2017 was an historic year for the Rwandan Children’s Project, for our partners in Rwanda – Dufatanye Inshuti Z’Abana (DIZA) and for all students, teachers, staff and everyone involved with Friends of the Children International School. Last year was the first time the school ran the full nine classes of the Rwandan Nursery and Primary system, Nursery 1-3 and Primary 1-6, with 376 students. The 2017 school year ended in early November. On the 18th of November we celebrated an important milestone, with our first ever “graduation” ceremony for the the first group of 18 students to finish primary 6 in our school. In the national exam that all students sit at the end of primary school, all 18 students finished in the top “division.” All 18 have continued on to secondary school in 2018, where we are sure they will do very well. This is the first cohort of students to leave our school, and we hope that many, many generations of students will follow in their footsteps. It’s a proud moment which took many years of work by very many people to bring about.
A new rainwater harvesting system has brought running water to the school! The foundations, piping and other works were completed some time back and now two 10,000 litre tanks have been installed, with the third and final tank due to be installed in the coming weeks. This system makes a big difference, as the school has been struggling with a water problem. This will not only help with hygiene at our school, it will also allow us to save a great deal of money which previously had to be used to pay for water, which was brought in jerrycans. This water system was funded by a generous donation from the Irish Chinese Information Centre.
New girls and boys bathrooms have also been constructed. Our original toilets had become inadequate for the numbers of students in the school. Two new blocks have been completed, to a much higher specification, and with running water and sinks.
We have now passed the €100,000 mark for funds raised! As of end of March 2018, we have raised a fine total of €103,338. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped. We have always seen the Rwandan Children’s Project as project of limited duration – our job is to raise the funds for the construction of a high quality nursery and primary school, with all that that entails and associated work. DIZA, and the fine team of school teachers and staff look after the day-to-day running of the school. The finishing line for the is now in sight for the RCP. Here are the remaining items in the school for which we need to raise money:
Staffroom – this is already mostly complete, and has been in use since January, but €900 is required to finish it properly.
School kitchen – partially completed, a further €2,700 is needed to complete this.
Sports grounds – two surfaces, a volleyball court and a basketball court, will cost a combined total of €2,780. Work has not yet begun on this.
So, to do the maths, we have raised €103,338 and have €6,380 left to raise. We’re over 94% there, and have less than 6% left to go! Let’s raise this money by the end of the 2018 and we can then relax, knowing that we’ve achieved something important with the RCP, that will last for many, many years to come.