Apply to Join
Jan 10, 2020

Festive Morning with MindLeaps

Students Performing
Students Performing

The Jim Bell Center in Nyamirambo, Kigali was bursting with excitement as MindLeaps' students and staff gathered to celebrate the end of the Rwandan school year and the end of 2019. MindLeaps' junior trainers (high school students) along with staff were responsible for the day's successful events.

The main highlight of the day was, of course, dance performances by MindLeaps' students. The six current student groups: J, K, L, M, O, and P spent seven weeks creating, rehearsing, and preparing dances that were performed for MindLeaps' staff, parents, and fellow students. The pieces ranged in style from ballet and contemporary to hip-hop and afrobeat.

Another highlight of the day included a poem written and performed by former MindLeaps students, Ally and Jean de Dieu, entitled "Street Kid Rise Up." The poem, written in mixed language, English - Kinyarwanda, spoke about the ways in which a street kid's life can shift in a positive direction if their "hands are firmly held upward and given opportunity." Ally recently finished Primary School Level 6 and will be starting Secondary School in the new year. Congratulations Ally!

Also at the event, Rwandan staff members Salama Numukobwa (Community Facilitator), Eugene Dushime (International Coordinator), and Roger Ikuzwe (Program Manager) spoke congratulating the students and teachers on a successful year. They acknowledged the amazing effort involved to make the day's programs so successful and encouraged students to continue improving the self-esteem and teamwork skills they have been developing this year. Ikuzwe continued, crediting the 2019 success of MindLeaps Rwanda to the kids', parents', and staff's, "dedication, inspiration, and professionalism in addressing the social challenge of at-risk youth."

Thank you for your generous support of these vulnerable children in 2019. You have given them the chance to develop life skills that can ultimately lead to new opportunities and an improved life.

Program Manager, Roger, Dancing with Teen Students
Program Manager, Roger, Dancing with Teen Students
Students Performing
Students Performing
Ally Presenting Poem "Street Kid Rise Up"
Ally Presenting Poem "Street Kid Rise Up"
Jan 3, 2020

International Training in Conakry!

Caitlyn with team of International Trainees
Caitlyn with team of International Trainees

United States based dancer and MindLeaps trainer, Caitlyn, spent several weeks at the MindLeaps center in Guinea. While there she led the first ever iteration of MindLeaps Training for Professional dancers in the field. This training allowed dancers from the United States, Canada, Italy, and England to learn from and work with local Guinean Teachers and Staff. Emmanuel, winner of the Inaugural Annual MindLeaps Scholarship and lead refugee trainer in Rwanda's Mahama Refugee Camp traveled across the continent to participate. Read more about Emmanuel here!

Here's what Caitlyn had to say about her trip:

"I have just spent three weeks working with the MindLeaps team in Conakry, Guinea. My work on this trip was two fold. First, I led a group of four international dance trainers through advanced training of MindLeaps’ kinesthetic-based curricula, specialized teaching methodologies and practical data collection process. In just two weeks time, these four trainers learned MindLeaps standardized dance and choreography curricula, worked with local trainers and staff on specialized projects and had in field experience teaching MindLeaps students alongside local dance teachers.

Secondly, I worked with the local dance teachers and a group of performance students on a choreographic project titled “Our Voices.” In this project, we used dance to tell each child’s unique and inspiring story of personal transformation.

My time in Guinea was short but full. We danced, laughed, learned and certainly, sweat a whole lot! As I head back to the United States, I know I will carry with me the immense passion and boundless energy of Guinea."

Guinean Students in rehearsal
Guinean Students in rehearsal
Nov 18, 2019

Inaugural Annual MindLeaps Scholarship Recipient to Travel to Guinea

In October, the Inaugural Annual MindLeaps Scholarship was awarded to one refugee MindLeaps Trainer! This year's receipient is Emmanuel, lead refugee trainer in the Mahama camp in Rwanda. This scholarship will allow Emmanuel to travel to Guinea on his school break in December to be a part of the International Train The Trainer’s program. He will also receive training from Guinean MindLeaps Trainers.

While in Guinea, he will enhance his ability to communicate and teach the MindLeaps curriculum and methodology. Emmanuel will then return to his camp to share his newly acquired knowledge with his peers and community. This will help them develop the necessary skills to gain opportunity for an improved life. Congratulations, Emmanuel! We are so proud of your hard work, and we can't wait to have you at the MindLeaps Center in Guinea!!

Emmanuel's story

Emmanuel was born in Burundi. He and his family fled as refugees, and they have been living in the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda since 2015. Currently he is a student at Paysannat L Secondary School in Mahama where he studies Literature (English), Kiswahili, and French. In 2018, Emmanuel was selected to join the MindLeaps training program where he quickly rose to the top of his cohort for his natural technical dance ability and his exemplary character. Now, he is currently the lead trainer of the Mahama program - not to mention a positive role model for Mahama youth. Emmanuel is passionate about ballet and contemporary dance, and he has the natural physical qualities for a classical dancer, like flexibility, excellent feet, and the ability to be emotive when dancing.

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.