October 2021 was the start of the new school year in Rwanda, an exciting time for the six partner schools that Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit Children in the Wilderness (CITW) works with, in the company’s three areas of operation in Rwanda. At the start of this new school year CITW awarded an additional 30 six-year scholarships, valued at USD54 000, to learners at Bisate Secondary School, Rwabirharamba Secondary School outside Akagera National Park and Kinihira Secondary School close to Gishwati Forest. The 30 scholarships are in addition to 80 scholarships, valued at USD 120 000, already in place for students at Bisate Secondary School.
The funding has been provided by Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge and Magashi Camp guests, with the now 110 scholarships covering school fees, school meals, books and uniform costs for the full duration of the children’s secondary school education, giving them an unprecedented opportunity to shine.
The 30 new scholarships have been awarded to 12 students at Bisate Secondary School (five boys and seven girls), 10 students at Rwabirharamba Secondary School (an even number of five boys and five girls), with the remaining eight awarded to four boys and four girls at Kinihira Secondary School.
Carefully selected by the CITW Rwanda team, the Community Committees, Eco-Club mentors and the Heads of the schools, the learners were chosen on the basis of academic merit and participation in their Eco-Club (an interactive, fun and educational environmental skills programme for children). Having graduated from primary school, they are now enrolled at their respective secondary schools where they will continue their extra-curricular environmental education via the CITW YES Clubs. The YES Club is designed for older learners and expands on the conservation concepts introduced in Eco-Clubs.
In order to retain the scholarship through each grade, learners must maintain good academic results while showing dedication, motivation and good behaviour. CITW Rwanda Programme Coordinator, Aline Umutoni, will monitor the progress of each learner on a regular basis.