Reflections From a School Visit
By Sarah Friesen
Public Engagement Coordinator
At the top of a bumpy hill in a rural village, sixty pairs of little eyes intently fastened themselves on a chalkboard in a nursery class at EP Nyacyonga.
In matching blue uniforms, their tiny bodies squirmed with excitement as they learned to read within the walls of an exposed brick classroom.
This school’s leadership has been working with Wellspring trainers to learn about gender equity, function as servant leaders, team building, strategic planning, community partnership building, and teacher development.
Teachers here are developing strategies to create engaging, stimulating and inclusive classrooms where all children can learn and thrive. When students are absent, they intercede with the parents on behalf of the child, emphasizing the importance of both regular classroom attendance and learning at home.
The principal and teachers who practice this training daily gave us a tour of each classroom.
When we poked our heads in to visit, each little personality shone as their curiosity was encouraged, harnessed and empowered because of a teacher who cared. These children don’t know it yet, but in attending this school, they have sidestepped a lot of these barriers to education:
- An unsafe journey to school;
- Parents who do not see the value of education;
- Girls needed at home for childcare and housework;
- Instruction in a language they don’t understand, and;
- Punishment if they make a mistake.
This is possible because communities of donor families, Lake2Lake riders, Gala attendees, monthly donors, and generous individuals all prayed, donated, and advocated for trainers to mentor teachers, school leaders and parents in providing quality education.
At EP Nyacyonga, I saw the evidence of years of effort, relationship building and child advocacy from Rwandans for Rwandans.
This is why we do what we do!
Are you interested in joining the community of people dedicated to seeing students access the quality education they deserve?