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Volunteering in Padri Vjeko Center
Thursday, 21 March 2013 Written by fra Ivica Perić

Volunteering in Padri Vjeko CenterWith the first days of 2013, volunteers from different parts of Europe started to arrive at our parish. They have come to help us in different areas – from music, painting, computers, and administration to helping out with the lessons in the school.

Thanks to them, big changes are happening in our vocational school. For example, giraffes, zebras and an elephant are now greeting everyone on the gate at the big school entrance, painted by Petra Lidia Ševeljević, an artist from Zagreb, Croatia. She arrived in early February and since then has been tirelessly painting the school gate in cheerful colours. Every new activity brings special joy to the kids from the primary school, who have observed every brushstroke Petra makes with great interest! Petra spends most of her time with a brush in her hand and surrounded by paints. For the little ones this is something special and completely new. That’s why they are especially amazed by the work of our artist.

Besides that, after school Petra teaches our students the basics of drawing and thus stimulates their creativity. And even that is not enough for her. She spends her evenings painting the walls in the volunteers’ house, which is on the compound of the friary, and having a lot of fun doing it!

And painting is not the only novelty in our school. IT specialist Domagoj Skledar, also from Zagreb, Croatia, is working to create a database that will make the school administration easier, and starting next month he will run a course to teach computer basics not only to our students, but also to all those interested in our parish, which will help them to improve their computer skills.

Entering data in the database, school finances and supervising teachers’ work in our vocational school is the domain of Bojana Mutnović, an economist from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bojana arrived in Kivumu in early January. Recently there has been something new on our webpage: from now on our articles are also available in German, and Bojana is to be thanked because she has been doing the translating. She is helped by Uta Leymann, our new English teacher, who also arrived from Germany in early February. Having spent time in Sudan and Ethiopia, Uta decided to come to Kivumu and help the students in mastering English.

And, finally, all of the above has been accompanied by the sound of music, which can be heard in our classrooms every day after lessons. Katarina Baotić, a music student from Bosnia, is to be thanked for this. Students have demonstrated great talent for music from the very start, and since Rwanda has no music schools, Katarina now has her hands full teaching music to the students. She also plans to start a small music school for other inhabitants of our parish who don’t attend the school but nonetheless want to learn music – to sing or play an instrument.

From all this, it’s clear that in our small community life is never boring. Our students are thirsty for education and so we are glad to see people coming from different parts of the world to transfer their knowledge and skills to our students and teachers.

Translated by Branimir Mlakić
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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