You are receiving this Project Report since you supported our September Challenge campaign on Global Giving to Close the Digital Divide for street children in Rwanda. This is the last, concluding report for this project.
THE IT PROGRAM IN RWANDA
Thank you so much for helping RDDC build an IT Center in Rwanda! Your support has allowed us to provide 60 street children with weekly computer training in the following areas:
Most of these children had never been able to write their own names before attending our classes. Staring at the keyboards, the kids became motivated to learn the alphabet and spell their names. (After all, they needed to check their email everyday!) Thus, one of the best results of the IT Center has been improving basic literacy of street children in Rwanda.
Going forward, RDDC is closing this project and will use the remaining funding to install more robust WIFI at the Center to improve connectivity and facilitate larger class numbers.
We are asking you – our contributors – to consider moving your support to RDDC’s new project on Global Giving: Street Scholars – From The Streets To The Classroom.
This will help us move the top students from our IT classes into the formal education system in Rwanda.
PHOTOS FROM KIGALI
Visit our online photo & video gallery of the IT Center in Kigali serving Street Children:
Thank you for making a contribution since September 2013 to RDDC's "Rwandan Street Children Closing The Digital Divide". This short report is a chance for us to update you on the progress of children in Rwanda attending the IT program that you helped to make possible last year.
The program is now serving approximately 50 street children per week. Since January, the students have learned how to set up Skype accounts and make calls to one another. Our Rwandan IT teachers, Bashir Karenzi and Innocent Nkusi, follow a specific IT curriculum developed by Gandzo Web Team (based in Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina).
Here is the story of one of our particular students, re-told by our Country Director Eugene Dushime in the field...
“I am feeling very good because I eat every day and I can use a computer. Now, I don’t worry anymore about the sun.” - Fils, RDDC Student & Former Street Child
Fils is a very curious young boy. He is always asking many questions about the Internet and life in general (religion, life after death). Last week, Fils didn’t attend RDDC dance class because he was “not in a good mood”. I [Country Director Eugene Dushime] joined him outside the dance class while he was sitting alone, contemplating the sky.
Eugene: How did you end up on the street?
Fils: I was tired of getting bitten by my father. I decided to join other kids on the street.
Eugene: How does it feel to live on the street when you are as young as you are?
Fils: Oh very bad. The hunger and the sun are the biggest threats I faced on the street.
Eugene: The “Sun?”
Fils: Yes, the sun was Enemy #1. When you are on the street and you have to eat, the first place you hope to find food is in the trash can. When you don’t find it, you pray, asking the lord to show you someone who will throw a piece of a cigarette, or a friend who can be compassionate and share the glue or cannabis.
Eugene: Are you telling me that you took those drugs on the streets?
Eugene: Then how is the sun your biggest enemy?
Fils: When you take those drugs, you can’t walk under the sun. It feels like your body is burning inside and outside. All you have to do is find a dark place and sleep until night, which is the hardest and most challenging time to find food. During the night, restaurants and the market are all closed, and the police is patrolling, looking for bad people. It is too dangerous.
Eugene: How do you feel now?
Fils: Very good.
Eugene: What makes you feel very good?
Fils: Because I eat every day and I can use a computer now. I don’t worry about the sun any more.
Fils is a regular RDDC student; he is smart and motived in IT. He earned 85 out of 100 in his IT test last week. Fils can open Microsoft Paint, draw and save his document without any assistance from his teacher. When asked about his future, his response is the same all the time:
“Ndashaka kuyobora ibihugu,” said Fils in local language, which means: “I want to leads countries.”
Thank you for giving a child like Fils - and 49 others - a chance to hope and a skill to use to advance his life.
You are receiving this Project Report since you supported our September Challenge on Global Giving to Close the Digital Divide for street children in Rwanda.
Given the holiday season, I wanted to let you know that our street children in Rwanda have something to be thankful for this year: YOU.
You – all 138 of you – supported our IT Center in Kigali and sponsored two former street children to go to boarding school in 2014.
IT Center in Kigali
2 Former Street Children will Go to Boarding School in 2014 with:
The Story of Egide…
Egide is one boy that has been helped immensely because of your support. He is a street child who has been living at FidesCo Center for four years. Within months of starting the IT Program, Egide has become one of our top students.
Our Rwandan teachers are training Egide to become a typist since his keyboard skills are excellent. If he masters this, he will be able to find a job in Rwanda and start earning an income…the first step to breaking the poverty cycle.
To learn more about Egide: http://rwandayouth.com/egide-gatsinzi/
PHOTOS FROM KIGALI
First and foremost, thank you so much for joining in our efforts to Close the Digital Divide by funding an IT Center for street children in Rwanda.
I recently spoke with my Country Director, Eugene Dushime, in Kigali. Eugene manages RDDC’s dance and IT classes taught by our local team year-round and serving nearly 300 children.
Eugene asked me if people in the USA believe that street children in Rwanda can know how to use a computer even though they have never gone to school before: “Rebecca, I know you believe it because you have seen our kids achieve this. But, what do other Americans think?”
I told Eugene that some people – like you – understand the potential of children. For whatever reason, you know that youth will flourish if given encouragement and role modeling through dance and technical skills through computer training, and that is why you have used your dollars to help create the circumstances that empower these street children to improve their own lives.
Eugene was amazed to hear that dance teachers, college students, health workers, professors, lawyers, bankers, actors and parents have all joined in helping street kids in his country. He added, “If you still find people doubting, show them the blog our kids just created in this week’s IT class!”
RDDC has just two days left in this campaign and we are in 11th place for Number of Unique Donors out of 350 projects on Global Giving. Please help us make the Top Five by asking one more friend or colleague to make a $10 donation to building another IT Center for Street Children.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
Still want to help?
Support another project run by Rebecca Davis Dance Company (RDDC) that needs your help, such as: