The current trip would normally have taken place in January, primarily to organise school fees for the new academic year. This usually involves arranging new schools for those who are moving on and a hectic round of visits to banks along with all the Rwandan parents doing the same. We are told that this year the new term starts on 6th January which is a lot earlier than in previous years so it is fortunate we decided to make the trip earlier.
Yesterday we met our Nyamirabo group who we have been sending to school for some ten years now. We are left with only five, now growing into young adults, who are at various stages of secondary school. The others have left school along the way. Some have gone on to vocational training. It is pleasing that those who have left education completely are now earning a living in some way or other. We have motor mechanics, one boy running a stall selling DVDs, another has an internement at one of Kigali's city centre hotels.
As we move about Kigali and Rwanda generally, we see the young people who were unable to get themselves through school. Mostly they are house-boys or girls, essentially domestic staff for local Rwandan families. Others can be seen on the street where drugs and alcohol are easily available. Some can be seen begging. Ten years ago the group of children we found in Nyamirambo had no obvious future and no families to pay for education. If they now are able to earn a living for themselves then we will judge this project a success.