Last Saturday, a group of US embassy employees led by the United States ambassador to Rwanda, Erica J. Barks Ruggles, participated in the monthly Community Service at the Duha School. The purpose of the community service was to celebrate the accomplishments of the girls’ programming achieved at Duha through REAP’s efforts. Jean Paulin Mutatsineza, the REAP Project Manager and a Mandela Washington Fellow, helped the Duha school receive this grant from the State Department to further enhance our ongoing commitment to girls’ health and leadership The Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) is the flagship program of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies President Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa.
As a result of the grant, Duha School is now provided with a fully functional rainwater harvesting system. Water is now piped to the girls’ room to improve hygiene, along with sanitary kits to over 300 girls at Duha. As the most highly recognized Girls’ Room in the Rwamagana District, Duha continues to be the leader in ensuring that the girls stay in school, and become engaged learners.
Addressing the community, the ambassador strongly underscored the importance of girls staying in school. “Whenever a girl stays in school, her family’s income goes up by 15-20%.....Girls staying in school is a benefit for the whole community and country. We are very proud as the US embassy to be partnering with the District, with the headmaster in the Duha school and with our YALI fellows… the ambassador stated. After her speech, the ambassador gave sanitary pads to parents and students.