Build a Library for 800+ Students in rural Rwanda!

Jun 4, 2014

Remembrance through Workshops & Education

With the Ntenyo Primary School in its second term of the year, teachers and students are working hard to stay among top schools in the district. Together with Sanejo’s interns, teachers are considerably improving their level of English, which is the medium of education; as well as developing their computer skills. Additionally, Mrs. Violette organized the third psychology workshop for teachers, which had a theme of ‘trauma’ and was held in April, before the commemoration of the genocide.

The Rwandan Education Board held English assessments for the teachers in February, which was conducted on sector levels by school-based mentors. Together with our school interns, teachers prepared the assessment and teachers from Ntenyo scored among the top.

Early April marked Mrs. Violette’s organization of a third psychology workshop for teachers and community leaders; which teachers found to be enormously beneficial. After the training, one teacher stated, “I learned a lot from this workshop. I had my problems, and the children have theirs mostly caused by parents or simply their financial situation. I could not help them the way I should because managing my own problems was difficult, but today I learned how to do a personal assessment and seek help from a colleague if need be. I also learned how to recognize a child who needs help and actually how to help them.”

Furthermore, Sanejo’s interns have moved near the school for the summer holiday. They are now working at the school five days a week, where they help teachers and students in various domains. The interns are helping teachers use ICTs in the classroom, and they are the first public school in the district to be doing this. Interns are also assisting in the reading club, which offers meet-ups for club members twice a week and is striving to maintain a reading culture in the school community for all ages.

In brief, the last three months have been fruitful especially for the education pillar. Teachers’ and students’ English, computer and methodology levels are increasing considerably. There is no doubt that the end of year results will be rewarding.

Mar 3, 2014

Principal Rurangwa's Retirement & Holiday Update

Retirement Celebration
Retirement Celebration

Though the Ntenyo Primary School was on holiday from the end of October to the beginning of January, the time was well spent with notable achievements from the community. During the holiday period, teachers sacrificed some of their free time for a workshop with Mrs. Violette, a Kigali-based professional psychologist. In addition, the school principal started his retirement this year and the school community, local leaders and Sanejo members threw him a goodbye party for him at the end of January. Please read on for details of each event:


In November, Mrs. Violette organized a second, one-day workshop for teachers. The theme for the workshop was “Caring for children who have problems”. At the end of the workshop, the trainer identified that there was a need for another workshop on trauma, which is scheduled to take place during the end of February or early March; depending on the trainer’s availability. Mrs. Violette held another workshop with teachers on “Taking care of others”, where they learned about how to take good care of both their families and students as well as protect themselves from being affected by others’ problems.

Separately, the Rwanda Education Board has formed a group of mentors supporting primary schools across the country. The mentors help teachers increase their level of English as well as support them on new teaching methodologies, as the majority of mentors are graduates of the KIE. Innocent Munyandamutsa was appointed and works at the school one to two times per week.

Additionally, one of our interns from last year, Anita Ndekezi, stopped working at the school due to increased responsibilities at her university. Thanks to our partners at Generation Rwanda, we found her a replacement, Sabine Uwizeye, who is working with our three other interns (Jean Pierre, Godwin and Florence) to assist students and teachers. 

Principal Rurangwa Retirement Ceremony

On January 31st, the school community, diocese and local leaders in charge of education as well as Sanejo representatives organized a goodbye party for Principal Rurangwa who is retiring. Mr. Rurangwa was appointed as the Ntenyo Primary School Principal in 2010, the same year that Sanejo, YAGP and partners started working at the school. He has over 30 years of experience working in education in Rwanda. He started as a primary school teacher, and was later promoted as a principal. Before coming to Ntenyo, he was a principal of two schools.

For the past four years, Mr. Rurangwa has been known for his cleanliness and discipline; which is what teachers and students said he would be remembered for. When he first arrived in Ntenyo, parents did not want to send their children to the school, and both teachers and students who went there were not proud of it. He achieved many things the time he was working at the school including:

  • Increasing the number of students enrolled at the school from around 450 in 2010 to currently 926 students.
  • Increased number of students who pass the national exam of end of Primary school. Particularly in 2013, all the P6 students passed the exam, and the top three were admitted to good secondary schools in the southern Province.
  • From peer inspections organized at the Sector Level, Ntenyo School teachers received the award of being the best performers. This is based on inspectors’ observations of teachers’ class preparations, teaching methodologies, as well as keeping sound records of student attendance.

Mr. Rurangwa has been replaced by Mrs. Thabita Mukangango, who has ten years of teaching experience and has been a local leader for a couple of years. While we look forward to welcoming Mrs. Mukangango into the community, we are very grateful for Mr. Rurangwa’s support in all of our activities. He surely will be missed at the school.     



Farewell Principal Rurangwa
Farewell Principal Rurangwa
Ntenyo Teachers
Ntenyo Teachers
Nov 13, 2013

Teacher Training & Four New Classrooms!

Students Running Near a New Classroom
Students Running Near a New Classroom

In the course of the last few months, Sanejo has achieved many things. Together with our partners, we built new classrooms as well as trained teachers on new technologies, reading techniques as well as participatory teaching methods. From July to August, the Ntenyo community and the school in particular had an opportunity to, once again, be exposed to non-Rwandan cultures and participate in a global exchange of experience, knowledge and insights.

Teacher Training

From the end of July to mid-August, the school was on holiday. Teachers decided to use that time for their professional development and our four university interns organized English and computer trainings for them. Most of the teachers did not even know how to open a computer, but now they know how to use a variety of programs. Their level of English has also improved but most of all their confidence in speaking has improved considerably. In addition to this, a friend of Sanejo’s, Mrs. Violette Nyirarukundo, a Kigali based professional counselor, also held a one-day workshop for the teachers on compassion fatigue.    

Furthermore, the school received three tablets and Pico projectors from Dr. Christine Mahoney, one of the advisors to Sanejo’s Board. Together with the interns and the volunteers who visited the school in August, she provided teachers with more training on how to use computer programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and other educational programs. These new technologies are now part of the educational tools that teachers are using in their classrooms. We are also undergoing a trial period of introducing the use of the internet to the school.


Rebuilding the Ntenyo Primary School is core to Sanejo’s five-year plan that ends in 2015. In the last few months, with the support of our partners, we have completed the construction of four new classrooms, which brings the number of new, modern, fully equipped classrooms to twelve. Students from primary one to primary six are
now studying in safe buildings. In addition, the local government fulfilled its promise to bring electricity at the school and now eight out of twelve classrooms have electricity. The community around the school can also access electricity for the first time in their lives. This has opened up new business opportunities such as welding, phone charging and other small businesses that are mostly run by or employ youth who are dropouts from the Ntenyo School.

International Volunteers

Every year, YGAP, our Australian partner, sends volunteers to work at the school for a couple of weeks. This year we had a fantastic group of volunteers with various relevant skills, who worked with teachers, students and community members. Among many of the activities they focused on, the volunteers helped teachers with their English, organized art classes for students, taught them many games, and helped the builders with the construction of new classrooms.

We also congratulate YGAP as they celebrate their five-year anniversary of creating change in various communities globally, including changing the lives of thousands in Ntenyo. We are forever grateful to all of our partners who have contributed to the growth of the Ntenyo School and its community.

Training Teachers on Compassion Fatigue
Training Teachers on Compassion Fatigue
One of Four New Classrooms
One of Four New Classrooms
Intern John Pierre Shares a Moment with YGAP Lead
Intern John Pierre Shares a Moment with YGAP Lead
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

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Project Leader

Clint Misamore

Kigali, Rwanda

Where is this project located?

Map of Build a Library for 800+ Students in rural Rwanda!