Today is the first day of school! Here in Rwanda, this is the beginning of the first trimester of the new school year. It has been a bit of a whirlwind these past few weeks completing all of the preparations needed for the 45 students sponsored by Global Capacity scholarships, but I am so grateful that we can partner with these families in furthering the education of their children.
During the long holiday break, we were able to gather with most of the students for a half-day conference where I could introduce myself as the new in-country director of Global Capacity. This was also a special time where Les and Yvonne Parr (of our partner organization, A Voice for Rwanda) were able to share some challenging and encouraging messages with our students. Yvonne shared about the “Rules, Responsibilities, and Requirements” associated with these students and their families being part of AVFR and GC to help the students remember that the benefit they receive is not a hand-out but comes with expectations that they need to fulfill. Les also shared some encouraging words about conduct and integrity at school and in all of life. We also handed out backpacks full of school materials and bags of personal items for each student.
Recently, we were also able to meet with 24 of our students individually to ask them many questions about their performance in school during the past year, their expectations for the coming year, and their thoughts and dreams about their future…as well as more basic things like their favorite subjects and foods and home life situations. It was incredibly helpful to have this time with each student to start to learn some of their past story and see how we can encourage them in the current and future part of their story. For many, there are so many challenges and struggles to overcome that make it difficult to focus on school in addition to the tasks of daily life. I give these students much credit for making the best effort they can to reach for their dreams and I’m grateful that we can offer them the opportunity to do just that.
Here are four of our new secondary students:
Throughout the trimester, we hope to continue interviewing the remaining students (many of whom are attending schools close-by) as well as visiting the students that are further away at boarding schools. I also look forward to connecting with the various school administrators and learning more about the education system here in Rwanda so that we can be the best advocates possible for our students.
Thanks for your support,