Connect Rwanda

Connect Rwanda was an outgrowth of the year spent in Rwanda by FPC members, Claudia and Steve Hays in 2013-14'. Claudia, a physician contracted to train young medical residents for the year, and Steve found himself teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to boys in an orphanage outside of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Steve's volunteer efforts morphed into volunteering in Rwandan schools where 'need' was immediately realized.  

Today, Connect Rwanda, after careful incubation at First Presbyterian is it's own separate 501(c)3 non-profit. Run by an all-volunteer board Connect Rwanda’s primary objectives are to bring technology to the classrooms of Rwanda, promote teacher growth and cultural understanding through collaboration, and to foster goodwill in the World. 

Five out of eight Connect Rwanda board members are members of First Presbyterian. 

Connect Rwanda currently partners with the APACOPE school (Parents Association for the Contribution and Promotion of Education) in the Muhima district of Kigali. A school devastated by the 1994 genocide. Connect Rwanda has provided over 100 laptops to APACOPE teachers, a dozen projectors for classrooms, tablets for images, digital hard drives, flash drives for curriculum storage and large capacity digital drives to house digital resources. Connect Rwanda also funds monthly internet service for its partner school. The programs of Connect Rwanda 

Most recently (summer 2017), Connect Rwanda organized and provided funding for 5 local Annapolis teachers to take part in a teacher collaboration pilot program. Six-weeks spent in Rwanda, at the APACOPE school collaborating with Rwandan teachers in efforts to better utilize their in-place technology resources. The collaboration was a huge success. 

Spurred on by the Summer's success, Connect Rwanda is now organizing another collaboration. This time for Rwandan teachers to come to the U.S. for further training. The Rwandan teachers have been selected and if all goes as planned, arrival should be in mid-April.

Rwanda is a small country, about the size of Maryland, in the East Central part of Africa with a population of about 11 million people. Out of the ashes of the tragic genocide in 1994, Rwanda now enjoys unification, peace, and prosperity. It has recently been named the 9th safest country in the World. Paul Kagame, a brilliant president, and leader, along with and a governmental parliament made up of over 60% women have united the country.

Connect Rwanda is always looking for creative and progressive-minded people to join its team. For more information, please contact Steve Hays (stevehays@stevehays.net)  or visit our website at www.connectrwanda.org.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda has been named chair of the African Union(AU). The 54 countries that make up the African Union should benefit greatly from this man's leadership! 
  • Rwanda leads the World for women in Parliament? (68% 2016)
  • Rwanda (did you know) is centrally located in the middle of Africa and sits up a mile high? 
  • Rwanda has recently been named the 9th safest country in the World (Source: WEF - World Economic Forum) - USA rakings? 84th . . . 
  • Rwanda is located 5 degrees south of the equator and enjoys constant year around 80 degrees(day)/60 degrees (night), and 12 hours (day)/12 hours (night)
  • It's Virunga mountain range in the West (Congo border) - where Dian Fossey (Gorillas In The Mist) did her mountain gorilla research, grows some of the finest coffee in the World!
  • President of Rwanda Paul Kagame when asked how his government plans to grow Rwanda's economy without many natural resources said, "we will make our people the resource." And CONNECT RWANDA wants to help!
  • Rwanda is progressive on environmental issues as well, with a robust recycling program, they have also banned plastic bags completely. 
  • Rwanda is only 17% bigger than the state of Maryland but has twice as many people?
  • According to the Economist magazine, Rwanda is less corrupt than many developed countries like Italy, South Africa, and China.
  • Simply . . . Rwwwwwonderful!  Thank you for your support.