Strengthening Community Involvement

We believe that it takes more than just schools to enhance education and develop opportunities. Our new Community Library and Learning Center, located in close proximity  to the Duha school, and at the crossroad of the village of Musha, will be an ideal location to maximize the participation of students, parents, and the surrounding community.  By building a Community Library and Learning Center in the Musha community, we will be able to increase instructional time for primary school children, who attend school for only a half day, and more fully engage parents in their children's learning. This synergy creates a learning environment that inspires hope, and generates creativity for active citizenship.  With this planned Center, we will be introducing research-based instruction in reading and writing for selected primary students as well as promoting adult literacy through educational programming.

a rendering of the new community library and learning center

a rendering of the new community library and learning center


Advancing Quality of Learning

  • A School Library was constructed and opened in the Spring of 2012 and is actively used by all students and teachers. In addition, there are special programs on Saturdays where over 100 children crowd into the library to read to themselves or to enjoy the pleasure of listening to a story. We have added over 1,000 children’s books to the library.
  • REAP's Early Intervention Program has been implemented for all first graders (760 students) at Duha. It seeks to identify struggling learners, then provide extra instruction with trained teachers. We have succeeded in improving pass rates.
  • Over 300 students are now participating in Learning Enrichment Programs on Saturdays. These sessions have encouraged students to seek help and stay on top of their schoolwork, all the while, markedly reducing both the dropout and retention rates at Duha.

Growing Alternative Learning Opportunities

  • REAP's Multimedia Program has been approved by school administrators and has been implemented in teaching timetables across all grades.
  • A computer lab is now set up for teachers and students. 51 teachers participated in a training program to master basic computer skills and software proficiency for use in their teaching. Our computer lab has now grown to over 33 laptops, donated by our partner schools in America.
  • Duha Teachers created a book, entitled "How to Make a Brick," in cooperation with REAP staff. The book describesthe process of making a brick with text in both Kinyarwandan and matching English. This book represents REAP's commitment to support the growth of local storytelling and indigenous literature.
  • REAP has partnered with Level Up Village (USA) to provide STEM learning to Duha students, through 1-on-1 interactions between American students and their counterparts in Rwanda. This has enabled kids at Duha to participate in interactions that teach STEM and design thinking through collaborative, real-life problem-solving experiments.
  • In 2015, for the first time, REAP has promoted community outreach on issues that matter, namely sexual and reproductive health. TUSUME and S.H.R.E Clubs are putting on educational plays for students, parents, and community members to encourage dialogue and ultimately reduce teen pregnancies. The clubs are also involved with the operation of the Girls' Room, which provides refuge and support to menstruating girls. It was hailed by the government as one of the best projects of its kind in Rwanda.

Reducing Obstacles to School Dropout

  • A Dairy Farm Project was established in 2013 for all Nursery School children to help ensure basic nutrition. This program guarantees that the youngest school-aged children receive at least a cup of milk each day. In 2015, REAP transferred management of the Dairy Farm over to the school and community. The ceremony was attended by local government officials and indicated growing signs of efficiency and sustainability within the program. Parents have begun to provide sorghum to mix with the milk, thereby increasing nutritional yield.
  • We have increased the number of toilets in the school and added handicapped toilets to improve sanitary conditions.
  • REAP has added tanks to increase the availability of water and worked to pipe fresh water into the school. 
  • In 2011, REAP also introduced electricity to Duha and the surrounding community.

Building Engagement

  • Our Central Hall was completed in the summer of 2012. It is the first common space in the school for students and teachers and functions as a multimedia center for all grades. It is used on the weekends to generate revenue for the school and the community. Students and teachers gather here for:
  • Teacher Training and Professional Development
  • Parent Meetings
  • Teacher's Meetings
  • Exams
  • Club Activities
  • Performances
  • Socializing
  • Reading Competitions
  • REAP employees applied to and received funds from the Africa International Club to create a Duha school mural, jointly designed by students and Rwandan artists. The mural includes themes of leadership, learning, and equity, and represents designs of traditional Rwandan art (Imigongo). It is our hope this mural will help honor the nation's rich cultural heritage, while promoting the hopes and dreams of students for their future.

Transforming School Leadership

  • We do not just build schools; we provide ongoing leadership training to develop exemplary schools that serve the needs of a rural setting. As part of our ongoing implementation of the Leadership Project, REAP has developed a framework that can be applied to rural schools moving forward. Our two exemplary schools (Green Hills Academy in Kigali and APAGIE in Musha) will continue working together throughout 2015 to expand performance-based school leadership.
  • Teacher training is a cornerstone of REAP’s philosophy. Leading professionals from America in conjunction with our partner school in Rwanda, Green Hills Academy, work to identify the strengths of teachers as well as introduce them to new instructional strategies in order to fully engage students as active learners.
  • Using real life experiences and the environment around them as a vehicle for learning.
  • Active instructional strategies are used to transform learning from memorization and repetition to engagement and participation.
  • A template for lesson planning was introduced as a tool for classroom productivity.
  • Coaching, co-teaching, and demonstration lessons are incorporated in all subject areas, empowering teachers to apply their learning.
  • Teachers continue to integrate the English language into each of the subject areas through innovative teaching strategies, such as our Multimedia Program, which opens new avenues of learning through audio, visual, and kinesthetic channels.
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  • Collaborative school partnerships are being maintained. Hackley School (USA), Bankstreet Graduate School of Education (USA), Klingenstein Leadership Program at Columbia University's Teacher's College (USA), Green Hills Academy (Rwanda) and Apagie Public School (Rwanda) are among our highly-esteemed school partners.

Recognitions

  • On October 5th, 2014, REAP and the Duha Complex School were honored as part of the annual Teacher's Day Celebration. Over 3,000 people attended including teachers from over 290 district schools and local officials of which, the Regional Education Inspector was the honored guest. Awards were given to schools in areas such as sports, performance, hygiene, and collaboration with partners. The Duha school was awarded for the Best Collaboration with Partners (REAP) and was found to excel in sports and finance management.
  • Thanks to REAP's impact, the Duha Complex School was selected to host the Hygiene and Cleanliness Event, a nationwide campaign that aims to prevent the spread of disease by promoting hygiene and personal health in schools and their communities.
  • In 2015, REAP received a grant from AIC Charity Committee to work with Kurama, a social enterprise in Rwanda. This organization was tasked with providing Rwandan artists who guided children at Duha to create a permanent mural at the entrance of the school. Children helped select themes and images that highlighted the importance of staying in school, pursing their dreams, and working in unity as a school community.

For more updates about the good work REAP is currently engaged in at Duha, please visit our BLOG