CITW Rwanda Starts the 2021-22 School Year on a High Note

The 11th of October was the start of the new school year in Rwanda, an exciting time for the six partner schools that Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit Children in the Wilderness (CITW) works with, in the company’s three areas of operation in Rwanda. At the start of this new school year, CITW awarded an additional 30 six-year scholarships, valued at USD54 000, to learners at Bisate Secondary School, Rwabirharamba Secondary School outside Akagera National Park and Kinihira Secondary School close to Gishwati Forest. The 30 scholarships are in addition to 80 scholarships, valued at USD 120 000, already in place for students at Bisate Secondary School.

The funding has been provided by Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge and Magashi Camp guests, with the now 110 scholarships covering school fees, school meals, books and uniform costs for the full duration of the children’s secondary school education, giving them an unprecedented opportunity to shine. 

The 30 new scholarships have been awarded to 12 students at Bisate Secondary School (five boys and seven girls), 10 students at Rwabirharamba Secondary School (an even number of five boys and five girls), with the remaining eight awarded to four boys and four girls at Kinihira Secondary School.

Carefully selected by the CITW Rwanda team, the Community Committees, Eco-Club mentors and the Heads of the schools, the learners were chosen on the basis of academic merit and participation in their Eco-Club (an interactive, fun and educational environmental skills programme for children). Having graduated from primary school, they are now enrolled at their respective secondary schools where they will continue their extra-curricular environmental education via the CITW YES Clubs. The YES Club is designed for older learners and expands on the conservation concepts introduced in Eco-Clubs.

In order to retain the scholarship through each grade, learners must maintain good academic results while showing dedication, motivation and good behaviour. CITW Rwanda Programme Co-ordinator, Aline Umutoni, will monitor the progress of each learner on a regular basis.

The new school year also means that the six CITW Eco-Clubs have resumed, and 60 learners at Bisate Primary School, 60 students at Akayange Primary School and 64 students at Gisunzu Primary School – a total of 184 learners – are enrolled in our Environmental Curriculum for P4, P5 and P6 (the senior years) students in primary school.

The six schools are delighted and thankful for the support from CITW, which has not only resulted in improvements at the schools – such as additional sanitary facilities, internet, classroom repairs, teacher training and new desks – but has also proven to work as an extra motivator for all students. Bisate Primary School had one of the best national exam results in the whole region at the end of the last school year, with the highest-scoring students being members of the Eco-Clubs.