dreamfly in beautiful, magical Rwanda
One million lives lost. In mere one hundred days. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda happened in our life-times. When dreamfly visited Rwanda in August 2011, and heard first-hand stories of those who lost all their loved ones, it felt incomprehensible how someone could live through that and continue on with their lives. It feels to be beyond human capacity to then forgive, reconcile, and love, and let be loved, to build a better future.
It’s this living, breathing miracle that is Rwanda that dreamfly wanted to take a part in. We hoped to support Rwandan’s vision for their country to build a peaceful, prosperous, and brilliant future on the foundation of shared, ambitious dreams.
Nestled in the northwest end of the country, amidst lush green mountains and flowing rivers is the breathtaking village of Cyingwa, Rusizi. The children of Cyingwa have made a name for being the smartest in the district. Over the past years, a handful have come first in the entire district. One of them, trying to convince us he needs a better school, said: “it’s shameful to think that the future Bill Gates (him : )) will come from this building!”
The parents of Cyingwa, both survivors and perpetrators of the genocide, built the school with their hands over a decade ago. They came together to build a future for their children different from and better than their own. And today, they have their children working their little brilliant minds off, studying through the year, no summer vacations, as they pay the teachers extra out-of-pocket. They want these children to become the future leaders of Rwanda.
Pierre Munyura calls Rusizi his home. It’s where he lost both of his parents and 15 family members. Pierre went back and built a coffee plantation in Cyingwa so he could show his children, who lived through refugee camps during the genocide without any contact with their father, that he, and all of Rwandans, will actively work to create a better future. He sells his coffee at a ‘social premium,’ revenues that go towards developing the local community.
dreamfly in Cyingwa
In January 2013, partnering with Pierre Munyura, the Cyingwa community, and the Government of Rwanda, dreamfly adopted and expanded the Cyingwa Primary School. The Cyingwa Primary School has:
Over 1,000 students | 49% girls | 11% orphans | 20 living with disabilities | 15 teachers, 8 female, all between ages of 20 -30 yrs | An Anti-AIDS club, a Justice and Peace Club | no computers or Internet | no running water | no electricity
Pierre’s coffee business will fund ongoing management and operations of the school, ensuring sustainability and community ownership. dreamfly will enable teacher training, provide funding for additional infrastructure and resources. The school will incorporate regionally-appropriate inquiry-based learning methodologies based on critical reasoning, group learning, and self-learning.
dreamfly’s efforts in Cyingwa Rwanda are a partnership amongst dreamfly, Pierre Munyara’s Cyingwa Washing Station, Cyingwa Primary School, and the Government of Rwanda.
dreamfly built additional classrooms, latrines, and infrastructure and Cyingwa parents covered 20% of the cost in kind with stones, bricks and labor. The teacher salaries are provided by the Government of Rwanda and the ongoing expenses by the Cyingwa Coffee Washing Station with a social premium fund of USD $0.10 per kilogram of coffee sold, equating to approximately $3,600 per year.
Messages from the children of Cyingwa
During the US Thanksgiving holiday in 2012, in anticipation of the opening of their new, expanded school, the children of Cyingwa sent all of you – dreamfly champions and supporters – special, heart-felt messages of thanks. You can read them here: With love, from Rwanda