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We are on the move!
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 Written by fra Ivica Perić

Children of Kivumu Thanks to you, our dear friends and believers, we are on the move! We have finally been able to collect enough money to buy the land where we will build the high school. We thank all the individuals who have answered our call with their donations, as well as Belgian friars and missionary offices from Zagreb and Sarajevo. Finally we have the blueprints and all the paperwork completed that is necessary for the beginning of this so needed facility. Now we have to clean and prepare the terrain for construction, and we hope to place the corner stone in June. This would also mean the beginning of the building of our long awaited school!

kivumu However, without your help it will be difficult. We are in great need of more funds, since we plan to construct a facility with 24 classrooms, a library, a computer lab, and an assembly room. Children everywhere have a right to education, knowledge and dreams.  We believe the children from our parish of Kivumu also have this right. Our objective is to construct and open a high school which would be free of charge for all our children. As more children graduate from school, the possibility of employment and livelihood also increases and, conversely, less children will fall into the danger of prostitution, life on the streets and crime.

Ljerka Mintas Hodak Although it is only about 60 square kilometres in size, the parish in Kivumu has as many as 30,000 inhabitants. Most of them live off agriculture, and the parish is overpopulated, so small fields are not sufficient to feed the numerous family members. Consequently, many parishioners and their children eat a meal only two to three times a week.  About 70 percent of the population is younger than 25, and education is their only potential way out of poverty.

Today in Kivumu parish, we have three primary schools with a total of 5,000 pupils. Each year 500 to 600 youth complete a six-year primary school education. For the children, high school (which takes another six years) is only a distant dream, since this secondary education costs far more than most Rwandan people cannot afford.

Kivumu One year in high school costs between 200 and 300 Euros (or $265 to $400 USD), while a day labourer, which is what most of the parents are in Kivumu, since they did not have an opportunity to graduate from school, is paid less than a Euro (about 93 cents) for a whole day of work in the fields.

Because of this, many parents cannot afford further education for their children.  So at the age of 14 the youth are out of school with nothing to do and no future, driving them into a life of prostitution or crime for survival. Our wish is to open a High School, which has been approved by the bishop and encouraged by the representatives of the Government, since Rwanda does not have such schools and this qualification is in high demand.

Ljerka and Croatian Team Kivumu In this way the children from our parish of Kivumu will have a chance for a higher education and an opportunity for employment and a better life. This has been proven by the success of the youth who have graduated from CFJ Padri Vjeko Trades’ School where we educate carpenters, masons and tailors.  Most of our graduates have found employment, even as far away as neighbouring Uganda.

People need only to give a little to show their spirit of humanity to help others, no matter how much or how little they have themselves. Please support us in this important project and open your hearts because even the smallest sacrifice can help a lot the children of Rwanda to realize their dreams!

Father Vjeko Center

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