It’s the beginning of the school year in Rwanda. The former 6th, 9th and 12th graders are still waiting for the results of their national exams that will determine their fates for this year. For everyone else, it is an exciting time-getting new notebooks, shoes, book bags and anticipating the new school year. Well, for almost everyone else. Even “free” education means paying for shoes, books, a uniform, pens, pencils, a mathematics set, a teacher’s bonus, and a building fee. For the higher grades in secondary school, this means a minimum of $100 a year, which in a country where the average income is $644 and the average woman has between 4 and 5 children, this is very difficult for some people to afford. We try and “stand in the gap” for those students who need some help to study. Here are a couple of students we help. This is Paulette, who is a “total” orphan, ie she has neither mother or father; she lives with her big sister in the countryside in a house with no electricity. We pay that $100/year that she needs to go to the basic school. This is a big year for her-she is in 9th grade and will take the national exam. Please pray that she does well.
This is Elizabeth (below), who is entering 12th grade at an excellent private school. where she received a scholarship. She is first in her class, studying Biology and Chemistry. Last year the school said that even scholarship children have to pay $100 a year. Elizabeth and 2 other girls from Shyira, where we used to live, were on the verge of having to leave the school, when we were able to step in and help them pay the necessary fees. Here is a picture of Elizabeth with Chantale, who helps us administer the education fund and is a BIG help.
Thanks so much to all of you who make it possible for us to help these students. It is one of the mysterious sayings of Jesus that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but we know it’s true.