RWAMAGANA — Former street children being rehabilitated at the recently inaugurated School of Champions, Eastern Province have asked for increased food ratios. The children said they are being underfed and called for the administration to stop rationing their food.
“They give us little food, we are starving and some of our colleagues have decided to go back to the streets,” a group of former streets children told The New Times on Tuesday.
So far 150 former street children were chosen from different associations to attended a rehabilitation programme throughout the month of June. The course is meant to precede the July school studies.
The children are expected to study technical courses like electrical studies, carpentry, mechanics and plumbing among others.
Pastor Ezekiel Rucema, the representative of African Evangelist Enterprise (AEE) in the province said the School of Champions was not facing any problems. He said in case any problem, the authorities would quickly find an immediate solution.
Asked about food complaint, Rucema said that the pupils were feeding well and efforts are underway to tender and contract more food suppliers. Concerning discipline, Pastor Rucema said that about 8 students had been suspended on grounds of indiscipline.
Karori Karangwa, the acting Director of the school said that changing the mindsets of former street children into normal life was not a simple task. He explained that some children still harbor some habits like taking drugs.
He reasoned that once the drugs are consumed, even when fed the children’s diet would seem not enough. He said that the students’ complaint of being underfed is not true.
The School of Champions was built by AEE under the sponsorship of Presbyterian Church of Bellevue and Rwanda Partners. It was recently officially opened by Marcelline Mukakarangwa, the Secretary General in the Ministry of Labour.
The centre is the first of its kind and is looked at as a catalyst for development in the Eastern Province. According to Rev. Antoine Rutayisire, the school’s Secretary General, it is capable of receiving 600 pupils annually.
It has 20 classroom blocks, two dormitories; one for male and the other for female students, a dining hall, an office block and two houses for industrial training equipments and two houses for animators.