Care at Karambo
After a morning filled with learning, teachers and students break for a well-deserved lunch. Head Teacher Jean Pierre makes his way to the school kitchen to gather with his staff around the table to share a meal. As teachers eat and chat about their morning, Jean Pierre listens as they share about the highs and lows of their lessons and offers his ideas with his staff as they discuss solutions to the problems they face. There is a deep sense of care among and between the staff, and this spirit of camaraderie and teamwork is directly impacting the hundreds of children they serve.
This is Karambo Primary, a vibrant school community that exemplifies transformation despite the many challenges students in this region face.
Set in the south-east corner of Rubavu, Karambo boasts a mighty staff of 24 who serve 981 primary and pre-primary students. Their dedication to teach and equip students in their most critical and formative years has ensured this school’s prosperity and has helped pave the way to each student’s bright future.
While the students of Karambo are being set up for success, deep-set issues in Rubavu District have made the educational journey difficult for many children. As a heavily agricultural region,
kids are often pulled out of school to help around the house or generate income for families struggling in poverty. Often, education is overlooked as many parents don’t understand the importance of their children receiving an education or that their student may simply need support at home. As a result, dropout rates are incredibly high, and many students in the region miss out on an education that gives them the confidence to dream and the knowledge and skills to see them come true.
It’s against this background that Wellspring began partnering with Karambo in 2017. The transformation this school has seen as a result has been astounding, all thanks to the consistent support of Karambo’s Monthly School Partners.
Welcome to Karambo
Our partnership with Karambo began with coming alongside head teacher Jean Pierre in his leadership. During our walk with the school, we have seen him commit himself to be more available to support his staff and take time to unify and build relationships with his team. This care for his team came to life when, following our training in Asset-Based Community Development, he initiated the building of a school kitchen to provide a place for teachers to join in the community and eat lunch together.
“Among many things that I learnt from Wellspring, I will never forget how after studying the leadership modules, especially Servant Leadership and Team Building, it helped me solve the problem of divisions that were among my staff. We sat down and discussed the issues, and ultimately we succeeded to solve that problem, and now we have a unified team.”
Along with Jean Pierre, Teacher Multiplier Daniel has seen transformation take root in his classroom after participating in Wellspring training. Following training in Positive Behavioural Management, he shared,
“Now I can manage my class easily with positive discipline tools that we learnt in the Positive Behavior Management module, especially the routines. I simply say 1, 2, 3 and the learners answer 4, 5, 6 or I say ABC and they respond XYZ. They instantly become silent.”
Wellspring’s Positive Behavioural Management training shares techniques like this for teachers to incorporate into the classroom to create a safe and encouraging learning environment. In collaboration with his students, Teacher Daniel lays out these classroom rules to know expectations and be rewarded for positive behaviour!
While Jean Pierre and Daniel have led the way to transformation within the school grounds, parents were eager to jump on board and support education outside of it!
Following Wellspring training in Asset-Based Community Development, parents in the School General Assembly Committee were eager to use their newly discovered skills and resources to benefit the school. Rather than seeing the rocky hill in the middle of the school ground as an obstacle, they saw it as an opportunity. Rallying together, parents dug the hill, collected the rocks, and used them as materials in the classroom construction efforts. Innocent, the Vice-President of the committee, shared, “This reduced the money that was going to be used to buy and transport the stones used in construction.” Using local resources supports the school in tangible ways and empowers the school community to use their unique gifts to create their solutions.
Constructing new classrooms to increase the capabilities of the school isn’t the only way Karambo’s parent community is becoming involved in their children’s education! Visiting families with children vulnerable to dropout, Karambo’s SCAN talked to parents about how they can support, encourage, and motivate their children to learn at home and get ready to return to school when schools reopen. As a result of their efforts, 976 of the expected 981 students returned to class—923 of which were returning students and 53 newly enrolled primary 1 students! They continue to follow up with those five students’ families to ensure that they return to school with the rest of their classmates.
Carving out the Path for Quality Education
Through the training and consistent support of Wellspring’s monthly donors, Karambo school has seen the dream of quality education become a reality. Teachers are supported and encouraged, students are sought after and are returning to class, and parents are choosing to prioritize the education of their children—all because you are investing in quality education!
As a part of our School Partner program, Karambo receives long-term and sustainable support from monthly donors who walk alongside Head Teacher Jean Pierre, teachers like Daniel, and parents like Innocent as they work together towards the goal of quality of education. Through the generous and ongoing support of our monthly partners, schools like Karambo tackle the challenges they face to meet every child with care and a quality education.
While the school community has laid the foundation, you can come alongside Karambo to continue carving out the path of quality education for students now and in the generations to come. This February 2021, we’re connecting new monthly partners with Karambo school. When you sign up as a School Partner for as little as $15/month, you are standing with Karambo school as they push through the challenges of COVID-19 and reclaim those lost months of learning. You are a part of 981 stories of transformation, as your partnership ensures that each of Karambo’s students receives the kind of education that transforms heads and hearts and spurs them towards their bright futures.
Thank you for joining Karambo in their journey of transformation today to secure the future of their students tomorrow.