Thank you so much, as always, for being a School Partner and for visiting this page to learn more about the people and the work you are supporting!

Please scroll down, or click on the links below, to hear more from Wellspring’s Training Team:

Messages of Thanks

2016 Highlights

Impact Stories

Looking Ahead

Prayer Points

header-sp-update-summer-2016-inspiring-year

Messages of Thanks

[one_third]thumb-aimable[/one_third][two_third_last]

“Thank you very much for your kind heart. We appreciate your support in promoting Quality Education in Rwandan schools. May God bless you abundantly.” – Aimable

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“May God bless you for your strong hand, which you offer to us for the implementation of quality education in Rwanda. You are helping our country through schools. Thank you.” – Beatrice

[/two_third][one_third_last]
[/one_third_last]

[one_third]thumb-benigne[/one_third][two_third_last]

““Thank you for your consistent support, which allows us to continue our work. Be blessed, our dear donor!” – Benigne

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“I would like to encourage you that the sacrifice you make for the cause of this work is not in vain. Gasabo school communities are growing, teachers are becoming more familiar with teaching approaches that engage all learners, and students are expressing gratitude to God for the changes taking place among their teachers. They are very happy because their teachers no longer beat them, but now love them. This encourages me to do my best in the future.” – Daniel

[/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]

“I am glad and appreciative to our partners for the sincere love and commitment that God has put on your hearts. Your contributions have made a great transformation in the communities of Rwanda.” – David

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“Thank you for your support. I am grateful to you because you are not only helping Wellspring and our staff, but also the nation of Rwanda – because to educate a child is to develop a nation. I always pray for you, that you would continue to have this heart for God’s work.” – Emmanuel

[/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_third]thumb-ernest[/one_third][two_third_last]

“I would like to humbly invite you to come and visit our work, the work you have supported for many years, and to see the real transformation. From the bottom of my heart, I send you the true love.” – Ernest

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“Thank you for your prayer and financial support. Blessings and much love!” – Gilbert

[/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_third]thumb-jean-claude[/one_third][two_third_last]

“I am grateful for the kind support Wellspring partners have continued to provide for us. May the Almighty God bless you abundantly.” – Jean Claude

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“Thank you so much for your prayers and support. It would be a great pleasure to have you here visiting and observing our work.” – Jeanne

[/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_third]thumb-juliet[/one_third][two_third_last]

“I would like to thank all of you who support Wellspring and wish you all God’s blessings, because without your support we cannot reach our goals. Wishing you all heavenly blessings.” – Juliet

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“Here at Wellspring, we are a committed team and love our work. We always want to see our country shining. This cannot be achieved without your support and prayers. Thank you for your support.” – Ladislas

[/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_third]thumb-marie-jeanne[/one_third][two_third_last]

“I would like to acknowledge your devotion and all your endeavors to support this important work we are doing. Thank you.”
– Marie Jeanne

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“Thank you for your kind heart and all the support you have been providing for this work. May the Almighty God bless you!” – Mary

[/two_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]

[one_third]thumb-rachel[/one_third][two_third_last]

“Thank you for your prayers and for all you are doing to support the program and to build a strong Wellspring Community according to God’s will. Yes, may His will be done and may His Kingdom come in this challenging world.” – Rachel

[/two_third_last]

[two_third]

“I would like to share a warm word of appreciation and encouragement that your work is invaluable. We are very grateful for your contributions to the future of Rwanda’s young generation of leaders.” – Theo

[/two_third][one_third_last]thumb-theogene[/one_third_last]

[one_third][/one_third][two_third_last]

“Thank you for your work and your heart of compassion. We value it very much, and may God bless you so much. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).” – Vedaste

[/two_third_last]

top

Some 2016 Highlights

“It excites me to be part of an organisation that works on the ground, seeing transformation from the grassroots up to policy level in the Land of a Thousand Hills.” – Heather Ndayisaba, Education Advisor.

header-sp-update-summer-2016-highlights

[one_column]

SEEING LIVES IMPACTED THROUGH ASSET BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

“Parents now understand that they are ‘citizens’ and not ‘clients’ in their school communities, and that together they can achieve more.” – Rachel Mahuku, Senior Manager: Partnerships and Community Involvement

A key feature of our School Development Program is training in Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) – training which we have now had the privilege of conducting with representatives from 484 Rwandan villages. This approach encourages and equips parents to develop the school community through utilizing their own talents and opportunities. It shifts the mindset from being a client to a citizen. Parents learn that when communities realize their assets, they can grow stronger and achieve more together. Through strengthening the community, children who were previously pulled out of school are returning to the classroom, as their parents now invest in the school and understand the importance of education.

In April, Wellspring had the privilege of hosting Cormac Russell, an international expert in Asset Based Community Development, who ran 5 days of training in ABCD theory and practice.  In his own words, What Wellspring’s community builders have achieved is awesome.” Following his trip, Cormac gave a TEDx talk, in which he shared just one story of how ABCD is having a huge impact in the school communities in which Wellspring works. You can view Cormac’s talk here.

CANADIAN VISION TRIP TEAM VISITS RWANDA

In February 2016, a team of supporters from Canada came to Rwanda as part of a Vision Trip  to experience Wellspring’s work first hand. Accompanied by Wellspring trainers, the group visited two of the schools that we work in in the Gasabo District – one of which was featured in a recent Wellspring video. Teachers were excited to meet these supporters, eager to share testimonies of how Wellspring has impacted their lives, and keen to showcase teaching aids that they had recently made. One teacher shared that she had introduced Wellspring’s techniques during the teaching practice portion of her university studies. The lecturers appreciated her lessons so much that they encouraged other trainees to use the same methods. These school visits were incredibly encouraging for Vision Trip members, Wellspring team members, and the teachers and leaders at these schools.

Please note that our next Vision Trip will take place on February 9-22, 2017 … and you are invited. We would love for you to join us and see this transformative work with your own eyes!

DEVELOPING SKILLS THROUGH “LEADER DAY”

Through lesson analysis at Leader Day, Wellspring helped school leaders identify and set targets to overcome the weaknesses in their schools.” – Beatrice Namango, Trainer, Quality Education

Wellspring invited school leaders to participate in a “Leader Day”, where together they analyzed lessons and school performance reports. Leaders were able to identify and set targets to overcome school weaknesses. The day also featured a workshop that demonstrated necessary skills to build strong teams founded on trust. Emphasis was placed on important leadership items such as school values and mission, and engagement with the community. We were encouraged to see leaders investing time in these activities in order to provide strong leadership for their schools.

WORKING WITH BAPTIST SCHOOLS IN RWANDA’S WESTERN PROVINCE

Over this past year, we have been working with 15 schools run by the Baptist denomination (as well as conducting leadership development in 7 additional schools), equipping teachers, school leaders, and sector leaders to develop quality education. Our team have also been observing lessons, and supporting and equipping the Baptist Church trainers so that they can effectively coach and mentor these teachers. There has been really positive feedback from those we have been training, which has been a huge encouragement. As our team looks forward to what the future holds for these schools, their prayer is that those foundations that have been built remain strong, and that we will continue to hear stories of transformation among the leaders, teachers, students and wider communities in those schools.

Learn more about our work with the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda.

[/one_column]

top

Impact Stories

header-sp-update-summer-2016-impact-stories

[one_column]

Affirmation from Rwanda’s State Minister of Education

Recently, the State Minister of Education held a meeting with school leaders and their supervisors from four School Districts, including Gasabo District, in which Wellspring works. Ernest, one of our trainers, shared that it touched his heart to hear the State Minister affirm that of the different schools he had visited in these four districts (along with local Mayors), they had only experienced good lessons in Gasabo District … the District in which we work!  School leaders in Gasabo were so happy to hear this!

In addition, at a recent education meeting led by a Wellspring Manager, the Vice-Mayor of Gasabo District conveyed that she was proud of the work we are doing in implementing quality education. She declared that she is ready to support Wellspring with all her heart to accomplish its work.

Schools Take Ownership of Study Visits

Wellspring has put in place a “Sector Education Council Committee” in the Nduba sector (one of the 15 sectors that make up the Gasabo District). The Committee includes at least one person representing each school, and our team spent time defining each member’s roles and responsibilities. One of the responsibilities of this group is to organize study visits to encourage peer learning between schools – something that had been a challenge due to lack of budget for these activities. However, during one of the Committee meetings, one of the members declared:

Even if the sector or the district cannot provide the funds, we as schools and parents can provide. The schools belong to us, and the children are ours. The destiny of our children must be in our hands – no one else will take the lead more than us. Dear members, let us act.”

Every member in the meeting clapped for him, and at the end they planned to start school visits. This is still going on, and is very successful.

Teachers Encouraged by Positive Approach

Wellspring trainer Benigne tells of how her heart was encouraged recently by a teacher at Kimihurura Primary School, who shared that she deeply appreciates the work of Wellspring, and is amazed by the approach Wellspring trainers use when they give feedback to teachers. This teacher likes the way that Wellspring starts by appreciating the good things that happen in the lesson, because it raises their confidence and encourages them. She said that by being consistently patient with them and continuing to love these teachers, this made them feel equipped, and able to grow and build on their strengths.

Peer Learning Having School-wide Impact

Another of Wellspring’s trainers, Aimable, shares the story of the Head Teacher of Kayanga Primary School, who had built a strong culture of peer learning and sharing in her school. Every Wednesday, all teachers and leaders at the school observe lessons given by their fellow teachers (chosen randomly), and after observing they meet together to discuss and learn from each other. The Head Teacher also observes these lessons, and participates actively in the discussions, providing positive and specific advice. These observations have boosted teacher confidence because of the positive and encouraging approach taken. When the Wellspring team visited this school to see how teachers were being impacted by this peer learning, they were surprised to see that even new teachers (who only joined the school in February) were able to implement Quality Education techniques in their lessons – all as a result of training by their peers!

What has also made a huge difference is the strong relationship that the Head Teacher has built with teachers – by listening to them, delegating responsibilities, solving their problems, and involving them in decision-making. This has meant that teachers are now self-motivated and behave responsibly even when leaders are not at school.

Schools No Longer Using Physical Punishment

In recent months, our trainers have seen great positive impact in the area of behaviour management. One Head Teacher recently shared the following in front of a group of 100 training participants: “After receiving training on positive discipline, I and my staff decided to remove negative discipline, such as beating children or giving any other corporal punishment, in our school rules and regulations. We have also removed the punishment of sending students home to bring sacks of cement to school, as this had been the main cause of dropout for many students (especially those whose parents could not afford to buy a sack of cement). Now, children are very happy at school, and dropout rates are reducing.”  It was incredible to see a man of respect humbling himself in front of such a large group of people, many of whom he leads, and being willing to show vulnerability and willingness to change. Upon visiting this school, it was clear to our team that the Head Teacher was true to his word, and has been working together with his team to put more positive behaviour management strategies in place.

[/one_column]

top

Looking Ahead

header-sp-update-summer-2016-looking-ahead

[one_column]

As our training team looks ahead to the coming year, they will be focused on the following:

We will strive to come alongside poorer performing schools in order to provide the extra support needed for them to excel.

We will engage with officials at the highest level concerning education in Rwanda. This approach is already succeeding, as Rwanda has adopted the new learner-centric Competence-Based Curriculum. Wellspring was key in the implementation of this new values-based curriculum.

We will grow the sustainability of our program through peer learning and lesson observations. This includes organizing events such as Teaching Aid Fairs, where teachers make and discuss the use of teaching aids together, and Sector Based Training, wherein teachers from each sector gather to observe model lessons and offer feedback.

We will support parents to use their skills to strengthen the wider community around their children’s school. In doing this, schools and communities will grow stronger and parents will become increasingly involved in their children’s education.

We will continue to empower school leaders through workshops and Leader Days in order to provide them with the skills and support they need to be stronger leaders in their schools.

We will expand our work in Rwanda’s northwestern Rubavu School District. We seek to spark the same transformation seen in the Gasabo District as we engage with parents, teachers, and communities in the pursuit of quality education for Rwandan children.

[/one_column]

top

Prayer Points

[two_third]

Please pray for our WORK:

  • For safety as we travel to rural schools. Many of the roads we use can be destroyed by rains, making travel difficult and unsafe.
  • For health and strength so that we may continue to serve God in the education sector.
  • For courage and wisdom in the face of challenges in our daily work.
  • For God’s guidance as we seek to expand our programs through partnerships in Rwanda’s western province and in other areas. Please pray for wisdom, insight, love, and grace throughout this process.

Please pray for those we SERVE:

  • For the engagement of school teachers in our program so that entire schools can be transformed.
  • For the involvement of sector officials so that our work can impact students and teachers on a wide scale.
  • For the prioritization of quality education by officials, as it has been observed that remarkable changes are made when education is a priority.
  • For the involvement of parents in their children’s education and school communities.

Please pray for our COUNTRY:

  • For sustainable peace and stability in Rwanda as border countries experience instability.
  • For the continued implementation of the new Competence-Based Curriculum in Rwanda, and for the process to yield positive results and strengthen the relationships between teacher and student.

[/two_third][one_third_last]

louise
If you would like to discuss how you can become more involved, or if you are interested in supporting an additional classroom, please contact Louise.

[/one_third_last]

top