The hundred-day long Rwandan genocide in 1994 had an enormous and long-lasting impact on the country, and the numbers estimated to have been killed range between 500,000 and 1,000,000. This means that up to 20% of the entire Rwandan population were killed over a very short, three-month period of time. The repercussions of this seismic event are still felt today.
Whilst the economy is being rebuilt thanks to coffee and tea production and export, there are still issues with poverty and inequality. Whilst Rwanda has made substantial progress in widening access to education by removing fees for primary school the number of children who drop out of school is high. Many families remove their children from school in order to send them to work and a switch from teaching in French to English a decade ago means that language can be a barrier for both teachers and students to overcome. Moreover, Rwanda’s history creates additional barriers to education. Children suffer a range of psychological and social issues related to the genocide including being orphaned, having parents or siblings in jail and a legacy of HIV/AIDs.
What We Do
Working with our partner Uyisenga N'Manzi (UNM) we are supporting orphaned and homeless children to obtain an education by providing children with school fees, materials and counselling sessions. This includes setting up class peer support groups to help students learn from one another, providing teacher training and establishing a ‘training of trainers’ programme so teachers can train one another. In addition, 19 volunteer psychologists are working with 95 trained teachers to provide this psycho-social support.
We are also working with a partner called Educate! to support youth employment through implementing a skills-based curriculum that helps students develop the essential skills needed to start their own businesses and find jobs.