Please Join us Giving Tuesday to raise $10,000 and support education for vulnerable children like Junior and Queen!
Mama Junior’s Story: 2 children developing the skills for success
5 years ago as I was walking from the bus stop to Bright School inn Muhanga, a young child wearing the Bright School uniform, walking with his mother, ran over to me and took my hand and walked the rest of the way holding my hand That is my first memory of Junior and his mother. Here in Rwanda, the parents are called after their children, so I still know her as Mama Junior.
Mama Junior is a single parent with 2 children, Junior and Queen. She makes a small income from making amandazi (like a round donut) and selling them on the street. Both children attend Bright School with full assistance from Fund a Future Scholarship program
Junior is now in P5 (5th grade) and Queen is in P4. Since the lockdown, Mama Junior’s family is one of the up to 70 families that have received monthly food distributions. The daily fortified porridge they receive while in school is also important. Currently Junior, at 143 cm (56 1/3 inches) weighs only 29.5 kg ( 65 lb.).
In order to follow our students by phone during the school closure from the COVID -19 Pandemic, they were one of the 5 families to whom we provided a basic phone & airtime.
TEACH Rwanda is working to be able to field a LEGO Robotics team, the first one in Rwanda. We asked the children of ages 10 & older who was interested in this 6-month STEM program? One night I received a phone call from an unknown number. Guess who it was. Junior! “When will the Robots start?” he wanted to know, ready to go himself. I had to tell him that it will take time for us to get everything we need together.
Mama Junior has always been a regular helper around school where she helps the full-time staff clean and make porridge. Now she is one of the 2 people preparing food in our new project which will eventually become foodservice for our teachers and students. This allows her to earn some additional income to support her family.
At a recent Parent’s General Meeting, the subject was the Rwandan National Exam which our students will take next year. Mama Junior said “ I am confident because my children have skills and knowledge!”
Fund a Future (FaF) came from TEACH Rwanda’s core value that all children should have access to the high-quality education that we provide, not just those whose parents can afford the modest fees. That is the only way to really impact the poverty and ignorance in Rwanda. Parents contribute what they can and FaF pays the rest.
Fund a Future provides school fees, uniforms, any supplies that families are required to contribute (like a ream of paper a year). For some it provides basic medical insurance. It also allows these children to participate is Enrichment activities which happen during vacations and incur a small charge for self-pay students. When Bright School moved into our current location, many children needed to ride the bus to continue at Bright School. Once foodservice begins it will also be included. Our goal is for these children to have as normal a school experience as the other children regardless of their parents’ lack of resources.
Fund a Future is one of TEACH Rwanda’s foundation programs providing accessibility to our high-quality education. It is also part of the long-term sustainability plan for Bright School, the foundation of our nationwide teacher education program.
The cost per student is about $450 per year. The total budget for this program is $30,000.
Our goal this Giving Tuesday is to raise $10,000 to keep this valuable program going.
Help improve the lives of children like Junior & Queen
by helping TEACH Rwanda meet our goal!