Beautiful Together is working to create a library for at-risk children in Rwanda, in partnership with the Kefa Project.
Help us create a library and computer lab in Rwanda to create a culture of reading and introduce computer technology to at-risk children.
We are partnering with The Kefa Project, working with children in Rwanda who have been orphaned or have parents in prison – or are, for a variety of circumstances, living completely on their own. These children are living on the streets, are not attending school and are living in extreme poverty. For those boys most at risk, The Kefa Academy was created as a safe space for these children to have a place to live, play, study, and grow together. All the boys have daily activities like going to school, doing soccer training, studying, coaching, and deepening their spirituality. Education is a major focus because educated children can change their life circumstances – and the lives of those around them.
This new library and computer center, named after Howell Brown III (see full project description for more) will be an incredible addition to this program for kids in Rwanda already working hard to change the trajectory of their lives through education, sport, and “whole life” growth.
The entire budget for this new library and computer center is USD $4300.00.
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A major challenge in many Rwandan schools is that kids simply lack access to the books and technology that can help them to learn reading, writing and, increasingly important in today’s world, technical skills.
We are partnering with The Kefa Project, working with children in Rwanda who have been orphaned or have parents in prison – or are, for a variety of circumstances, living completely on their own. These children are living on the streets, are not attending school and are living in extreme poverty. For those boys most at risk, The Kefa Academy was created as a safe space for these children to have a place to live, play, study, and grow together.
Many schools in Rwanda have either very small libraries or no library at all. It is the same for The Kefa Academy. In addition to facing a lack of resources in the school, the majority of kids who are now living safely in the academy have already been out of school for multiple years, which makes it hard for them to catch up with other kids in school. Every one of the academy kids is currently struggling with reading and writing in Kinyarwanda and English. As many children who have graduated were not able to finish their studies, due to their struggles in catching up to their classmates, it’s more apparent than ever that issues related to a lack of access to books and computers only compound over time. As children get older and continue to struggle with reading and writing, they also have difficulty finding employment.
The Kefa Project has brought on a tutor to help the boys in reviewing their coursework, with the goal of easing their struggles with their studies, but there is still a lack of many basic materials to support this effort.
A library and computer lab would significantly assist to fill in the reading and technology gaps in Rwandan education by:
1. Empowering a tutor to have materials to teach kids subjects that they are struggling with in school.
2. Providing children with easy access to books for them to read, while creating a positive environment that encourages them to read.
3. Creating access to technology to boost not just basic computer skills, but to also boost interest in a more technical education – and a possible future employment in coding or information technology.
4. Allowing graduates who are currently studying computer science to mentor younger academy kids to both improve their own confidence in computer science and to aid in the development of our younger kids.
The computer lab and library will introduce our kids to these areas while they are still young so that by the time they graduate they will be interested and confident in language and technology.
In addition to reading and computer skills, the new library space will be used for a debate club, a platform where kids will be able to improve their discussion skills, public speaking confidence and potentially attend debating competitions in Rwanda.
The entire budget for this new library and computer center is $4300.00.
That total amount includes funds for a full library buildout, books, computers, shelving, tables, and seating.
Space has already been acquired where the new library and computer center can be housed:
We just need to fill it up!
Last, but certainly not least, the founders of Beautiful Together and The Kefa Project were brought together by Sue Brown, mother to Howell Brown III. Little Howell, affectionately nicknamed HB3, had a major impact on a significant number of people in his far too short of a life, and that very much included the founders of these two organizations. He was smart, funny, adorable, and deeply loved. Sue cared for him his entire life, but most especially his last five years, as difficult as it was on so many levels, as he fought cancer – and she helped him to live his big life.
Sue felt strongly that something good could come from these organizations partnering, and we are grateful for her introduction. We will be naming this new library and computer lab in Rwanda The HB3 Library, in honor of Little Howell – and Sue.