The Faces of Resilience: Meet Emmanuel T

We recently had the opportunity to connect with our team of trainers to get a glimpse of the day-to-day realities of our team and a look into the resilience they have displayed over these past 18 months. Trainers shared their start as a teacher, their dreams for education, and the challenges they faced during months of lockdown. Despite the different stories and beginnings to their journey within education, we couldn’t help but notice a common theme between each trainer: a passion for quality education and determination to fan the flame of resilience in schools and communities across Rwanda both during and after this learning crisis.

This Giving Tuesday, we introduce you to some of our very own “Faces of Resilience”—Wellspring’s team of Rwandan trainers—who have been hard at work supporting school communities, despite having their work routine flipped upside down by the pandemic. Meet Emmanuel, one of Wellspring’s Quality Education Trainers.

Wellspring: What inspired you to want to become a teacher?

Emmanuel: A number of positive and negative factors have played an influence on me to become a teacher. On one hand, I liked the way my teachers in P1 and P5 treated children far different from others. Both of them were very intelligent, provided us with relevant knowledge, and advised us on being good people, respecting and valuing others. They used to tell us stories that built my personality of humility and support. They were good teachers. On the other hand, I have been challenged by the way some other teachers used to treat children, using physical punishment or raising their voices for every single minor reason that could be corrected in other ways.  I grew up with a mind of turning things around, not for vengeance but another way of treating children in a peaceful way like my teachers of P1 and P5. 

Wellspring: Schools have been in and out of closures over the past 18 months. What has work looked like during this time?

Emmanuel: As a teacher trainer, the work looks different from the way it used to be. The support I provide from remote to schools is different from the one I provided live and present at school [in person]. In the present circumstances, the work is heavier and demanding. It is not scheduled as it used to be, changes are happening now and then, and it requires more flexibility, innovative solutions to accomplish it remotely, which sometimes, is not working as expected. Some activities are delayed and we have no control over them, and some issues cannot be solved without our presence, so they are held on. However, Wellspring has been supportive, the leaders challenge us to be more creative in finding solutions to what we are facing, and we are coping with the current situation.

Wellspring: What are some of the lessons you have drawn from this difficult time as a Quality Education Trainer?

Emmanuel: A difficult time is a learning time. The lessons are so many. I learned to work remotely at my own pace and complete my tasks on time. I also learned to adapt my work to my home environment, established discipline and management of time as if I am at the office which enabled me to make the scheduled activities done on time. As well, I learned how to work with my colleagues online and coordinate various activities remotely while strengthening my level of technologies that would help me to do my work well. I learned resilience: this time was an opportunity to look for solutions for some issues, create new ways of working and maintain the working relationship between us as colleagues, and with our partners.

Because of your support, our trainers, along with school communities across Rwanda, have not stopped. 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 consider a financial gift to keep alive the spark of resilience among our team and the schools they serve? All donations given for Giving Tuesday will be triple matched—meaning $1 becomes $3—up to our goal of $10,000!