In 2014, when we began the education support program for children in Rwanda there was little to no earned income coming into the family homes. The children had missed semesters and even years of attending school due to their guardians inability to afford the school fees. The ability to buy enough food to feed their children two meals a day was scarce and what food they did eat lacked energy building ingredients. Prolonged hunger prohibits rational thought and sevely affects mental well-being.
This was the case for Vania. I met her in 2014 at her home in the Northern Region of Rwanda. She was an 11 year-old bright eyed girl with a beautiful smile. We receive report cards for all the children in our program to follow their progress, but Vania's grades were struggling to meet the 40% mark (80% being the best). However, in the last few years, as the women earn income from the Umva dyeing project, and are not having the financial burden of paying the school fees there is now more income for food and other necessities. Always, food and water are at the heart of a healthy mind and body.
In Rwanda, at the end of Primary School (grade 8) students have to take and successfully pass National Exams in order to attend Secondary School (grades 9-12). We received Vania's marks this month and she not only passed the exams but did them very well. Her best subject was English with a 2 (1 being best out of 10) but all the marks were 6 or less. She has been assigned to attend a boarding school in Rwanda where she will stay and study except for the holidays. We are so proud of Vania!
As our families work and earn income the children are thriving rather than barely surviving. This is how we make a difference directly where the need is so great.
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