Birmingham Catholic Primary Partnership

Rwanda: July 2012 Update

As we reach the end of yet another school year. I would like to thank all those schools, parishes and individuals 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. In her letter to me dated 29 May 2012 she writes:

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the continued generosity of the Birmingham Catholic Primary Partnership in our work in Rwanda, especially in enabling children and young people in need, to attain their potential through education."

In September 2011, the Birmingham Catholic Primary Partnership (BCPP), transferred £15,250.00 to the Sisters in Rwanda.

Education Sponsorships

Secondary

Twenty-eight sponsorships, at a cost of £5000.00 were paid for in full for the 2012 year. This money is used to support secondary students and pays for:

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

All the students who we support, sat their final exams in November and passed. Two of the students, John Kamuhanda and John Paul Hakizimana have been granted places at University.

This year we will hopefully have the joy of seeing four of the students from the 2005 and 2006 sponsorship lists obtaining their university degrees. Their university studies end in July. Without support from sponsors, parishes and individuals, these pupils would probably not have finished their secondary education.

Primary

Children continue to be 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. £1000.00 has been used to meet these costs.

In addition, several primary aged children have been supported in their education in a similar way to the secondary aged pupils at a cost of £250.00.

The Rwanda Project
New school uniforms for primary pupils.
Sponsor a Child
Pupils who received uniforms.

The provision of desks and chairs at Mara Primary School

This year the BCPP undertook to fund the provision of desks and blackboards at Mara Primary School.

This school is in a remote area and the buildings are very old as they were erected in 1914. The school has 609 pupils and 11 teachers. The work was completed, on budget, 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 two years ago.

The Rwanda Project
Carpentry course – making doors.
Sponsor a Child
Primary school at Mara.

Bakery Project

The recently completed bakery building now provides fresh bread for communities within a four mile radius. No provision existed for the supply of bread in the past. The proceeds of sales are re-invested in the education of children and the upkeep of the school buildings. The Sisters have bought a second hand bicycle to bring bread to these more remote areas.

The bakery building is now finished and some of the furniture and equipment are in place. The clay oven has already been used to make bread with the help of a professional baker who worked with the students for a day, showing them how to bake bread. The work at the bakery is not yet on a regular basis as the day-to-day running is not fully organised. The work was completed at a cost of £8000.00.

The Rwanda Project
Laying the foundations of the bakery.
Sponsor a Child
Bakery building in progress.
The Rwanda Project
The finished bakery building.
The Rwanda Project
Celine takes out the bread trays.

In her closing remarks, Sister sent the following message in her letter:

"I would like to thank all who are involved in the Partnership and particularly for the witness to gospel values which your schools and parishes give to our local communities and to our brothers and sisters in Rwanda. I pray that you continue faithfully to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world".