Mothering the Mother


The field of early childhood development is rife with research establishing direct links between nutrition and children’s cognitive development. Furthermore, it has been shown conclusively, that the critical period of brain development is age zero to three.  

At REAP, we understand that proper prenatal care and adequate nutrition for children are necessary support for the neurological and physical development of our future. In short, it sets children up for a good start on their path of education.

With this at the foundation, we started our monthly prenatal and early childhood development program. Pregnant mothers and mothers of children under five gather at our Center to learn about parenting and nutrition – both in theory and in practice. In addition to the workshops, nurses from Musha Health Center provide services such as vaccinations, family planning and vitamins.

Yesterday, REAP hosted 12 women in the first of these workshops (4 currently pregnant and 8 mothers of babies under five months of age). The mothers invested their time in learning about the importance of a balanced diet, cooked a meal, and ate — together. To make a complete meal, the families contribute food supplies such as bananas, potatoes and fish while REAP contributes vegetables from our garden. Parents are invited to attend until their children turn five and begin school. There is an opportunity for data collection and comparison here through a longitudinal study that compares academic and social-emotional performance of our participants’ children to the that of children who did not go through our program. If you are interested in funding, or running, a study of this sort please contact us for collaboration.

Remembering in Musha


In April 1994, Rwanda was devastated by the world’s most brutal genocide where, in under three months, over a million Tutsis were brutally put to death by Hutu extremists. Even 25 years after the genocide, the scars of survivors are physical and psychological.

Every year in April, Rwanda commemorates the tragedy with community building activities and events like walks of remembrance, community-wide discussions, commemoration nights, and the provision of socio-economic support to survivors.

As a member of the Musha Community, REAP of course took part in the 25th Tutsi Genocide commemoration. On April 12, the REAP team walked from the INEZA Community Learning Center and Library and joined the entire community in a walk down to the Musha mines, a site where an estimated 5,200 Tutsis were killed and buried — all of them from Musha area.

After talks and testimonies at the site, the REAP team joined the District officials and the larger community at Musha Genocide memorial for a commemoration night.

The 25th Commemoration emphasized the mantra “Remember, Unite, Renew”, which summarizes the need for continued reconstruction of the country through its community-oriented socio-economic programming, with a special focus on family union and wellbeing as the foundation of a peaceful society. This is also at the core of REAP’s beliefs and practices and our staff are honored to represent this mission each day.

REAP Hosts a Learning Consortium! 

REAP, as a member of the Rwanda Education NGOs Coordination Platform (RENCP), was selected to host a learning visit for the other community-oriented NGOs of the coalition. Eight NGOs, including Save the Children and Wellspring Foundation, spent the day observing and learning from REAP’s stellar educational programming. 

Our Community Learning Center and Library was selected to host this consortium though we have only been open seven months! We are extremely flattered and proud of the effort that our educators pour into the programs.

Amongst other commendations, the group appreciated REAP's integrated model of community education and development as well as strong collaboration with the government and other NGOs. One of the member organizations was particularly interested in collaborating with REAP through our garden project. We are looking forward to creating a mutually beneficial relationship with another one of our neighbors and will be sure to share updates!