We have been spending our days at Saint Peter Secondary School. This is a high school with about 125 students. Schools in Rwanda run a little differently than normal high schools in America. The school year here starts late January and runs till the middle of November, with a two week break in April and July. Classes are taught by module, so students stay in the same class, with the same teacher, day in and day out, until they have finished the entire module. Most students also live at the school during the school year, along with a few of the staff.
We have gotten to spend the last two and a half months getting to know some of the students, through giving hair cuts, playing games, eating cassava loaf, designing projects, and learning Kinyarwanda. At the end of the term the seniors take a national examination that quizzes the knowledge they have learned through out the entirety of their high schooling. This marks the end of school and they immediately go home. There is no graduation ceremony, no party celebrating their achievements. As you know this is very unlike our American culture…
So we decided to do something about it.
Before the students packed their belongings and headed home we threw and end of the year celebration for the seniors. We played Dame (checkers), cards, soccer, and even had the first ever Rwandan Corn Hole Tournament. After playing games, we ate a traditional Rwandan meal; rice, veggies, beef, chips (french fries), and Fanta. Once everyone finished eating, a dance party ensued.
It was a joy for us to be able to share a special day with the students and for them to know how proud we are and how of them and how blessed we are to be here with them.
We are currently raising money to provide each student with a bible during the school year. Our prayer is that next year we will be able to hand each senior a bible at the graduation party. If you are interested in donating or hearing more, reach out to us via iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Along with that, we have gotten to do a lot of observing and learning, about the Rwandan school system, the culture within school relationships, and management of a school. Thanks to this learning period, we have gotten to meet with the faculty and make a game plan for next year to make the school more successful.
We are creating an extracurricular activity schedule for all students to make school more fun and to help make well rounded students.
We are also hoping to implement projects to help with the school’s financial sustainability. These projects include improving our wood shop, farming our land, making our cows healthy, and a students sponsorship program.
Since Saint Peter’s is construction and masonry school, we have an excllent wood shop and full time technician. Our goal is to update and repair some of our equipment and get our technician some more training so he can bring in more projects, thus providing income for the school.
The school is also sitting on a 12 acre plot of land. The land runs all the way down into a valley, which we plan to farm. Kathryn has been doing a cost benefit analysis on this portion of virgin land and which crops would produce the highest yeild. Our plan is to farm this land in order to sell the crops in the market to generate cash flow to reinvest in other porjects around the school Eventually, our goal is to be self sustainable, for the farm to feed the students, in turn the school not having to buy any vegetables from the market and providing more nutritious foods.
Along with the large plot of land, Saint Peter’s has five cows. Upon our arrival, the cows were sick and not cared for properly. We have implemented a new care system for the cows and our goal is that the female cows would produce offspring and milk, that the school will s ell for profit.
Lastly, we plan to implement a sponsorship program. Every student attending school must pay school fees. For one student to live at school, receive three meals, and an education, costs $300 per year. Many people do not have the ability to pay for this, leaving these kids unable to attend school at all. Our hope is to provide scholarships for kids in extreme poverty, providing them a place to live, food, an education, and a real shot at life.
We rejoice getting to share with you all. We will be sharing more soon. We love yall deeply, we could not be here without you.
If you are interested in donating or hearing more about these projects, please contact us!
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