Sanejo

Sanejo, through the promotion of education, aims to support communities transiting from war to peace or facing abject poverty.
Jul 23, 2013

Empowerment through Education: A Quarterly Update

Sally Training Teachers in Ntenyo
Sally Training Teachers in Ntenyo

Sanejo’s mission is to empower local communities through education. This year, Sanejo has put a special emphasis on the construction of three new classrooms and connected the Ntenyo Primary School to electricity; which has allowed the installation of internet-connected computers. Additionally, Sanejo has built a library and improved the quality of education through teacher trainings provided by four Rwandan University students.

These accomplishments are in keeping with Sanejo’s three pillars, which are: the Improvement of Education and Infrastructure, Local Youth Empowerment and International Experience. More specifically, Sanejo’s team both globally and on the ground in Ntenyo are working together to accomplish the following:

(1)   Improvement of Education and Infrastructure

  • In April, an Australian teacher named Sally Morgan held a training session for teachers and interns. Sanejo’s interns have also organized pedagogy trainings, inclusive of a course on the methodology used in teaching Kinyarwanda as well as a course in Mathematics. 
  • Given the teachers’ low level of English language proficiency, Sanejo has been hosting daily English classes everyday to help the teachers improve their speaking, writing and reading skills.  
  • All 13 teachers are being trained individually in the use of computers so that they reach a standard level where they are able to learn together. Prior to these trainings, many of the teachers did not know how to turn on/off a computer.
  • Furthermore, teachers suggested that these trainings continue during school holidays (end of July to early August), illustrating their motivation toward continued education. Training on compassion fatigue is also planned to take place during that time as well as student-centered learning. Also, all of the teachers were qualified as “Excellent” during the district inspection.

(2)   Local Youth Empowerment

  • Together with empowering teachers, an emphasis was put in encouraging and supporting students in various ways. Having the aim of creating an English-speaking environment at the school, students are encouraged and taught how to use simple English communicative sentences and supported in other classes such as mathematics, science and social studies. One of the teachers had a great idea of forming a reading club that meets three times a week. In this club, they have English reading sessions and work on their vocabulary and grammar.
  • In order to help primary six students prepare for the national exam, Sanejo’s interns have organized special weekend sessions to help these students learn different lessons that they need extra help to understand.

(3)   International Experience

  • A group of Australian volunteers will be on the ground in Ntenyo from August 17 to August 29 to help with the construction of new classrooms. 
Teachers Use Computer for the First Time
Teachers Use Computer for the First Time
Teachers Collaborate with University Students
Teachers Collaborate with University Students
Intern Jean Pierre Instructs How to Use a Computer
Intern Jean Pierre Instructs How to Use a Computer
Mar 29, 2013

Sanejo in Ntenyo: Achievements & Goals for 2013

Finished Classroom
Finished Classroom

Since 2010, Sanejo has collaborated with the Ntenyo community and our international partners to rebuild the Ntenyo Primary School, train teachers, and create an environment that fosters youth empowerment and education. After listening and consulting with the community, Sanejo designed a five-year roadmap to guide our work and allow us to measure our progress and impact in Ntenyo.

In keeping with this vision, the following states our key achievements to date, which exist within the framework of three pillars that guide our engagement:

(1)  Improvement of Education and Infrastructure

  • Built eight fully equipped classrooms and successfully relocated over 60 percent of students into new buildings, as well as improved landscape, security and latrines.
  • Orchestrated the placement of two Rwandan University interns in Ntenyo to conduct on-site training workshops of 13 teachers per year.
  • Since 2011, Sanejo has seen 98% of Ntenyo students advance to secondary education.

(2)  Local Youth Empowerment

  • Formed a new association to promote small business management and language development among teenage dropouts with a current membership of 100 youths.
  • Inspired 85 Rwandan University students through on-site community service projects.
  • Continued work with youth from the Rwandan Diaspora to further development in rural communities.

(3)  International Experience:

  • Hosted three groups of international students, young professionals and educators from reputable institutions in Africa, Australia, Europe and the United States. 
  • Orchestrated workshops between international visitors and members of the Ntenyo community to discuss topics such as Development and Education. 
  • Brought together Ntenyo Primary School teachers with volunteers to converse and improve English language proficiency.

In addition to these accomplishments, Sanejo has also:

  • Developed working relationships with Generation Rwanda and students from the Kigali Institute of Education and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.
  • Invested over $120,000 in the Ntenyo community for initiatives that promote Sanejo’s three pillars.
  • Purchased 100% of construction materials from local businesses and created over 100 jobs for local community members for two months annually.
  • Achieved our 2012 fundraising target of $30,000 via our partnership with Global Giving’s online community and increased Sanejo’s visibility.

In 2013, Sanejo will continue its efforts toward providing a quality learning environment for students at the Ntenyo Primary School and strengthening the community through youth empowerment and international experience. More specifically, in 2013, Sanejo aims to:

  • Complete three new classrooms (two already have foundations).
  • Connect ten classrooms to electricity via the national grid.
  • Start first phase of installing computer and Internet access.
  • Build a teachers’ room to also house a temporary library.
  • Increase the amount of Rwandan University interns to four interns, and host a weekly language workshop to school dropouts and community members.
  • Enhance Sanejo’s on-site management of teacher training.

On a broader scale, Sanejo’s work complements overarching goals of youth education in Rwanda and is in keeping with the United Nations’ global aim for improved education standards. We are contributing to Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Education goals, which states: “All Rwandans will be able to read and write and have diverse professional and technical skills. Rwanda will be endowed with an education system that is well adapted to the socio-economic problems of the country, and ICT skills will be widespread.” Sanejo is also working in agreement with the United Nationals Millennium Development (MDG) goals, which states: “Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.”

 

Smiling Face
Smiling Face
Building Brick by Brick
Building Brick by Brick
Reading is a Key Component of Education
Reading is a Key Component of Education
Nov 5, 2012

Annual Volunteer Trip Commences

With smiling faces, the Ntenyo community has once again welcomed members of Sanejo and YGAP to oversee and assist construction of the Ntenyo Primary School. Over the last week, the group of inspired volunteers has made their journey to Rwanda with the goal of erecting three new classrooms for students in levels P1 through P6. With the help of over 40 local masons and construction workers, a dozen team members and volunteers expect to complete the majority of construction over the next two weeks.

The volunteers will also be present in the existing classrooms, supporting the teachers and encouraging the students. This visit will mark the third consecutive year of on-site development at the school, as part of Sanejo and YGAP’s five-year plan to improve Ntenyo’s educational and community infrastructure.

 As a highlight of the visit so far, Sanejo and YGAP participated in Ntenyo Primary School’s first “Reading Day” on Wednesday, which was orchestrated to promote the importance of knowledge and education attained through reading. The day began with a cheerful assembly on the lawn led by the school principal, which included a daily prayer, a series of songs sung in Kinyarwanda, and a rousing jingle intended for the visitors that stated: “We are happy to receive you, welcome!” The students were then marched into the church and seated in the pews, along with the teachers. The volunteers were graciously given seats at the front, and in keeping with the tune, had the pleasure of feeling completely welcome.

Over the next couple of hours, select students from P1 through P3 were brought to the front of the church to read short stories aloud. After each story, the students individually received a roar of clapping sounds and a standing ovation from the crowd, which totaled over 300 students, teachers, administrators, volunteers and other visitors. The reading sessions were followed by a play that was put on by a group of P6 students, who comically and creatively performed a story about a Rwandan who brought his family shame for misinterpreting a street sign due to his inability to read. The message emphasizing the value of reading was clear, and a series of “thank you” erupted from the students; many pledging to read more books as they departed from the celebration.

For lunch, the volunteers hosted a “fruit party” for the teachers and construction workers, where words of gratitude and fervor were exchanged in both English and Kinyarwanda. The workers then began clapping and singing; all with passionate smiles on their faces. Slowly, a group of them took the hands of the volunteers and led them into an empty area at the front of the church. An energetic explosion of traditional Rwandan dancing commenced, with the volunteers mimicking the moves of their counterparts and smiles mirrored on their faces.

The group’s time in Ntenyo so far has served as a wonderful introduction to the community, boosting a feeling of true unity, partnership, and the promise of a stronger educational future. The new classrooms are part of Sanejo and YGAP’s collaborative effort to “rebuild tomorrow’s generation” through educational access and empowerment. Expected to be completed in 2014, the Ntenyo Primary School Project is specifically designed to develop educational and community infrastructure in Ntenyo as well as promote sound education standards.

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