I, Sandra du Plessis, work in conservation development and community based natural resource management. In 2012 I was in Rwanda conducting community based natural resource management training at a Rwandan college. I met a young boy called Peter at the bus station in Musanze, on my way from the Volcanoes National Park to Kigali.
Peter although only twelve years old at the time was not attending school but working as a bus usher in Musanze. Bus ushers help attract customers who they help onto the bus with their bags and to find a seat. The local buses businesses pay young boys “pocket money” to “usher” because of the big competition between bus businesses, and a population who is highly dependent on local transport.
Peter ushered me onto my bus, and then went to the Spaza shop at the bus station to buy me water and food for my journey on my behalf. We exchanged contact details through the window of the bus, and I returned to South Africa the next day. When back home in South Africa Peter contacted me by email and we started communicating. My husband and I soon realized how important it was for Peter’s future that he attend school. Only primary school is state funded. Peter’s parents, peasants who were subsistence farmers and lived off the land in the rural areas on the outskirts of the Volcano National Park, had no money to send Peter to high school.
My husband and I decided to sponsor Peter to go to school. We were fortunate that I had Rwandan colleagues from the college where I trained in Rwanda, who could ensure the funds were allocated to Peter’s schooling (and other essentials) and who could check up on Peter on a regular basis. We continued to sponsor Peter’s full high school career. Once he graduated from high school we continued sponsoring him to study a tourism degree at the University of Kigali. Tourism is the highest contributor to Rwanda’s GDP. This is because Rwanda is one of the top tourism destinations for viewing the endangered Mountain Gorilla. Peter plans to become a Nature Guide once his degree is complete. Nature guiding is considered a good job in Rwanda. Peter is currently studying his last semester of the degree (2020), and will graduate early 2021.
We want to provide his three younger brothers the same opportunity to have a bright future.
Peter’s father died a couple years ago, and his mother was forced to move to Uganda to survive. She now lives off the land, as a peasant, in a rural area not far from the Rwandan border. Prince, Peter’s brother who is 19 years old is staying with Peter in Rwanda. Although Prince is already 19 years old, he wants to go to high school to complete high school.
Peter’s two younger brothers, Masengesho (16 years old) and Manirakiza (14 years old) who live with their mom in Uganda, also want to do the same.
We want to find a few people who are keen to help give these three children a second chance to go back to school. The support given will directly help secure their future and the future of their future children.
First prize if you can commit to paying a proportion of a termly fee (each term is roughly three months). Providing long term support ensures this family never have to leave school again, and that each child is guaranteed the opportunity to eventually earn a school qualification. The funds contribute towards their termly school fees, their boarding school costs, and school uniform and materials.
The cost to help Prince go to high school, including their uniforms, materials and boarding school for Prince is roughly R5000 per term. We are so thankful that he has been able to start his school term in November, but require the strength of community to come behind this boy, and are putting this out to you.
If you feel led to support this endeavour then please contact Sandra Du Plessis, or Gaylene Ravenscroft.
Sandra du Plessis
Cell: 0649074728 // E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell: 0610071183 // E: email@example.com