eddy went to Rwanda to visit the projects we support there. The beneficiaries of our educational  projects are increasing their school attendence! They are proud and happy to have all the scholastic materials they need for each school year. We are always thankful to the sponsors of our projects because, through them, we have been able to fulfill this lasting commitment. The on-ground implementation of this project has been running efficiently, as most of the field volunteers working on this project are beneficiaries themselves. The on-ground team follows up on the kids in their homes, and also with their parents. They liase with the school to ensure that they attend every day. Through this kind of collaboration and cooperation we have been getting valuable feedback from the beneficiaries, which has been useful in refining and confirming that the support we give them works in an efficient manner. 
Some sponsored children saying- Thank you
The children supported on this project are studying hard and their efforts are paying off as we have recorded an improvement in their exam scores at the end of each academic year. Supporting this education project also includes basic health improvement, whereby the entire community to which the children belong benefit from health insurance. This kind of all inclusive strategy is useful in reducing the number of kids absent from school due to illness. The short term objective of this project is to help the kids acquire basic arithmetic and literacy skills. We will then build on those basic skills to further expand and support their educational opportunities and life skills training.

            There is a general feeling amongst the children supported through this program that they are loved. But they equally do not want to take the genorosity of their sponsors from the West for granted.

            At the inception of this project, we learned that even though education is free in Rwanda, many people still find it hard to cover the basic costs needed to enroll in school. This is what we have been attempting to address since 2010. In the community supported by our project, the number of pupils attending school rose from 6 in 2010, to 41 students total in 2013, of which 4 are now in secondary schools. This achievement is significant and we consider it a major success, given the conditions and the extent of poverty in which these people live. Individuals from the community we support do not have enough resources to meet their daily needs; a factor which has an adverse effect on the kids' concentration levels during class. The government of Rwanda is pulling all the stops to lift many people up out of poverty, a goal which seems to be attainable so far. According to recent World Bank reports and the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda about 1 million Rwandans have been raised up out of poverty in a span of 5 years. According to the World Bank Publications: Doing Business report of 2011, Rwanda was the top reformer in 2010. This is an indication that the country is an increasingly conducive environment for foreign investiments and determined to generate wealth. It ranks 52nd globally, the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa.

            Despite these accomplishments of the Rwandan Government, there are still many people and communities in Rwanda who live in poverty. They still need our support and cooperation. Our project started helping out these communities, hoping to give their children access to a proper education. We believe this is essential for their future social and economic growth. As UNESCO puts it, “Not only is education important in reducing poverty, it is also a key to wealth creation”. We have no doubts that we are on the right track!  Our work mesh with the Rwandan Government's strategic plans of forming a modern knowledge base, a competitive economy, and the development of the nation's human resources. We are always interested in hearing from individuals, associations, or companies who share our passion for educating the poor and vulnerable children of Rwanda. If you want to lend a helping hand, you can always get in touch with us or help spread the word by forwading this post to people who might consider becoming a VZW Mama na Mtoto supporter.


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