In January the academic year started for our youngest, and a month later, our older boys return. A new school year begins with new books, uniforms and a big debate about the new school bags. We have a lot of spiderman and Obama fans! “Yes I can” and “Spidey” backpacks are all in fashion at the Ubaka U Rwanda center.
What is different from when I went to school (a while ago I know) is that the boys eagerly await the new school year: They proudly display their pictures of their first school day and receive their school equipment with a sense of gratitude and pride.
“I have been waiting for this day for 3 years now… that’s how long I’ve not been able to go to school. Today is a good day”
These were the words of David on his first school day. He came to our centre half way through last year, and cannot believe the opportunities it has presented to him. Underneath the bubbly excitement I was struck by the realisation that we really are changing the lives of these boys!
We are particular proud of Gentil. He excelled in his primary 6 exams and was offered a place at a secondary boarding school. Thanks to a Young Persons Sponsorship, we are able to fund this important step in his live. Gentil, who normally is a reserved and quiet individual, is full of pride and lets everyone know that he is proceeding to the secondary level. Secondary school is obligatory in the West, but here it is a luxury and the boys know it.
To add to the positive news our relationship with the local government has improved so much that this year they are contributing to our primary school fees. This represents a milestone in our charity being accepted in Rwanda. This proves that we are contributing to changing the hearts and minds of Rwandans to get involved in the work we are doing in reintegrating the boys back into society.