The Basic Needs for Education program pays for qualified students’ school fees, school uniforms, school supplies, and health insurance. This program is a large contributor to achieving our objective of reducing the dropout rate of students in the district. Hope Shines strives to keep students in school and learning to compliment our other education programming efforts. To remain in this program, students are required to achieve an above average grade report each term, consistently attend and participate in the other Hope Shines programs during the year, display a willingness to learn, and act in good conduct in all times.
Hope Shines strives to combine imagination with education. The summer camp program lasts one week between school terms and provides multiple fun-filled, engaging modules that take the student out of their comfort zone to work with and learn from volunteer camp mentors both foreign and domestic to their communities.
An ever-changing curriculum from year-to-year is designed with active learning in mind. Modules in Arts & Crafts, Engineering, Global Geography, English Speaking, Sports/Play Activities, Health & Hygiene, Career Development, and Dance can be taught on any given year depending on the unique needs of the campers.
Each day the students are fed a nutritionally balanced lunch cooked by some of the camper’s mamas. During the week, their mentors promote can-do attitudes and encouragement in an effort for the students to gain confidence to one day become someone outstanding in society.
The LEAD (Life Enhancement & Academic Development) program is Hope Shines’ After-School Program. Its goal is to engage students in active learning during and in between school terms, year-round. The program meets 4 days each week at the Learning Center in Nyamirambo sector of Kigali. During the 4 days, the children can get help with homework, are taught a unique revolving curriculum that matches that of the national curriculum country-wide, are fed a nutritious cooked meal with filtered clean water on site, and are prepared for their national exams when applicable. Saturdays are devoted to the arts and sport. The children practice traditional Rwandan dance, drumming, and sports such as football and gymnastics.
Nutrition and mentorship are at the heart of this program. We improve the health of each child, not only through education and healthy living curriculum, but also with regular nutritious feedings. Our center is a safe and healthy environment where children can grow and thrive under teachers and mentors who also come from very vulnerable childhoods themselves. Throughout the year, students also get to attend field trips to markets, businesses, and culturally significant spots that enhance their exposure to their country's history and culture as well as provides insight into future aspirations.
One of the most basic tenets of Hope Shines is to empower Rwanda’s youth, which begins with each child understanding and respecting his or her own body. The Healthy Child Program is integrated within all Hope Shines’ programs and taught by trained teachers, health experts and medical professionals. It includes annual health assessments of the child and promotes critical understandings of pro-actively taking steps in one’s life to stay healthy.
The program is centered around caring for the overall health of the child so they can not only attend school, but also grow to live healthier lives. The program offers feminine hygiene care by providing a separate room and supplies for girls who are getting or already have regular periods. For all children, it offers full year-round health insurance, which allows them to be seen for any on-going or acute issues. Finally, the children are seen by a medical doctor once a year for their overall health check-ups. Pairing this provisional support with healthy living education creates a better informed and cared for child as he or she grows into adulthood and beyond.