The Power of Monthly Giving at Musabike Primary

Tucked into the southern part of Rubavu District, not far from the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is Musabike Primary. The hustle and bustle of students echo over the surrounding rows of crops and tea fields and fall upon the ears of the farmers within the school community who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. While this vibrant and bustling school serves 938 pre-primary to primary 6 students led by 15 teachers, it operates against the backdrop of many challenges to education in this region.

Students at Musabike have hopes and dreams for the future, but deep-set issues in this region mean that their circumstances are against them. School dropout rates in Rubavu are extremely high, and widespread gender inequality leads to girls being consistently overlooked in favour of boys. A quality values-based education is not only key to overcoming these challenges but is also the foundation that equips every child to achieve their God-given potential. That’s why Wellspring has been partnering with Musabike Primary since 2017 to see quality education take root in this community. Musabike is part of our School Partner program, which gives monthly donors the opportunity to walk alongside a specific school through its journey of transformation. Monthly giving provides a sustainable foundation for holistic change and plays a key role in seeing Rwandan students experience the kind of quality education we would hope for ourselvesan education filled with inspiration, joy, and care. An education that transforms heads and hearts, and shepherds its students towards their bright futures.

MBONIGABA Celestin, head teacher at Musabike Primary.
MBONIGABA Celestin, head teacher at Musabike Primary.

From the start of our journey with Musabike, head teacher Celestin welcomed Wellspring into the school with open arms. With a commitment to quality education and a desire to grow, he enthusiastically embraced our training in servant leadership and has embodied what it means to be a servant leader, eager to see students thrive in the classroom and to encourage and build into his staff. Wellspring’s leadership training has brought him to a place where he can confidently delegate responsibilities to teachers because he has built a culture of trust among staff. Under his leadership, Musabike has become a school characterized by teacher cooperation, peer learning, collaboration, and support. 

Putting into practice all he learned, Celestin has found new ways to support his team’s growth through ongoing professional development sessions and lesson observations. He has become a leader of teaching and learning, now actively engaged with his teachers as he visits classrooms and provides constructive feedback. As teachers receive support and advice from his leadership, the culture has shifted to one where teachers feel respected and cared for, and are equipped to lead their classrooms with confidence.

While head teacher Celestin has created transformation within the school grounds, it takes an entire school community’s support to create sustainable change to education. After seeing Celestin plant the seeds of transformation, local parents and the community surrounding Musabike were eager to get on board to support quality education however they could.

Following Wellspring-led training in Asset-Based Community Development, the parents at Musabike began taking on creative and collaborative ways to stand with leaders and teachers in the transformation of the school! School dropout rates in Rubavu are extremely high, often due to extreme poverty, as many children work in the fields or look after siblings rather than attending class. Understanding the importance of their children’s education, parents partnered together to create a committee of community representatives to follow up with students who had dropped out of school. Through their efforts, over 20 students have returned back to classrooms where they belong!

As a result of the training and support made possible by Wellspring’s incredible monthly donors, students at Musabike Primary are seeing their classrooms become safe, nurturing, and engaging learning environments. Between Celestin’s servant leadership, teachers’ developing their skills, and parents actively engaging in the school community, the children of Musabike are set to receive a quality education. An education that looks like students running to the school ground, eager to start the day of learning and discovering. Like children smiling from ear to ear as their teacher praises them for sharing an answer with the class. Like working together with a deskmate on a difficult math problem. Like dreaming with their friends about everything they could possibly be thanks to all of this knowledge at their fingertips. 

This is quality education in practice, not just theory, as students look forward to their future and the endless possibilities that lay before them.

The transformation at Musabike is a testament to the hard work and commitment of this incredible school community, but it is also a testament to the generosity of Wellspring’s monthly donors. This positive change was made possible by faithful partners saying “yes” to investing in an education that will benefit Rwandan children for generations to come. 

You’ve heard the stories of Celestin as he leads with humility and encouragement, of teachers as they strive to better serve their students, and of parents who are fighting against dropout so that every child can have access to an education, but there are still so many stories yet to unfold at Musabike Primary. Now, you can play a role in these stories too! During January 2021, we’re connecting new monthly partners with Musabike Primary. When you sign up as a School Partner for as little as $15/month, you’ll be standing on the front lines of changing a child’s school experience today and their opportunities for tomorrow.

As we all still grapple with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global halt to education, a sustainable foundation is more crucial than ever for schools like Musabike as they work to reclaim those lost months for their students. Will you join Musabike this month to foster lasting change, deeply engage with the school community, and see the tangible impact your generosity is having in the lives of these children. 

Will you say “yes”?