29 September 2014

World Vision's locally led, sustainable education programs in Rwanda

Mon 29 Sep: The Kids


Today was day one of three project visit opportunities where the whole group had the opportunity to see firsthand where the money they have raised for World Vision is going. It was really something special. The day began with a decent drive along a washed out dirt road deep into the countryside of Northern Rwanda. We arrived at the day care centre just in time to help with the daily chores – collecting firewood to cook the kid’s lunch, collecting water to make the porridge, picking vegetables and peeling potatoes. It was a real wake-up call to think that these tasks have to be performed every day just to provide food and water to the young children.
140929_Kimberley College_World Vision Australia Experience Rwanda_Inspired Adventures_children at the childcare centre
Afterwards, the Kimberley College students were able to pop open their bags and bags of presents and enjoy a fun morning with the kids. There were bubbles, balloon animals, chalk drawings and even a foam football! It took a bit of time to really get the group going but we all slowly learned that the language of fun, happiness and laughter can break down any language barrier. Before sadly having to depart (there were several students jokingly threatening to take a child home with them) we all lined up and performed a choreographed dance to Nutbush City Limits by Tina Turner. This launched a bit of a dance-off with the children, who soundly crushed us with their singing, clapping and stomping that blew our little dance out of the water! 140929_Kimberley College_World Vision Australia Experience Rwanda_Inspired Adventures_Candice bubbles
Following our lunch pit-stop back at the hotel it was back on the road to meet Chantal and Promesse, the focus children of this year’s 40 hour famine. Promesse’s family has been struggling with several vital issues – food, shelter and safety while Chantal had to leave school last year to help care for her younger siblings while her mother went to work on a farm to pay for food and shelter. She is only TWELVE years old. We were all taken aback by how grown up she was, which was absolutely a factor of her situation. World Vision Australia’s programs are slowly beginning to impact these young people’s lives and we were able to hear firsthand just how significant these programs have the potential to be on their lives.
We finished the day by once again breaking down all the traditional barriers to communication—common language, culture, etc.—through sport. This time it was a rousing game of soccer that pitted the tough students of Kimberley College against the incredible skills of an entire village of World Vision sponsor children.140929_Kimberley College_World Vision Australia Experience Rwanda_Inspired Adventures_socccer diplomacy
As you can probably imagine, even with the help of our exceptionally skilled local drivers, we were destroyed. More than anything, however, the group really learned to appreciate those rare moments when the first thing to come to mind is that we are foreign and they are local. We are white and they are black. We are wealthy and they are struggling with the cycles of poverty. Instead, for just a few moments, we were all just young people kicking a ball around trying to score a goal. It’s these moments more than any other that this group cherishes most.

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