SOS Schools in Rwanda

In Rwanda, nearly a quarter of young people between the ages of 15-24 are illiterate.

SOS Primary School Gikongoro Rwanda

In Rwanda, there are currently three SOS Nurseries, three SOS Primary Schools and one Technical College. These facilities provide education to children from SOS Villages and from the wider community. Staff members are well trained and the resources available to students are of a high standard.  Below you can find an overview on the SOS Children education projects.

Charles' Story

Charles* is 14 years old and explains what happens on the 7 April each year, when the country holds a day of remembrance for the genocide. “I listen to the radio and watch television to follow the broadcast of the commemorative activities in the whole country. Sometimes, I think that my parents have not been buried normally and that their bodies could be discovered somewhere. But when I see people laying bunches of flowers on the memorial sites, I say to myself that maybe they were buried in dignity there. Very often, I wonder what I can do.....When I hear that children of my age died in this atrocious war, I think that I am lucky because it would have been me at the moment. I pray that this never happens again.”

*For privacy reasons, we have changed the name of the boy.

Byumba : SOS Schools

The SOS nursery at Byumba cares for around 75 children, including approximately 15 from the SOS village and the remainder from the local community.

  • The children enjoy a varied programme of activities including writing, colouring, painting and independent play. Each term the teachers look at the achievements of each child to evaluate their academic performance and development.
  • From January 2009, English became the language of education in Rwanda. Training was given to all staff, who continue to receive courses in the language and the children appear to be at ease in English.

The SOS Primary School at Byumba has around 400 children, over a quarter of whom come from the SOS village and the remainder from the local community.

  • The school is considered a model one for its standard of education and comes first in various competitions organized by the Gicumbi district. All teachers underwent intensive English and IT courses during 2009 to allow them to teach in English and provide lessons in computing.
  • Around 50 scholarships are offered to students of poor families, covering school fees, uniform, educational materials and lunch.
  • The children are encouraged to extend their knowledge outside of lessons by joining various clubs. These include the science, child-protection, fight against HIV/AIDS, ‘Icyizere’ (Hope) and environment club.

Gikongoro : SOS Schools

The SOS nursery at Gikongoro has around 120 children, including approximately 20 from the SOS village and the remainder from the community.

  • With the introduction of English as the language used for teaching, there have been many innovations and new creative approaches in the nursery. Teachers have found fresh games and English songs and the children have become involved very happily with the activities.
  • The nursery organizes trips such as visits to the Rwanda National Museum and the Nyungwe National Park in order to help the children explore the environment around them. And the school holds an annual celebration to mark the end of the academic year, where the children take part in dances and games.

The SOS Primary School at Gikongoro has over 400 children in its 12 classrooms, nearly a quarter of whom come from the SOS village and the remainder from the local community.

  • The school offers the best standard of education, with performance rates over 94 per cent. In the national examinations, the school has taken first place in the region for more than ten years. All teachers now teach in English and courses have been modified where necessary, as well as a new social studies subject being introduced. Pupils at all levels receive computer lessons and extra educational assistance is also provided where students have learning difficulties.
  • Five clubs run at the school and the Anti-Aids club recently received the award of a radio and other materials for the school. The women’s tennis team qualified at the district level, a team takes part in races at national level and our basket ball team won a cup two times in a row.

SOS Primary School Kigali RwandaKigali : SOS Schools

The SOS nursery at Kigali caters for around 110 children, with around one fifth coming from the SOS village and remainder from the local community.

  • Every quarter, the children are evaluated in their activities to monitor their progress and parents/guardians are encouraged to become involved in their children’s education.
  • New books and materials were purchased by the school to provide education to the children in English and knowledge and course materials were also shared with five other nursery schools.

The SOS Primary at Kigali has around 640 students in 18 classes, with nearly 100 children from the SOS village and the remainder from the local community.

  • The school achieves performance rates over 90 per cent and has adapted well to the new education system in English. English clubs have also been created for the students to help them with the language. In preparation for the introduction of a ‘one laptop per child’ policy, teachers have also been trained in computer skills.
  • Various clubs are run at the school, including those which focus on the fight against HIV/AIDS, on the rights of the child and on the environment. Parents and students were both involved in a project through this last club to plant 1,100 trees in the school garden.

The SOS Technical Training School at Kigali has around 190 students, with approximately 40 coming from the SOS village.

  • The school offers training in four areas – electrical engineering, computer science, carpentry and accountancy. Results are high, with pass rates of over 80 per cent achieved in each area.
  • Pupils take part in various national events, such as the National Practical Skills Competition and the Electronics/Electrical Engineering competition. The school also organises internships for students to gain valuable experience in industry and many end up working for the companies where they do their internships.