In an African village, a well-educated child is a source of hope for the whole village. I lived it and I believe in it.
To educate a child is to bring a ray of sunshine to humanity because ignorance is the source of many evils. Without the generosity of my village, my talents and dreams would not have benefited anyone;let us help the children of this village to develop and share their talents. A school in the middle of the village is a guarantee of the symbiosis between universal knowledge and local wisdom.
- Jean-Paul Niyigena, Educator
Victor Hugo said, “To open a school is to close a prison.”
Giving one a sustainable path, both in education and in architecture and its construction, is to embody the promise of a benevolent guardian of a equitable future where people among themselves and in tune with nature will find a balance in their own development.
- Arnd Amand, Architect
Beyond a crystalline lake where islands of water hyacinth housing birds and crocodiles float on the constant current, beyond a place called Zaza in the country of Rwanda, beyond the “hedgerows” of black-eyed Susans and papyrus, there is a village called Rwamishiba where the earth is vermilion red and the avocado trees grow as tall if not taller than California oaks. It is there, in Rwamishiba, far from the capital of Kigali, where Jean-Paul Niyigena, Arnd Amand and Diane d’Epremesnil chose to build a school; an educational center which they have named, ONE DAY WE WILL READ - "Tuzamenya Gusoma."
They are introducing a schooling project there in the Eastern province of the country where the integral development will address the academic needs of the students in their care and the general well-being of the village inhabitants. Their main focus will be on the quality of that education for these children. Most of these children attend school in overcrowded classrooms in half-day shifts, which means that at the end of their studies, they won’t be as well-prepared for the State exams as those children going to private schools. The center of education will provide three classrooms where students, divided by age and in groups of 20, will improve their skills in all academic subjects. Under the supervision of a professional teacher, the center will able to assist 120 children per year. Tuzamenya Gusoma will be locally managed. The instructors will be from Rwamishiba.
Construction of the building has employed many workers for several months providing well-needed job opportunities. The workers were chosen in the village to help the local economy and train the villagers to learn building techniques that will help them find more lucrative jobs afterwards. Maintenance will be followed by the local population. The products from the gardens will be distributed to the families whose children learn to tend for them and also for those in need.
The center is almost finished, but they still need money for windows and window frames, as well as furniture (benches, tables for the teachers, blackboards, school manuals and shelves to hold them, lavatories etc.). The school wall, mandatory since the genocide, has not yet been built and the gardens and surroundings need to be planted (avocadoes and pineapples for all the villagers). It would be wonderful to have funds in advance to pay the teachers who will be working there full-time.
The parents and children of Rwanmishiba hope they can soon enter their building. Thanks to you, they may face a brighter future.
Jean-Paul at work with the foundations
Ground floor with a classroom, small kitchen and lavatories. Notice the bookshelves in the corridor.
First floor with a second classroom, as well as rooms for foreign teachers, that can be converted into computer rooms or small libraries.
Third floor, with another classroom and the water tanks on the roof to save rainwater.
- Hubert Hagemann
- Regina Grümme
- Manuel Grümme
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