Students hopeful as school feeding in Nyarubaka gets boosted from GCS-Rwanda

Global Civic Sharing Rwanda [GCS-Rwanda], an international non-governmental organization that supports citizens of the Kamonyi District through self-help groups (SHGs), has embarked on activities to pay school feeding fees for primary and secondary school students from vulnerable families in Nyarubaka Sector.

This program is funded by the people living in South Korea for the second trimester and will continue until the end of the academic year 2022-2023 benefiting 420 students enrolled in various classes. The inaugural event takes place on Monday, 23 January 2023.

Some of the students who received this help reported that they had many problems which were preventing them from studying properly.

It is with the help of GCS that they are managing to study and perform well.

Dative Bankundiye, P5 pupil said that GCS’ support will help her to study without facing constraints.

It was hard for me to study all day long in the past years because my family was unable to afford my school meals. I even missed class sometimes, but I thank God as we have a program that will cover it,”

She said.

She stressed that she is hopeful that positive changes will be experienced in her studies as the school feeding program gets boots from partners.

I’m very happy and I’m taking measures to increase my effort in studying hard because before this support I was not performing well as I was not affording school feeding fee. The project has saved me,”

she added.

Epaphrodite Tuyishime, a student from GS St Albert S2, said that his family was not able to pay school feeding fees for him last year and the following trimester due to the family’s low financial capacity.

Epaphrodite Tuyishime was everjoyed

However, he witnessed that he is now safe after the feeding fee is covered by the program.

He said:

When I heard the good news, I was overjoyed, because I know I’ll be able to study like other students. Last year it was so difficult because only those who were able to pay could have access to the means, while others, including myself, had to wait and eat while at home. I could be hungry while others are eating and usually fall asleep in the classroom,

he said.

He stated that all barriers have been removed due to the support of the GCS adding, “This is the reason why I will perform well and succeed.”

Olive Mujawiyera, a representative of parents whose children attend GS St Albert Nyarubaka, said that they are satisfied with this support that will allow their children to study and perform well without dropping out of school.

Olive Mujawiyera, a representative of parents whose children attend GS St Albert Nyarubaka

They said they will get the opportunity to also work hard and the earned money will be invested in developing themselves by buying livestock in order to afford basic needs for their children at school in the coming years.

“As a parent who speaks on behalf of others, I commend the support on their behalf. The support will help our children learn well and succeed,” she said.

She requests that GCS look for other ways to help more children in the sector through other support such as kitchen kits and kitchen construction.

Jean Damascene Habineza, in charge of studies (DOS) at GS St Albert Nyarubaka said that GCS assisted their school in offloading the burden of not having enough meals for the students.

Jean Damascene Habineza, in charge of studies (DOS) at GS St Albert Nyarubaka

GCS Rwanda helps us to fulfill an important task because we have a number of children whose parents cannot afford the school feeding contribution. We take it very seriously. We appreciate GCS’s assistance because, as everyone knows, it’s prohibited to dismiss a student saying they are not paying. They can’t be prevented from studying because of their poverty,”

he said.

Devothe Mukamana, the Nyarubaka sector’s education Inspector, praised GCS’s initiative, which was launched for the first time in the Kamonyi district, particularly in the Nyarubaka sector.

Currently, she said, 58% of parents in Nyarubaka Sector have contributed to school feeding.

Devothe Mukamana, the Nyarubaka sector’s education Inspector, praised GCS’s initiative

According to Mukamana this rate is still low as it becomes a burden for schools that are supposed to feed all students although many did not contribute to the feeding program.

“ Let me thank GCS for resolving that problem; the children will study well and pass the course without barriers; as a result of GCS’s assistance, it is understood that the principle of education that we strive to achieve is fulfilled,” she said.

GCS Country Representative Mr. Aimable Twagirayezu said that they decided to tackle the issue because it is one of the most significant barriers to education in Rwanda, as evidenced by various studies.

Officials during launching

He said, “We have seen the same issue here in the Nyarubaka sector. GCS as a government partner in community development, we decided to help these students have lunch at their respective schools.”

We hope that if the child eats at school, the participation will be at a high level, it will improve his academic success if there are no other special issues. The drop-out rate will be significantly reduced, but it’s also to help parents, if they have a burden, with the money they used to clean it up,”

Twagirayezu added

With respect to the other assistance from GCS, as requested by parents and school Headteachers, he said it will be done if they find more partners to fund it.

GCS Country Representative during the interview

He stated,

We always intend to do better than we are doing for the Rwandan people, but it depends on our capacity. We exist to solve societal problems; as long as we work with our partners and they support us, nothing prevents us from broadening our humanitarian activities.”

Pupils, parents and officials with joy

This special program assisted approximately 420 students from primary and secondary schools with funds totaling nearly 2 million Rwandan Francs in Rwanda.

Pupils during lunch time

Global Civic Sharing (GCS) provides development aid to needy communities in different countries.

The organization was founded in 1998 and has its headquarters in South Korea with operations in Vietnam, East Timor, Mongolia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Kenya.

Francine Mbanjimpundu