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A Year of Great Projects!
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 Written by fra Ivica Perić

In the life of every community some years are especially remembered and talked about as the year of great events. And this year - 2014, will surely be remembered for a long time to come as the year of the realization of great projects; a year of much construction and the birth of a new and modern addition to our village of Kivumu.

A Year of Great Projects

The first thing you now encounter as you enter the village is the new Technical Secondary School. The construction of the first of two phases was completed last year, with the first generation of students already in the classrooms!

But we didn’t stop there. This spring we continued with even more construction on the school. Two spacious storage rooms were built, and work continued on the second phase of the school complex. We also finished the construction of toilets for the school, located adjacent to the main building - twenty-four in total. We need that many because we expect that one day, the school will be attended by as many as a thousand students. We also considered children with special needs, so two toilets were specially made for easy use and access. And that’s not all. Since most families in our village are without bathing facilities, we also installed four shower stalls, so that our students would feel really comfortable.

In addition to the existing water tanks that had been built last year, we recently completed the construction of an additional large underground water tank. These tanks will gather rainwater from the school’s roof, ensuring that we have a constant and stable supply of water throughout the year.

All this work on our new school compound will undoubtedly place our Technical Secondary School among the most modern schools in this part of Africa!

And if you take a short walk towards the village center, into the very heart of Kivumu, just opposite the church you will find another new construction site, our newest project during this year of great projects. We have nearly completed the construction of a residential building, which will house teachers for our schools.

It’s a residence for teachers who are not originally from Kivumu and who work in our schools. The teachers will spend their week-nights in this new facility. Many of our teachers live as far as fifteen kilometres away from Kivumu. It would really be too much for them to walk to work every day. To pay for public transport is too costly, and most don’t even have bicycles, the only other option.

That is why we decided to make our employees’ life a bit easier and invest in something permanent – a residential building, to be used by present and future teachers.

The residence consists of eight spacious rooms, a large kitchen, a bathroom with shower stalls and toilets. The building is already roofed, all electrical and plumbing installations are in place, and all that is left is some finishing work and the furnishing of the building. The plan is to finish the entire structure within the next several weeks, and then our currently ‘homeless’ teachers will get a roof over their heads with great living and working conditions.

And yes, of course, to complete this work, we used all the means at our disposal – the house was constructed by our building students from our vocational school, electricity was installed by our electricity students, the toilets and the bathing facilities were installed by our plumbing students, and the furniture for the residence will be made by our carpentry students.

For them it is great practical experience, and for the village it is yet another great building! Of course, just as for the Technical Secondary School, the plans for this residential building were drawn up by our ingenious architect from Zagreb in Croatia, Višnja Kljajić, who has a good soul and a big heart for Africa!

And finally, we have realized yet another incredibly great project in Kivumu! You see, after several years of wishful thinking and planning, earlier this year we embarked on a project to bring water to the Mpushi Primary School. This school, located 6 kilometres from Kivumu, has more than two thousand students, making it one of the biggest schools in Rwanda, and until now it has not had any kind of water supply. You can just imagine what the sanitary conditions in the school were like!

This was costly work to do. We constructed two water tanks – one next to the water source, and the other one next to the school. We connected the two tanks with a pipeline so that the students finally have access to water in their schoolyard. We have already installed faucets as well. All that is left to be done are some small construction details and the waterline will soon be fully functional!

The year 2014 will long be remembered in Kivumu. Stories will be told and retold about how in that year the secondary school had grown even bigger, and how the teachers got a place of their own, and how, after many decades of waiting, water finally started flowing in the Mpushi schoolyard.

However, all of this would not have been possible without you, our dear friends and faithful donors! That is why I use this opportunity to thank all our donors once again, especially the Franziskaner Mission from Dortmund and the Heart for Africa Charity Organization from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Thanks to all of you, who have been faithfully helping us all these years, our Rwandan youth will get a chance to go to school and get an education, which means a brighter future and many more opportunities for the truly poor in this part of Africa.

Translated by Branimir Mlakić
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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