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|Projects in 2015|
The most beautiful present arrived for Christmas – We have begun the construction of another phase of our Secondary School building. Thank you!
Another year has passed. It went by in no time, and another New Year is on our doorstep. It is time to look back and remember all that had been achieved in 2015. And that gets me to thinking. The year flies by so quickly that I always ask myself if we have done enough.
I look around. I look at our schools, our students, and just smile. Oh yes! So many things were accomplished this year! I don’t even know where to start...
So let’s start at the beginning...
We completed the construction and furnishing of a residential building to house our schools’ teachers. The building’s rooms are intended for teachers who work at our schools and who are not from Kivumu. The teachers spend their weekdays living in this new house. Many of them live more than 15 kilometres away from Kivumu. It would be too much for them to have to walk to work every day, and public transportation does not come cheaply. So we decided to make life easier for our employees and invest in something permanent that would help them out – a residential building for our current and future teachers. The house consists of eight spacious rooms, a kitchen with a dining room and a bathroom with showers and toilets.
We have also built dormitories for 150 students, because, once again, not all of them are from Kivumu. Many of them, despite being eager to learn, were unable to attend our school because it was simply not possible for them to walk the many kilometres every day to get to school – and to pay for transportation every day was financially impossible. We have now secured accommodation for them in five dormitories.
Next to the dormitories we have also built bathrooms with a washing area and toilets. And since the village does not have a water supply system, we dug a ditch from the new Technical Secondary School all the way to the boarding buildings and connected the bathrooms with our surface and underground rainwater-collection tanks. The students who sleep in the dormitories also receive warm meals, and in front of the buildings we built canopies and put tables under them, creating a big, spacious open-air dining area for them to enjoy.
The Computer Room in our Technical Secondary School was equipped with new laptops.
In addition to doing a lot of construction and furnishing, we have also secured a warm meal every day for our 467 students. And not only for them. As you have already had the opportunity to read in one of our past articles, thanks to your donations we have managed to secure warm meals for 100 of the poorest primary schoolchildren.
Thanks to a valuable donation from Germany in the form of a sea container filled with equipment, our Vocational Training Centre received modern carpentry machines and tools.
As you can see, a lot has been done and built in 2015. It is no small matter to feed almost 600 hungry bellies every day. So please trust us when we tell you that each and every one of your donations makes a huge difference! And each and every one is equally important to us, because we know it comes from your heart! I would like to thank everyone for following and helping us so faithfully!
You are probably thinking, “is that all?”
Well, no. Actually, I left the best for the end!
Not long ago we were seriously contemplating the possibility of giving up the construction of the second building of our Technical Secondary School, because it was not easy to secure donations for everyday things, such as warm meals or teacher salaries, let alone a construction of another major building...
But thanks to a valuable donation from one family in the United States, which I will write about soon, the outline of the new building has started to emerge. It will be slightly bigger than the first one. While the first building spreads over 800 square meters and has eight classrooms, the second one will spread over 1000 square meters. It will house seven additional classrooms, offices for teachers, a library with a reading room and a big event hall, which we plan to turn into a big workshop for designers and tailors once we get our hands on enough machines.
Just like everything else we have built during the past several years, the new building has been designed by our architect, Višnja Kljajić, from Zagreb, Croatia.
This valuable donation from the American family has provided an enormous boost to the entire construction project, so we decided to add all the donations we had been receiving from you – from Canada, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, United States, Austria, Australia… – to build the foundation for the new school building as well as to build a huge underground rainwater tank, while the rest of the money will be used to fund everyday school activities and warm meals for our students. Thanks to this, we will be able to accept even more students in the new school year, which begins in February!
There you go. We work and we build, we teach our children and we feed them. Sometimes I feel that, besides being a Franciscan and a school Headmaster, I am also a construction worker, a builder, an engineer and a construction site supervisor. One is forced to learn a lot of things in life. But, nothing is too hard. Especially when there is a noble goal.
We are happy and proud that with your help we are able to provide a better future for the disadvantaged youth of Rwanda to become good citizens of tomorrow.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Please continue to follow us in the New Year, 2016. We wish you plenty of blessings, health, love, happiness and success!
Translated by Branimir Mlakić