Richard's Rwanda-IMPUHWE Programs
The RRI members are active throughout the year, focusing on two main areas: global education and cross cultural exchange programs.The cross-cultural exchange program focuses on increasing communication and contact with the girls in the rural area of Nyamata, and with the RRI partner schools, FAWE (located in Kigali, the capital), and the Maranyundo Girls School (located in Nyamata). Cross-cultural activities include: letter exchanges, art exchanges, Skype communication, blogging and book club. Most of these activities culminated in service learning trip to Rwanda by United States based members to meet and work closely with the girls in Rwanda. This year marks our forth annual service learning trip to Rwanda.
In 2011 and 2012, RRI supported travel to Seattle for Rwandan students. The students were actively involved in speaking at various high schools and events to raise awareness and support for RRI. The education and awareness raising activities include: Global education awareness with particular emphasis on girls’ education, genocide and holocaust study and awareness, documentation of RRI experiences that lead to a film creation of experience traveling to Rwanda, and the publication of a quarterly newsletter sent to supporters and the community at large.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The following objectives were accomplished during the past year:
Accomplishments to date:
- Encouraged awareness programs to reduce gender discrimination that prevents girls from completing primary and secondary education.
- Developed an on-going cross-cultural exchange program between high school students in Seattle, WA and primary and secondary girls in Nyamata and Kigali, Rwanda.
- Supported a mentorship program provided by girls from the Fawe Girls School in the Rwandan capital Kigali and the Maranyundo School located in Nyamata, to low income girls in the rural district of Nyamata.
- Collaborated with Girl Hub, a local NGO in Kigali to maintain the support for girls to complete their secondary education.
- High school students in the US continued raising funds to support program activities through proposal writing and fund-raising activities.
- Increased community awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding the Rwandan genocide by organizing speakers, remembrance events and community outreach activities.
- Since the organization was established $135,000 has been raised towards the mission of supporting girls in Rwanda to finish their primary and secondary education.
- Successfully matched a $25,000 grant, and an additional $10,000 grant donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which allowed for $10,000 additional match.
- Held numerous fund-raising events, directly primarily by US student members, including bake sales, car washes, a dance, a silly band, apparel sales and a successful brunch fundraiser held in February, 2012 that raised over $30,000.
- Expanded from the original chapter at Seattle Girls’ School including establishing new East coast chapters.
- Developed a partnership with a two local Rwandan girls’ schools, FAWE (Forum African Women Educationalist Girls School) and the Maranyundo School for Girls to establish their own chapter of Richard’s Rwanda Impuhwe to provide mentoring to low-income girls in the impoverished rural area of Nyamata. The program has officially been incorporated as part of a community service program for both schools respectively.
- In June 2010, twelve founding members of RRI (from various member Seattle high schools) traveled to Rwanda to teach English literacy to Nyamata girls and strengthen collaboration with their peers at FAWE. 2011 Service Learning trip included seventeen students and the 2012 service learning trip had 28 students traveling to Rwanda form across the US. We will host our fourth annual service learning trip July, 2013.
- Strengthened partnership with the Imbuto Foundation founded by the First Lady of Rwanda Madame Kagame to establish a partnership with RRI.