A quick breakfast and we were on the road again. A major change since we were last in Kigali is the volume of car traffic. This city has grown and developed beyond recognition since we were last here in 2013.
A 30 minute drive and we arrived at Kikangahara for a visit to Hope Academy Nursery School. Supported through our School Partners Project this building now has new windows, doors and a coat of paint, inside and out. A security fence and play equipment make it a happy place for the children to come. As with all the church run facilities they take the poorest children who cannot afford the privately run facilities. Without these Nurseries pre school age children would often be left alone whilst the parents went off in search of work. They are now reasonably well equipped with desks and chairs but are in desperate need of other basic educational materials.
Next stop Bumbogo, we had very clear memories of this journey on our previous trip and approached it with some trepidation, located at the top of the hill the road had proved a challenge. As we headed off the tarmac we held our breath, but amazingly the road was flat and as we wound our way up the hill it became apparent the government policy of providing improved roads to the more remote villages was having an impact. We arrived at Bumbogo in record time.
A visit to their new nursery school, built by a larger charity, found 167 children in 4 classrooms. They had benches but no tables or any educational materials, this was best demonstrated when the children proudly showed off their counting abilities, using discarded bottle tops!! For the first time ever we met children with special needs in school, the young girl on the mat was a wheelchair user, how anyone uses a wheelchair on these hill tracks is beyond us. Despite the lack of materials the children were happy and greeted us with songs. A relatively small sum could make a huge impact in these classes
Entering the church we were greeted by the children sponsored through CHI and their guardians singing and dancing in praise to God for the opportunity to be sponsored.
The testimonies given by both children and adults left us in no doubt of the value of sponsorship, the additional benefits from sponsorship in the Gasabo Project gave us a great deal to think about.
After a hot lunch it was on again to Kinyinya and yet another nursery which was in the process of construction when we last visited. Here we met more of our sponsored children and had the opportunity to visit two of them in their homes.
The highlight of the day was probably Ian meeting his sponsored child at Bumbogo Parish.
Over all a very encouraging day as, despite the obvious ongoing hardships, the support offered through CHI sponsorship really does seem to be having an impact which goes far beyond providing a basic education.