In July 2013 one of our trustees, Sarah, went to Rwanda, staying in the Virunga Lodge in Volcanoes National Park. The Lodge is one of four owned by Volcanoes Safaris, a company which – in addition to organising trekking in the area – funds community projects to work with local people.
Sarah was lucky enough to be able to get out into the local village and to visit one of the projects there – Mbiko Primary School. HASTE sent a large bag of school supplies to the school, with pens, pencils, books and other materials, which the teachers and the pupils who were there (it was school holidays but some older children were studying for exams) were delighted to accept these items.
The school, which is aligned with the local Catholic Church, has 838 children from ages 7-16 – all studying a primary syllabus; msny of whom walk up to 3km to attend each day. Of these, maybe half will go on to recieve basic secondary education and 6 or 7 will pass exams (like the 11+) to take them on to higher secondary level.
There currently is no nursery education in the area, and HASTE have spoken to Volcanoes about the possibility of partnering on a project to create one but the Rwandan government have strict rules about foreign investment and wouldn’t likely allow it. HASTE are currently looking at other opportunities to work with the Volcanoes Trust.