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Apr 11, 2014

You Are Making My Dreams Come True

Passy at Hillside School
Passy at Hillside School

You are receiving this report as a supporter of RDDC's Global Giving Project that helps street children re-integrate into the formal education system.

 This month is Genocide Prevention Month and it also marks the 20th Anniversary of the Tutsi Genocide in Rwanda.  The children we work with in Rwanda today were orphaned during the genocide or suffer the "next generation" problems of poverty, lack of education and homelessness.  

We are so grateful that you are helping access education during the continuing period of post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda.

Here is the story of one boy whose dream is becoming a reality...

Pacifique, known by his nickname “Passy”, was among the first group of street children that Rebecca Davis met when she visited Rwanda for the first time in 2008. Passy was part of a group of hip hop dancers who lived on the streets of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Passy is one of the former street children whose school studies are now sponsored by RDDC.  He is attending one of the best primary boarding schools in Rwanda, Hillside Day & Boarding School, which is situated in Rwanda’s Eastern province.

Back in 2009, Passy was only 10 years old, but he was already famous in Kigali, Rwanda's capital. On stage, audiences were amazed by the dance movements of this talented, little boy. His hip hop group was invited by the USA Embassy in Rwanda to perform and entertain its guests. Everybody was asking if Passy would ever go to school.

Passy is now 15 years old and is in the fifth grade of primary school (P5) - because of YOU!

When one visits Passy at Hillside School, you see that everyone knows him!   When you ask the kids why Passy is so popular, they respond: 

-       “Gakimane is my hip hop teacher. He teaches us hip hop steps during our breaks.”

-       “Gakimane is in many video clips of Rwandan singing stars.  I am glad that I am attending the same school as him. I ask him all about my favorite Rwandan stars.”

-       Kids who live in the same neighborhood as Hillside School are always looking for Passy during the weekends.  “We need him to teach us Hip Hop.”

-       “He helps in all the school’s events.”

As you can see, Passy is a child who is now off the streets and in school - trying to develop his brain, his talent and build a career.  Passy has realized that his dream can only come true when he is educated – and now he has that chance! 

 Thank you.

 

 

 

Dance Training in RDDC Program
Dance Training in RDDC Program
Passy's Cover For His Hit Single
Passy's Cover For His Hit Single
RDDC's IT Program in Rwanda
RDDC's IT Program in Rwanda

Links:

Apr 4, 2014

Final Report: Thank You from Rwanda

Mubarek Using Skype
Mubarek Using Skype

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:

  •       Vocabulary: Desktop, Mouse, Right/Left Click, USB, TouchPad
  •       MS Paint, MS Word
  •       Google Search
  •       Email
  •       Skype

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.

 

NEXT STEPS

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.

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/street-scholars/

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:

http://rebeccadavisdance.com/rwanda/

 

 

Moise Using Emoticons in Skype
Moise Using Emoticons in Skype
IT Center in Rwanda
IT Center in Rwanda
Mar 11, 2014

Update on Closing the Digital Divide in Rwanda

Fils in IT Class
Fils in IT Class

Dear Supporters,

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?

Fils: Yes!

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.

Fils in Dance Class with RDDC Teacher
Fils in Dance Class with RDDC Teacher

Links:

 
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