Rwandan community in Germany constructs blocks of classrooms at Musanze school

Members of  Rwandan Diaspora in Germany, officials and students of GS Rwinzovu pose for a group photo in front of the classrooms. Régis Umurengezi

The Rwandan community in Germany on Tuesday handed over a block of classrooms they have been building for the last six months.

The five classrooms, a girl’s sanitary room and six washrooms at Groupe Scolaire (GS) Rwinzovu in Gataraga Sector, Musanze District in Northern Province were built at a total cost of Rwf 120 million.

According to Providence Tuyisabe, a member of the German Diaspora, about 2000 Rwandans in the European country contributed to the effort to help their country in addressing some of the challenges, particularly in the education sector.

A view of the new clasrooms that Rwandan community in Germany constructed for GS Rwinzove from Musanze District. Régis Umurengezi

“Building a nation is a continuous process. We, the Rwandan community in Germany do not have a comfort zone when it comes to building our mother country. If we had a comfort zone, we wouldn’t have achieved this,” he noted.

“While vacationing in this district (Musanze), we heard from the community about the poor infrastructure at GS Rwinzovu and we decided to address the issue so as contribute to our nation’s progress given that education is a pillar for development,” added Tuyisabe

Jotham Kayumba, the head teacher at GS Rwinzovu, said the school had been using very old classrooms which had been built in 1963.

The director of RCAs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sandrine Uwimbabazi Maziyateke said that Rwandan communities abroad last year sent a total of $200million remittances in Rwanda. Régis Umurengezi

He revealed that in the old classroom, children, particularly in the primary section, sat five on a desk, a situation to which he partly attributed the high dropout rate.

“Students and pupils were not motivated to stick to their studies; we did not have a room that catered for girls during their menstrual period and pupils were overcrowded, and consider this new facility as a sustainable remedy,” said Kayumba.

Marie Claire Uwamaliya, the vice-mayor in charge of social affairs in Musanze District, said that the donation would significantly contribute to the district’s efforts towards addressing the issue of overcrowding as well as school dropout.

A  cross-section of old classrooms that GS Rwinzovu students used to study in previously. The rooms are blamed to motivate the school dropout. Régis Umurengezi

She noted that the district seeks to refurbish about 403 classrooms and build 243 new ones.

Sandrine Uwimbabazi Maziyateke, the Director of Rwanda Communities Abroad (RCAs) at the Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Cooperation, commended the role Rwandans from various communities abroad play in the national transformational programmes.

“They keep participating in the development of the country such as this project by the Rwandan community in Germany. We encourage other Rwandan communities abroad to do the same,” she said.

Maziyateke told The New Times that last year foreign remittances to Rwanda hit the $200 million mark.

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