Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Update after day 3

Our project in Rwanda is now moving incredibly quickly. A bit of background information. The Girubuntu project was initially set up in 1994 to provide an orphanage for survivors of the genocide. Some of the orignal survivors still live at the site, others come back during university breaks, others have moved on. Also on the site is the pre-school, currently for 80 children most of whom are orphans themselves.

Yesterday I met the children. At the pre-schools I have helped in the UK a lot of time is spent in play. We believe that children will learn a lot about themselves, the world, and how to interact with others through playing. In the UK children have lots of time for academic study later. However here in Rwanda I have been told that 50% of children never even finish primary school, therefore the teachers try to really teach these tiny pre-schoolers as much as academic work as possible even at such a young age. They are also being taught English and French - even though outside school they speak "Kinynaranwda".

The state of the "classrooms" was really sad with crumbling walls and leaking roofs. Working alongside local people we are completely refurbishing the existing classrooms and building a new one to allow the school to grow. We start at 7am each morning. I have been plastering, helping to put in new electrics and planning decorations which I hope will be fantastic.

It is an incredibly interesting country and with 20 different projects going on at the same time the conversation over dinner each evening is non-stop. Some of us are working with the country's top lawyers, some are working with street children and there is everything in between. What an opportunity to see a country through so many different peoples' eyes.

1 comment:

Ellee said...

Vicky, this is so interesting, it's hard to believe young children finishing their education at such a young age. I bet they love the musical instruments.