The new school year has begun in Rwanda! This is an exciting time as many of the students are ready to return to school (or start school) after their long break at the end of the following year. For us, it is a busy time of preparations for our students…both the administrative details but also meeting with the students and encouraging them for the year ahead.
We are focused on working with families to partner with them for the benefit of the whole family. With the changes in our program for this year, we are currently sponsoring 29 primary students. We require these students to attend the local government-funded school: Kamashashi Primary School. We pay school fees, buy two uniforms, and provide school materials (backpacks, notebooks, pens) for each student. These little ones are adorable as they eagerly receive their backpack which is sometimes bigger than they are! We are also providing a weekly portion of igikoma (porridge) for each family with students in primary school (read more about this below).
We are also sponsoring the more advanced students in these same families. We currently have 50 students attending secondary or vocational schools. Most of our students who are in their first three years of secondary school attend the local government-funded school: Camp Kanombe. Other students may have scored well on national exams at the end of primary school or at the end of these first three years in secondary and are assigned to various other schools all over the country. Similar to the primary students, we pay for school fees, buy uniforms, provide school materials (also including math sets, calculators, and periodic tables), give personal items (soap, laundry soap, lotion, toothpaste, sanitary pads), and pay for transportation costs to/from school if they are not attending the local school. For those students in boarding school, we also provide a trunk, sheets, blanket, pillow, mosquito net, towel, and mattress to comfortably stay while they are away from home.
I’m excited to see how these students continue to grow and learn in this new year. We will have challenges along the way that become opportunities for growth and counseling as we strive to invest in their lives beyond simply providing school fees. I’m thankful for these opportunities!
THE BENEFIT OF IGIKOMA
We are excited this year to be able to provide a weekly portion of igikoma (porridge) for the families with students attending primary school. Some of the families that we work with are limited in the number of times that they can cook each day. We hope it will be a benefit for the primary students to consistently be able to have this porridge to nourish them.
Igikoma can be made using a variety of different flours. We are combining a corn flour (kawunga) with another mixture of nutritious flours (maize, soy bean, sorghum) called sosoma, sugar, and powdered milk. Each week, we will order about 23.5 kilograms (about 52 pounds) of these ingredients to mix and then distribute to the families. We are also very excited that we are hiring a mama (Speciose) from one of the families to have a little job of helping us to do the mixing and bagging of the igikoma mix each week.
It's Time For a New Name and Logo
After having been called Global Capacity for nine years, our board of directors felt that it was time for a change. We have selected a new name and logo that are more descriptive and representative of our work. We plan to unveil them on February 13. Stay tuned for an exciting video announcement!
Group Trip to Rwanda in August
There has been substantial interest for a group trip to Rwanda this summer. Our Executive Director, Matthew Heinz, will be leading this inaugural trip and you are invited! Details are tentative, but dates would be around August 1-10 with a cost around $2,500 to $3,000 per person. (If you are fundraising, donations can be sent in to Global Capacity for a tax deduction.) The bulk of the time will be spent with the households we support and at some of our students' schools. We will also take time at a home for former street children and enjoy some cultural activities. Information sessions will be offered soon for preliminary information. If you are interested in joining the team, send an email to Matthew.