Rwanda

Students From Eton College Make a Difference in Rwanda

Background

Hands Up Schools was asked to arrange a trip for eight Eton College students to Rwanda, where they would make a difference helping with Save the Children

Requirements

It was essential that the trip immersed the students in Rwandan life, providing them with meaningful insights into Rwandan culture, and leave a positive impact with disadvantaged Rwandan children.

Planning

As with all school trips, safety was a top priority, and a detailed risk assessment was prepared to cover every eventuality.

Trip Elements

1. Cultural Awareness

The students gained insights into the Rwandan culture through:

Being led throughout by an expert Rwandan guide who took the boys to safe locations away from the tourist trail where they could learn about Rwandan life

Visiting the Genocide Museum in Kigali and various other genocide memorials to gain an appreciation of what transpired in 1994

2. Voluntary Service and Cultural Immersion

The boys went to a rural community in northern Rwanda, where Save the Children is actively caring for children.

Staying in basic accommodation, the boys got fully involved in rural life, working alongside the villagers as they performed their daily tasks.

Football matches were closely fought, and much loved by both the Eton students and the local boys.

Music was another way that the students interacted with their Rwandan counterparts.

Moreover, the students built a new classroom in the school, made possible by the fundraising efforts of the boys.

3. Other activities

Rwanda is one of just two countries where Mountain Gorillas live in their natural environment, and the boys did one-day trek to encounter one of the gorilla families.

On a separate day, the boys trekked into low-land jungle to spot playful Golden Monkeys.

Impact

The students rated the trip as highly meaningful and life-changing, and with the funds they raised, not only was a new classroom built, but the salary of an additional teacher was paid for on an on-going basis, thus alleviating the crowded classrooms, and giving the Rwandan students better access to education and thus improved job, health and family prospects.

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