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Many students attend secondary boarding schools. For our students from impoverished backgrounds this has many benefits – a place to study after lessons, regular food and a safe place to sleep. They stay in school over the weekends also, with parental visits often during the first or second weekend of the month.
In 2018 we have fifty three students in secondary school, eighteen of those are new starters. Our aim is to support 20 children in each year group sponsoring them through Primary and Secondary school. For this to happen each child must have a sponsor. The system is working well and we have our quota for some years ahead passing through the Primary levels.
Here are some of our new secondary starters, they are very grateful for the continuing support they receive. Happy healthy young people, looking forward to the next step.
They will be attending a school which is new to us but which is not very far from Kigali so easily accessible when and if necessary.
There are some students who are not supported by a sponsor. They will attend the local state secondary school and may choose to attend our weekend and holiday activities.
We begin to collect the essential things the students need to take with them, if possible buying early in the markets before the prices go up. Mosquito nets, sheets and mattresses (for some schools) towels school bags, buckets and gerry cans, they need to take everything with them. A secure box is essential too. Older students are happy to help and give advice.
It is a big step from the small-scale friendly place they know as ‘home’ and they will be away for the whole of the term.
Normally we take the new starters with their parents but this time we are dropping off some of the older students on the way – they help us pack the bus – no little logistical task – and off we go.
We drop off the first batch of students but find leaving a challenge – thank goodness there are some parents around who are willing to help push us off on our way!!
We reach our destination – the first time we have been to this school and the first time they have had a large delegation arriving together. We hope to be able to develop a partnership here if all goes well.
Now we are done, we leave them to it. Hopefully they will make lots of friends, help each other out when they are feeling lonely or homesick and we look forward to seeing them back in Kigali at the end of the term.
Good luck! I say again, very big thank you to our sponsors for giving the students this chance which they could only have dreamt of before knowing of you.
We can do nothing without support and we are very grateful.
Wishing you love, peace and good health in your lives.