2019 Year in Review
2019 was a year of celebration for Wellspring, with June marking our 15th birthday. Since 2004, Wellspring has grown from one school to a set of wide-reaching programs that impact the lives of over 175,000 children. School communities are being transformed through a quality education founded on the values that Jesus teaches us––an education that emphasizes the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each person. Here are a few highlights from our 15th year:
Equipping All Change-Makers
For the first time, school accountants participated in our training module on “Parents & School/Teacher Relationships,” and the impact of their involvement is already being seen. With each stakeholder on the same page about the importance of rallying around children, these accountants are now demonstrating practical and innovative care for students and their families.
Starting Work with Teachers in the Rubavu District
Having laid a foundation for lasting change through investment in leaders and parents, we had the privilege of beginning our direct involvement with Rubavu teachers. In early April, we welcomed 149 enthusiastic teachers to our first training workshop, which helped teachers understand how worldview and values impact teaching practices, and how to integrate values into lessons. Since April, our team has visited all 75 Rubavu primary schools to provide individualized support, deliver model lessons, and ensure that teachers are well-equipped to implement all that they have learned from our training. We were also excited to take our engagement with pre-primary teachers to a new level in the fall, when we ran a 4-day workshop on early childhood education with 89 pre-primary teachers in Rubavu.
Developing Sustainability in the Gasabo District
Our work in Gasabo, the district in which our work first began, has focused on moving all schools towards a place where quality education is self-sustainable. Our vision is to see Gasabo serve as a platform for systemic change in education that can spread to every district in Rwanda. This year, we placed a significant emphasis on ensuring the continuous professional development of Gasabo’s educators, through workshops that have equipped leaders with the tools to move this key area forward.
Through a comprehensive study of the impact of our work in Gasabo, we discovered that over $2.5 million has been invested into the district through in-kind contributions by parents. Our Asset-Based Community Development training has helped mobilize parents and community members to recognize how their strengths and assets can be utilized to support the local school community. As a result, different local solutions have emerged in each community, such as building classrooms, planting vegetable gardens, and raising money for school materials for disadvantaged students.
Working Towards Systemic Change
Throughout 2019, Wellspring was privileged to continue our role as co-chair of the Rwanda Education NGO Coordination Platform (RENCP), a body for NGO representation, information sharing, and coordination. Together with RENCP’s 96+ member organizations, as well as through partnership with the Rwandan government and participation in a number of high level working groups, we are working to see education transformed at a national level.
Looking Ahead to 2020 …
2020 marks the launch of our new strategic plan: Vision 2024. We’re excited about the path God is laying before us, and how we can continue to serve the children of Rwanda and beyond. We’ll be sharing more about these plans shortly.
These highlights wouldn’t be possible without an incredible partner community in North America. We are so grateful for every person who has come alongside Wellspring and the people of Rwanda as we all work together towards a future where every child has access to a quality education, no matter their circumstances.