Category Archives: Developing World Connections

Kigali, Rwanda (December 2016)

In December, our team worked on a project with Grace Rwanda, sponsored by Developing World Connections.  We made over 2,500 cinder blocks, installed a new library, built a guard house and had countless adventures!  Thanks to a great, flexible and motivated group of volunteers who made this trip a success.

Building Educational or Community Facilities

Grace Rwanda has initiated and completed several successful sustainable community development and literacy projects since their founding in 2009. To date, they’ve built eight new classrooms for Rwinkwavu School in the Kayonza District, plus 16 latrines, a kitchen and a garden with livestock. The multi-year project was completed in 2012 and serves 1,500 students.

Volunteers on this trip were tasked construction work on one hectare of land at the site of Grace Rwanda’s headquarters on Gisozi Hill, five minutes from the Kigali National Genocide Memorial. The project will take several years and stages, and is currently at the point of having the architectural site drafts finalized.  When complete, the site will include a community hall for training librarians and promoting education and social enterprise, and ecolodge for volunteers and staff as well as offices for Grace Rwanda.

In 2011, Grace Rwanda created six mini-libraries of 500 books and 250 dictionaries in rural Rwandan schools, providing more than 3,000 children access to books. In 2013, Grace Rwanda created a community library in a youth centre in Muhanga, the first of 21 planned regional youth libraries.  Grace Rwanda’s priority is to supply books to youth in the Muhanga District.  Muhanga of Rwanda is a rural, agricultural district of 350,000 citizens including 87,000 students. Resources and books are scarce.  Three times a year, Grace Rwanda distributes books, installs new libraries and checks in on past projects.

About Rwanda

Rwanda is a tiny country in the heart of Africa, fractionally south of the equator. The population of Rwanda is 10 million people – the densest population in continental Africa. The vast majority of Rwandans engage in subsistence agriculture. Rwanda is  beautiful, lush, fertile and hilly – it is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills.

Gashora, Rwanda (February 2014)

Oh, Rwanda.  This country holds a special place in my heart and it was an exciting moment when I found that I could volunteer with Developing World Connections in this beautiful place!  So happy. <3

I spent two weeks in the community of Gashora continuing work building The COVAGA Community Center, a project that at the time was supported by Building Bridges with Rwanda.  The center will ultimately serve as a gathering place for the community with a library, a restaurant, and a weaving center where women make and sell their crafts.  You can read more about COVAGA here (it’s so nice to see the faces of these women again!).

Our two weeks in Rwanda brought many special stories that will all be shared in due course.  The delightful smiles of the children, the honest conversations about genocide, the beautiful wildlife, the hopeful eyes to the future…they combine to create a special atmosphere.

For now, a few of the moments captured below. 🙂