The Faces of Resilience: Meet Marie Jeanne T

This Giving Tuesday, we introduce you to some of our very own “Faces of Resilience”— Wellspring’s team of Rwandan trainers—who are the hands and feet of our work at Wellspring. Despite months of school closures and lockdowns, they found creative ways to ensure that their work in supporting school leaders, teachers, and parents would not be hindered.

Hear from Community Involvement Trainer Marie Jeanne as she shares her love for her job, what she learned during school closures, and what gets her excited about the future of Rwanda’s children in this exclusive interview. 

Wellspring: What do you love most about your job as a Community Involvement Trainer?

Marie Jeanne: What I love most is how our teachings contributed to the change of the mindset of parents, teachers, school leaders, and the community. Because of it, school communities come together, collaborate, work together to serve, support, and encourage the children to come to school and learn. They always communicate, meet, and find solutions to any problems which can occur and prevent the child from reaching their goals. When I see parents giving what they have, their time, strengths, good ideas, goods, money to support the children I am encouraged.

Wellspring: What are some of the lessons you have drawn from this time of lockdown as a Community Involvement trainer?

Marie Jeanne: The main lesson I learned during this period was that when it comes to meeting unexpected challenges that change your plans, you should not give up. Instead, take time to think and find out how you can adopt new strategies to move forward and reach your goals.

I learned to use different strategies to empower and support our partners like social media, writing short messages and sharing on WhatsApp, etc. Another lesson is the way School General Assembly Committees and School Connectors were committed to continue serving the communities and working with the school leaders in doing some activities related to the wellbeing of children after the school reopening. They didn’t lose hope, they continued to support children in mobilizing them to learn, and support the school projects while preparing for the school reopening.

Wellspring: What excites you about the future of every child when it comes to their education?

Marie Jeanne: What excites me about the future of every child is seeing every child enabled to go to school, learn, and achieve the best possible outcomes in both academic and wellbeing despite gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, geographic locations. I am excited as well to see school leaders, parents, teachers, and the entire community be aware and work together to assure an inclusive learning environment for children in schools and at home.

Because of your support, our trainers, along with school communities across Rwanda, have not come down. Instead, they adapted to the challenges, rose to the occasion, and continued toward their goal of providing quality education to every student. They have displayed resilience against all odds and have continued giving back to school communities.

On this Giving Tuesday, will you give a financial gift to help school leaders, teachers, parents, and students take on this upcoming year stronger than ever?