Child Development in the early years is crucial to the health and well-being of the child as well as necessary to his total growth and advancement. Unfortunately, in Rwanda, almost 40% of young children have stunted growth. This not only affects their physical health but is damaging to their cognitive, social, emotional health impeding their later learning. Fewer than 20% of Rwandan children between the ages of 3 and 6 have the opportunity to attend learning programs. Only 1 in 5 Rwandan parents claimed to be involved in any time of developmental learning or play with their child at home. (Statistics from Unicef Rwanda).
The need for early learning centers and preschool opportunities is vast. The statistics only worsen in the vulnerable and poor demographics.
Our Early Learning Center opened in 2021 with one class each for ages 3, 4, and 5. Our intention Our Early Learning Center opened in 2021 with one class each for ages 3, 4, and 5. Our intention to accept only 60 students, soon grew to a total of 80 students enrolled, and 200 more on a waiting list for entry. We are looking at all options for doubling our capacity for the 2022 school year.
Our Mission: As detailed above, there is great neglect of little ones and little minds in this society. We desire to be able to provide quality learning opportunities in a loving, safe environment, where even the most vulnerable children are welcomed and given access to superior education. Furthermore, we want a play-based learning atmosphere where we can show and share Christ’s love to these children and their families. As our administrator, Kabuto shared in a recent meeting, “My heart is to see this school change the entire community.”
How it works: We chose to select only the children in the two poorest economic levels into our school this year. Families do make a contribution of $10 each term. This is as much for their commitment to their child’s education as it is for finances, as this does not cover the cost of facilities, let alone teacher salaries and materials. We rely on Sponsorship to offset these costs.
Get Involved: You can sponsor a child to attend our school for $150 per year. Children are engaged daily in reading and writing, music, and crafts. They have a playground and sand box, engage in sensory play and water play, paint and create with play dough, Legos, Duplos, blocks and engage in all sorts of constructive and pretend to play with classrooms stocked with materials. Children are fed porridge daily in order to combat malnutrition and to stimulate growth and good health.