Birmingham Catholic Primary Partnership

Rwanda: July 2011 Update

I would like to thank all those schools who have donated money to the Rwanda Project during this year. All donations, no matter how small, are valued and every penny is spent on meeting the projects identified by Sister Susan and myself.

Much of the fund raising for this work goes on during Lent, but I am more than happy to receive contributions at any time of the year... the money is greatly needed! These should be sent to the BCPP Office. Cheques should be made payable to: BCPP - Rwanda Account.

I always welcome the opportunity of visiting schools to talk to the children about this work and its impact on the communities in Rwanda. Please contact me to reserve a date.

Sister Susan returned from Rwanda in mid-June and will be returning in the middle of August. I shall be meeting her during the summer holiday to plan projects for the coming year.

Sister reports that there are many changes taking place in Rwanda at the moment at national level. This year the government’s emphasis is on the improvement to housing. Huts with grass roofs are no longer allowed and there is now a requirement for these to be replaced by metal sheets or slates. The government is also encouraging people to build larger homes and to come together in villages to put more infrastructures in place.

Another project that the government has been working on for the past few years, has been the installment of electricity throughout the country. On Christmas Eve, the area around Sister’s convent and the schools at Kiruhura were able to benefit from electricity for the first time.

In October 2010, the Birmingham Catholic Primary Partnership (BCPP), transferred £23,000 to the Sisters in Rwanda.

Education Sponsorships

Secondary

Thirty sponsorships, at a cost of £6000.00 were paid for in full for the 2011 year. This money is used to support secondary students and pays for:

  • School fees
  • Food
  • A bed
  • Exercise books
  • Uniform
  • Examination fees
  • Boarding fees

Seven students, supported by the BCPP in past years, commenced their studies at university in 2011.

Primary

Children are now required by the Rwandan government to wear school uniform and footwear if they are to attend school. In addition, they must equip themselves with notebooks. For some families, this is too much of a financial burden and in these cases, Sister Susan has intervened to make sure that these pupils have the necessary equipment to allow them to attend school. £1000 has been used to meet these costs.

The Rwanda Project
Primary school children at Kiruhura in new uniforms and footware.

Kiruhura Primary School

Building work and the provision of desks and chairs

This year the BCPP undertook the funding of a major building project of two classrooms at the school in Kiruhura.

A new headteacher has been appointed to the school and, as a result, there were delays in the construction of the classrooms. However, the work is now finished and the two classrooms are ready for use. The completion of this work has allowed a nursery class to begin in one of the freed up older classrooms.

The work was completed, on budget, at a cost of £15000.00. The new classrooms have been equipped with desks, blackboards etc at a cost of £1000.00. The desks were made by the students involved in a carpentry youth project, which was supported by the BCPP last year.

There are almost one thousand, two hundred students in the primary school and they are split into two groups, one studying in the morning and one in the afternoon. The day is long for the teachers, as they begin at 7.15am and finish at 5pm. However, the system encourages more parents to send their children to school because they can also help with the work at home or in the fields.

The Rwanda Project
Preparing the site for the two classrooms at Kiruhura.
Sponsor a Child
Building work in progress.
The Rwanda Project
Completion of walls of primary classes.
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Completion of metal roof on classrooms.
The Rwanda Project
Classrooms with the roof in place.
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Kiruhura Primary classrooms completed.
Sponsor a Child
A student prepares the wood for one of the desks.