On January 23rd, 55 MindLeaps students received sponsorship to start school. Some of these children had never gone to school and others dropped out – possibly several years ago – due to poverty. These children successfully completed MindLeaps dance and IT programs – proving they are ready for formal education. They have each joined the school program appropriate to their age level and family situation. Some are at primary schools, some attend secondary school and others are enrolled in vocational training schools. One student captured the enormity of this entire school enrollment experience. When Moussa set foot in his dormitory, he said, “This is the first time that I will ever sleep on a mattress.”
As part of MindLeaps program, these students received IT and computer skills training to help develop vocational skills and expose them to a classroom setting. Prior to attending MindLeaps, most of these 55 students had never touched a computer. Now they will be at the same level as their in-school peers in computer skills when they rejoin school this year. For example, Divine, who we mentioned in our last report, will be joining 7th grade this year. In a few years, she will graduate from secondary school. This degree, paired with her IT training from MindLeaps, will make her well-positioned to receive a high paying job after graduation.
Life has not stopped at MindLeaps Center in Kigali. A new class of girls is enrolling this month. In the spring, these girls will also start the IT portion of the MindLeaps program. The current IT curriculum was implemented in 2016 in collaboration with the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) computer certification program. This curriculum is well recognized within East Africa and will help close the digital divide for our students. By 2018, these new girls will have made significant gains on their cognitive and behavioral skills development, be on the path towards receiving their ICDL Computer Certification, and be ready to join the other 55 MindLeaps graduates that came before them at school.
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