of Peace (CoP)
of Peace program for local orphans was an integral part of the original
concept, the idea being that
orphans could receive vocational
training at Bududa
Vocational Institute free of charge. Some one hundred and sixty orphans attend
the school from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, where they receive supplementary
schooling and two meals. They are also monitored for medical and home problems
and given school supplies, school uniforms, soap and Vaseline. Most importantly,
the program pays for the children’s lunches at public school during
the week plus school fees and exam costs when necessary. Most of these children
have Western sponsors, who contribute toward meeting the orphans’ expenses.
The children thus know there is a far-off person who cares. Contact is maintained
through the exchange of letters, photographs and drawings. The hope is that
the extra schooling and care will improve the children’s academic results,
which in turn will provide higher possibilities for them in the future.
new counseling initiative for all CoP students takes place one afternoon
week. The Girls’ Club is a new method of peer sharing started in 2011
by Sabia Rigby, an American Peace Corps volunteer assigned to this program.
Wednesday afternoon children climb up the red clay hill to the guesthouse
for sugary tea with an “escort,” as they say in Uganda, of local
donuts and an informal chat with teachers, interns or volunteers aimed to
concepts of hygiene and increase their self-confidence. Children are generally
subservient in Ugandan culture. To greet an adult they bow, and they speak
to adults in soft shy voices. This is particularly true of girls. By boosting
self-esteem of girls, the Club hopes to increase their chances of completing
their education without falling into the familiar trap of teenage pregnancy,
unwanted relationships, and dependency on men. The key message of the Club
is that girls have every reason to feel good about themselves and to be capable
of saying “No”. Their future is in their own hands, and it depends
on pursuing their studies. The boys’ counseling session taking place
on Tuesday afternoons focuses on personal hygiene, sexual safety and HIV
of accomplishments are Children of Peace orphans whose sponsors support
them through higher education. I could mention Tsapse Mark,
and Nakuti Madina, a proud trainee nurse. Children treated for serious
medical conditions with funds from the pooled sponsorship money, who
have continued to suffer, including little Barbara who was diagnosed with
epilepsy and Ivan who turned up seriously malnourished. Sheila Havard
With the help of Laura Shipler Chico, the former AGLI volunteer to Rwanda,
the Rwanda Sponsorship Program was created in 2006. The objective of the program
was to help different vulnerable children such as the orphans of war, HIV/AIDS,
and children from families which are very poor in the community to finish secondary
school. Since the program started, more than fifteen children have graduated
from high school. Some got jobs and can now support themselves and their families.
Others were able to continue for further studies. Since 2007, the program has
been organizing an annual retreat for the students. The retreat takes place
before the students start a new academic year. Currently, the program has 14
students; one at university, 12 at high school, and one at primary school.
goals for the future are to increase the number of students to 25, and find
a volunteer to help us with different activities like visiting children
at school, organizing the children’s annual retreat, etc. Theoneste Bizimana
letter to his sponsor:
you and your family in the name of Jesus. I write this letter to thank
you for everything you have done for me by assisting
me with school fees.
This time I have finished my high school studies in General Mechanics and
I hope that soon I may continue the university studies.
In Rwanda, we focus mainly on theories than practice due to limited materials.
So this is hard to the students like us where theoretically we are full of
knowledge but practically we are empty.
know how to thank you for your assistance. Thank you for helping me
getting this opportunity to
study. I had no hope to study again because
my family is very poor and my dad who was the only one to support me and
the whole family had passed away.
like to study university though it’s difficult here. I’ve
got 70.68% which is a high grade in our country but unfortunately, the
government scholarship in General Mechanics is very limited and if
granted, it may be
granted to less than five students in the country. But I will try my
best to see if I can be among these ones who can get it.
thank you very much and as I can’t get anything to pay back,
I wish you all divine blessings. I hope one day I will meet you and
we will share more stories.
be with you and your family.