The Rwanda School Project’s mission is to provide high quality secondary education in Rwanda. We opened the Rwamagana Leaders’ School in 2010 to offer a secure and nurturing school environment that transforms vulnerable youth into future leaders and problem solvers who champion environmental sustainability and social change.
Greg Farrell, founder, president, and CEO of Expeditionary Learning, served on our board from 2011 until his death on March 29, 2020. He was 84. The New York Times described him as a civic reformer and schools innovator in a design and program and nonprofit organization aimed at creating and sustaining excellent public schools in cities, towns and neighborhoods where good schools are most needed.
Expeditionary Learning is the model chosen by the Rwanda School to guide its growth. It emphasizes high standards, both with respect to academic and character development; a strong and positive school culture; learning by doing; fieldwork; and an intensive program of professional development for whole faculties. Greg summed up the approach, “…the idea is to get everyone over the mountain rather than to see who can get over the mountain first.”
—Greg Farrell … We will miss you, Greg.
In 2019, five from our first graduating class graduated from Kepler University. One of those graduates, Amani Simbayobewe, founded Rukundo, a nonprofit to “provide resources and support for the street children of Kigali to help them leave behind street life, return to school, and receive the education that will allow them to contribute to society and achieve their dreams.”
Other graduates have been empowered in other ways. Mucyo Pacifique (2017) received a four-year scholarship to the University of Nebraska with the commitment to work for at least five years after graduation to advance the agricultural sector in Rwanda. Ornella Irakoze (2015) founded the IF Foundation to support sustainable community development for single mothers, female Genocide survivors, and families. “I learned a lot in life and I feel like it is my time to give back.”
Food distribution from Rwamagana Campus due to COVID-19 shutdown.
On March 14, 2020 our campus received notification that our school needed to close as part of a nationwide shutdown in Rwanda due to the coronavirus. Since most in Rwanda live month-to-month with no savings, life seems impossible to many. After seeing that our students got home safely, we needed to help beyond the walls of our school building. First, we decided to continue the salaries of our teachers and staff, even though our income from tuition has ceased. Second, we donated $1,000 to help with government food distribution. Third, we prepared food bags to 45 families that stay in our school neighborhood. The need is huge, but resources are limited. The list in our school’s neighborhood has over 1,000 families with more than four members. “We are grateful for the quick response to our generous donors who have stood with us before and during this pandemic and above all to God who enables all of us to do what we do with smiles, love, and compassion.”
—Moses Ssenyonjo, Program Director