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15 years of German people’s generosity in paying school fees for Rwandan children

Through One World Group organization led by Pastor Gerhard Reuther, more than 100 Rwandan children have been benefiting from school fees program by the German people for 15 years.

Pastor Gerhard Reuther of the German Protestant Church, says One World Group has launched a fundraising campaign to pay school fees for children from needy families across Rwanda in 2007 and some of beneficiaries say a life changed thanks to the generosity expanded to them by German people.

“I came to Rwanda in 2007 with my wife and other members of the One World Group to see what we could do to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds such as paying for school fees, buying them school materials and uniforms. Since then our activities have started in collaboration with German donors. ”

“The money we spend on these activities is not money coming out of my pocket, no. I go looking for sponsors, when they are found I tell my colleague in Rwanda to look for a child or children who need educational help depending on the sponsors found. This is not a big organization, it is a small one with a small capacity but so far has transformed lives of some children.” He added.

The pastor said he was pleased with the progress of supported children especially those who have graduated from high school and that they are also planning to help the families of the beneficiaries to be self-reliant.

Laurette Mushimiyimana, One World Group Country Director in Rwanda said that among 76 children who benefit from this program so far include10 university students, primary school students, and some kindergarten students, with the addition of 15 who have already graduated at University.

Beneficiaries speak out

Patrick Mazimpaka from Nyarugenge district says they started helping him while in secondary school when he lost his father who passed away.

“At home, we were eight children after my father’s death and we experienced a tough and painful life. I was in the third year of primary school when they started helping me but unfortunately, the connection with them was cut off. […] in 2015 when I was in senior three of secondary school, I got an opportunity to find them again and they continued to help me until I graduate from University. ” Mazimpaka said.

Immaculée Nikuze from Gasabo District was also helped by this organization to study and to access healthcare treatment for the physical disability she had had at time.

“It was in 2010 when I became acquainted with this organization and I was in primary school at Muhima Primary School in Nyarugenge District. My legs were physically disabled and I could not wear shoes. They helped me get health treatment at Ririma and I recovered. I went back to primary school, they helped me finish secondary school and I graduated from ULK campus.”

Boniface Kanobana from Rwamagana District is a father of two children who are beneficiaries of One World Group school fees scheme.

“I really didn’t have the ability to pay for children’s education because I am in the second ubudehe category. It was a big challenge to get the money to pay for my four children school fees. […] they started paying school fees for one child until University and will soon graduate, another is in primary four.” Kanobana said.

Criteria for a child to be among One World Group’s beneficiaries

“The first step is that a child is not able to pay for education, and sometimes the sponsor prefers to help a girl child while another says he/she wants to help a boy […] We still have a lot of problems in education because even if the sponsor pays school fees, a child still has poverty problems at home and can go to school with empty stomach […] We request graduated beneficiaries to be self-reliant and create jobs if not employed. We also recommend them to help their brothers and sisters who undergo the same past experience, the act of love they have seen cannot go for granted.” explained Laurette Mushimiyimana.

She added that there are seven children who have deaf blindness who get special education in inclusive schools among the children assisted by One World Group. The school fees and all equipment for one of these children with disabilities goes up to RWF 250,000. The amount of money and support to other children depend on a school to which a child is studying.

One World group operates in various countries on European continent, and has various operations in African countries such as Gahna, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

Emma-Marie Umurerwa

emmadukunda@gmail.com

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