Specchio dei tempi has been present in Rwanda since 2019 with a project for the children of Nganzo, a village where we learned about the problems of schools in this country in East Africa. Here the classes have on average 65 students. Here only 65% of students complete schooling (2016 data, source Unicef). Here thousands of children get lost: the lessons are too expensive, the classrooms difficult to reach. The families are getting poorer and poorer.
Covid has made everything worse, so our contact person in Rwanda, Annamaria Zavagni Bergoglio and the head of the Catholic schools of the Rwandan CEI, Father Lambert Dusingizimana, asked us for help. For many children in the eastern province, school attendance is made increasingly irregular due to the Coronavirus pandemic, malaria and intestinal infections. It has always been limited during the rainy season, when moving around in these territories becomes almost impossible.
To allow children not to interrupt their studies, the institutes are equipped with guest rooms, where the little ones live far from their parents but close to desks and blackboards. Hospitality in these structures doubles the costs for families: if it costs 150 euros for a year of school fees, when you add the boarding school you need 300. Huge figures for those who have nothing.
Then there are the children who never leave the boarding school: the deaf-mute children, whom no one comes to pick up at the end of the term. They (and many other needy children, with or without disabilities) are looked after by the missionary nuns who manage most of the schools in the area, including Kicukiro, Nyamirambo, Rulindo, Kigali, Musanze and Nyarugenge. Specchio dei tempi will be alongside each of these pupils in the coming months. We want to help them grow up; support them with practical interventions and with our friendship. Everyone can “adopt” them, financing their studies and giving them the possibility of a better future.