Chaste Uwihoreye, is the national co-ordinator for Rwandan-based NGO named Uyisenga Ni Imanzi.
Uyisenga Ni Imanzi provides for children who lost their families as a result of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and due to HIV/AIDS. The organisation also enables young adults to become heads of community households, caring for children. He has been asked by the European Commission to expand his programming to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chaste completed his Master’s in Psychology at the University of Rwanda and spent a semester at Stanford University.
In their regular meetings at village level to assess the challenges and needs in children’s care and education; the community based child protection structures, came up with an idea of establishing a pre-primary school program to ensure young children are well cared for and well prepared to go to primary school.
Following careers’ to establish the pre-primary schools where a child started to be well cared for in her/his early age for several reasons including playing an important role in the development of her/his personality; a child will then develop curiosity and creativity that will help him / her in life; to equip children with a certain level of basic education in her/his early age and provide her/him with skills that will prepare and ensure them the success in primary and secondary school.
The process has started with the active engagement of Uyisenga Nmanzi by putting much effort in mobilizing the whole community to have the same level of understanding.
Uyisenga Nmanzi staff during mobilization to establish preprimary schools cessions/Rwamagana-January 2017
The next step done was to elect committees that will follow up the construction of schools on the village levels: 12 committees from 15 villages have been designated and the community started to identify the plot where the schools will be built.
Two ways were used to find the land to construct schools:
- The community members themselves chosen to contribute in terms of money to buy the land
- Different education stakeholders have provided for the land including, churches, schools, local authority bodies such as cells,etc
Rubiha pre-primary school, one of 12 pre-primary schools built through the community effort-enrolled 53 children.
The starting of all 12 pre-primary schools in Rwamagana has opened the eyes of other Districts in the country including the District of Rubavu that has organized the study tour led by the director of good governance of the district of Rubavu in Western province to learn of the process; asked acknowledged the experience by Uyisenga Nmanzi to come to support the process of implementation of what they have seen during 2 days of their study trip.
In March, Uyisenga Nmanzi launched a mobilisation campaign in Rubavu to sensitized among the community the importance of taking kids in pre-primary school and to stand together to build the schools for earl aged children.
- In the period no more than 2 weeks after Rubavu community sensitization: 425 small children aged between 3 and 6 years attended the school in the following 8 sites (Vision, Busigari, Bisizi, Ryabizige, AEE, Rwashungwe and Muhuhuri), and 200 others were given the same chance in other remote areas where mobilisation sessions have not yet been provided.
- In Rwamagana, 516 children are enrolled in 12 schools.
*Pre-primary teachers capacity building
Pre-primary teachers on the circle, repeating children songs during the 2 days training/march 2017
Pre-primary schools in rural areas are the new programme that has got no experienced teachers. There is a need of building the capacity of facilitators to encourage them to do whatever it takes to well educate the children. 2 experienced pre-primary mentors were hired and provide for 2 days training from 4th to 5th of April in Mwulire sector, Rwamagana District to train the facilitators with regards to the Early child teaching methods and curriculum.
23 pre-primary teachers from 25 villages attended the session. Different skills were provided to the pre-primary teachers such as how to organise a daily schedule according to the 3 categories of age, how to adapt their lessons to the pre-primary educational themes. They have been taught what the Rwandan education system is, especially in early ages, and the specifications of the new program “competence based curriculum.” Teachers learnt early development entertainment for kids including songs and recitations.
From Chaste Uwihoreye in Rwanda