Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrations and reflections: Student Team 2011

Back in Kigali after an excellent week of work and fun. Looks like the rain has finally stopped and that we are well and truly into the dry season, and it happened just in time for the celebration at the Nelson Mandela Education Centre. The Green Helmets, a German non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) who have been working on developing a school for young students since 2005 has finished its term and has handed the school over to the Rwandan Government. It was an excellent ceremony. Illustrating all the new technologies and building principles that they have been working on for so long. It also showcased the CIC and the work that the NMEC students did last year before graduating and now the six former students have created their own construction company, Vision Construction Company. They have already received to job requests after showcasing their work in Gashora. Some members of the Covaga women were also there to show their appreciation to the Green Helmets and the school. All in all a great day for everyone.

We had lunch and dinner. Then took a group to the very emotional genocide memorial at Nyamata. A church which was used for the slaughter of over 5000. It is always so shocking even for myself after experiencing something so positive and uplifting and then having the reminder of the past...

So after getting all depressed once again. We headed off back down to NMEC for Irriguagua aka. banana beer and sang and danced the night away. A very memorable day indeed.

Yesterday was Liberation Day in Rwanda so we only worked a half day then visited the finally completed Girls Initiative School In Gashora. It has very impressive facilities and it makes school facilities in the West look poor. Its a very interesting experimental program only for women studying sciences. It hosts some of Rwandas most intelligent girls for three years before they hopefully go on to Universities in Rwanda and all over the world. The school is run at the moment through an NGO from Seattle, Washington. And the plan is to also hand the school over to the Rwandan government in 7 years. The school is especially special to the Vision Construction Company boys as well. They came with us to see the different construction methods and irrigation in place there and we hope can be integrated into the community gardens of the Covaga center.

Finally we are waiting to catch a bus to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu for some much deserved R&R. It will be a short trip as we will be returning to Kigali tomorrow so that we can catch the Festival of Independence day at Amahoro Stadium on July 4th to signify the end of the genocide.

Grant Jenkin

DWC Student Team Leader
Rwanda 2011

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