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Rwanda: igniting the imagination of refugee children
28 February 2012

With your support, JRS can continue to offer innovative, quality education for refugee students in Kiziba camp, Rwanda. (Peter Balleis SJ/JRS)
JRS is seeking new resources to be allocated for organising more interactive and creative lessons for refugee students.
Kibuye, 28 February 2012 – After a really successful experiment in bringing new technology into the classroom, JRS Rwanda is eager to integrate similar experiences into its education projects in the country.

Last October, students learned math and science by participating in a simulated space mission using Skype conference calling at the JRS school in Kiziba camp, western Rwanda. Convinced by the effectiveness of this creative teaching tool and the children’s excitement at using new technologies, JRS is now seeking funds to repeat the experiment.

"Increasing access to quality education for refugee children through new technologies will teach them to dream, be creative, and fight apathy in the camps", said JRS Rwanda Director, Erin McDonald.

Instead of holding class as usual in front of the blackboard, for just one day 18 students were given an opportunity to forget they were living in a refugee camp and were transformed into astronauts on an exciting simulated mission through the Solar System, using the technologies that their western counterparts often take for granted.

Support creative learning

The success of the experiment is due to the generosity of the Challenger Learning Center (CLC) of Wheeling Jesuit University, which kindly donated a free "Moon, Mars and Beyond programme" session, normally priced at 500 US dollars. Since this project is not included in the funding budget for activities in Rwanda, JRS is seeking new resources to be allocated for organising more interactive and creative lessons for refugee students.

"Interactive programmes like this one enrich the educational lives of children. Not only are they learning about math, science and geography, but they are learning to how use their imagination. Children in the camps are sadly under stimulated. We need activities like these to awaken their minds and to enrich their formal education. Our future is in their hands, and we must nurture and educate them as best we can", continues McDonald.

JRS has been working in Rwanda since 1996, assisting Congolese refugees living in Kiziba and Gihembe camps through the provision of formal and informal education, as well as providing IT and pastoral services, and other assistance to groups in the most vulnerable circumstances.

Allow JRS to continue offering refugee children creative education. See the JRS website for details on making a donation:

Click here for more information about JRS work in Kiziba.

Press Contact Information
James Stapleton
+39 06 6897 7465