Hello, it’s us again! We’ve spent another two incredible weeks in Kigali since our last post and we want to update you on how things are going!

Week 4

Continuing from Week 3, we’ve encouraged teachers to take even more of a lead during music sessions. This week has been all about supporting them and making sure they have all the tools they need to successfully run sessions on their own. We have continued with our weekly workshops and it’s been lovely to see each teacher enthusiastically share what they learned with the other staff members. We’ve used role play to help learning and this has been a lot of fun as teachers have been taking on very seriously the task of ‘pretending to be children’ while an activity is being demonstrated: We’ve had plenty of pretend fights, crying and poking! Role playing in this way has been very beneficial as it has given teachers the opportunity to show us how they would lead groups once we have left, and in return, we’ve been able to skill share specific exercises with them to aid regaining focus and attention.

Conflicting timetables has made it difficult to organise mother and children groups, therefore, we have decided to focus the rest of our time on youth groups. We’ve continued training John, the Art Teacher, in how to run drumming and body percussion activities with the older children. This is really growing in popularity! The session has become bigger and bigger, and the noise levels louder and louder (‘chane‘ for the kinyarwandan experts), so we’ve had to create two groups! John has been very enthusiastic about continuing to lead this activity once we leave and we believe it is a really enjoyable activity for the older children that attend the centre and will help develop self expression, creativity and build relationships. This week has also seen us continue our ‘cultural journey’ of Kigali by attending a music and cocktail night organised by the Inema Art Centre. There, we met a few local artists who introduced us to Rwandan Art and invited us to go bowling the next day. Fun!

Week 5: Square, Circle, Triangle! This week we’ve introduced teachers to a few new educational songs to help learn…shapes (as you might have guessed) but also colours and opposites. Again, we’ve been very impressed how quickly staff have picked up things and we’ve discussed together, the different ways activities can be developed and adapted to keep children on their feet and to keep learning! Cerrita has continued to lead the small groups for children with additional needs and we’ve added some new staff workshops to the time table. Staff have communicated that they are already seeing a change in some children whom are being more confident in their bigger classes and can understand the benefit of small group work.

On Friday, we met with some Canadian visitors who had worked with Hopes for Homes in Romania and were interested in their work in Rwanda. During their visit, we were treated to some traditional dancing at the community centre. We had not had an opportunity to see this before and it was captivating. Sam boldly accepted an offer to join in with the dancing whereas Cerrita sat this out!

We also went to Kirimonko market and got lost amongst the never ending multi coloured fabric stalls, we ended up getting a skirt made each and it took us quite a while to pick the fabric!