In the rugged hills of Ruhango District’s border with Karongi District in Southern and Western provinces at Kavumu is a kindergarten that was built by three Rwandans in Canada under Inzira y’Urumuri (Way of Light) organisation.
Approaching the structure, you can hear sounds of learning “little birds” in elevated class walls resonating the country’s tomorrow anchored within their tender bosoms.
The school where over 160 pupils get into contact with education was launched a year ago at Kavumu village and was named Saint Abel.
Back in the day, children in this area had to wait until the age of six to be able to walk over a two-hour rugged journey to the nearby kindergarten.
The story begins in 2011 with a sad story of a Rwandan lady Marie Ntaganda who lives in Canada coming to the vigil of his father in Kigali along with Noreen Barbe and Adolphine Mukamanzi, Canadian and Rwandan friends respectively.
After the vigil, Ntaganda sought to know the ancestral place of her family. Some family friends took her to Kavumu in Kabagali Sector, Ruhango District, and there she stood on the exact ground where her forefathers had lived generations ago.
She noticed that young children in the area had no school nearby to go to, a challenge she and her two other friends resolved to address by fundraising everywhere to have the school built.
The trio chose to form an organisation through which they could solicit funds - Canadian dollars 115,000 (over Rwf80m) which built the school and furniture. Ntaganda was made the head of the organisation.
Ntaganda says, “We felt so touched when parents of Kavumu told us that their children were walking for over two hours to the nearby school. This was too hard for young children”.
According to Mukamanzi, the Inzira y’Urumuri’s communications officer, the funds were raised from both Canadians and Rwandans in Canada. The Catholic church offered them land where the school was erected.
She is grateful to the donors, especially Barbe, one of the members of Inzira y’Urumuri, who even asked for donations for the school construction at the vigil of her son back in Canada a year after the founding of Inzira y’Urumuri organisation.
Bon Frere Bazire, one of the residents of Kavumu, calls it a miracle.
“We knew someday a school would come to the village but we thought of it in a far distant time. We are very grateful that these kind hearted people from far away worked towards the school for us,” he said unbelievably.
There are several other remote areas without schools, especially kindergartens, and Inzira y’Urumuri intend to continue the campaign of school construction around the country.
Currently, Inzira y’Urumuri are providing scholastic and sports equipment to the pupils as well as seeking to construct more classes for those who move to higher grades.
“We would really want to construct such schools in all remote areas in Rwanda where they’re needed, but due to the limited resources our efforts are aimed at ensuring the success of the school at Kavumu,” says Mukamanzi.