In April 2015 we had the privilege of joining Stephanie Piper and Stephan Willemse from Devonshire House School on a visit to some of the amazing projects that Rwanda Aid supports in the remote South West corner of Rwanda.
So many of the projects we saw moved us immensely, but perhaps none as much as Nkombo Nursery.
Nkombo is an island on Lake Kivu on the border with Congo and is one of the poorest parts of the whole country. The children at the nursery had swollen bellies from malnutrition and were packed tightly into the single classroom.
The nursery is not only a place for the children to start their education, it also provides one meal a day (often the only one) and keeps the children busy so their older siblings can go to school instead of looking after them while the parents work. The education of today’s younger generations is central to the future development of the country.
We are lucky enough to live in a society where every child is guaranteed a place at school. A mother may choose not to work in order to raise their offspring, or perhaps hire a nanny. In Nkombo they have no choice, and the nursery becomes a vital part of the economy.
When we visited Nkombo Nursery there were about 250 children crowded into one small room. They were delighted to see us, especially Matilda (aged 9) and after short speeches from the teachers and Mrs Piper the children sang songs for us. The pupils’ lunch followed in the form of half a plastic cup of bean porridge (distributed by us). Afterwards many of the kids held our hands and joined us for a 30 minute walk back to the lakeside, during which the initial shyness and the language barrier were broken down.
As we rowed our boat back to the mainland, we realised that brief encounter with these children had left us with a strong desire to do something that will have a real impact on them and their future.
Thank you for helping us to build a new classroom for the children of Nkombo.
Tim, Elena and Matilda
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