A school constructed for orphans in Rwamagana district, Eastern Province has started recruiting staff.
The Frw2.8bn facility, Agahozo Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), constructed by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), targets a total of 125 orphans for the first intake, but will accommodate up to 500 orphans upon completion.
The school will have an ordinary level (‘O’ Level) and technical education section.
At least four students are to be seconded by district authorities, drawn from all districts countrywide. The candidates must be orphans.
Sifa Nsengimana, the ASYV Executive Director, in a recent interview with The New Times, said that the school intends to open by the end of the year after student enrollment and staff recruitment.
“At the beginning of 2009, the first academic year will begin,” she said.
She explained that the facility aims to create a safe and structured school and residential community for orphaned children in Rwanda.
“It will be a place of hope, where traumatized youth can ‘dry their tears’ (Agahozo) and ‘live in peace’ (Shalom),” Nsengimana noted.
In addition the Village will offer sports activities, a health clinic and psychological services.
Nsengimana also disclosed that a team of Ethiopian-Israelis graduates among other volunteers will serve as mentors for the educators and role models for ASYV students.
Owing to this caring environment, she said, hope of life will be restored, so that youth who have gone through great trauma will find a home and a community, as well as a place to learn and become tomorrow’s leaders.
According to Nsengimana, their aim is to provide Rwanda with a group of individuals committed to making a difference in their communities.
The initiative came after (JDC) members visited Rwanda and felt the plight of a staggering 1.2 million children–nearly 15 per cent of the Rwandan population, orphaned by the Genocide.
JDC gives global expression to the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another. The JDC therefore came up with this project (ASYV) to support the children of Rwanda by restoring hope for a better future.