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What did many Bright School children do during their break between Terms 2 and 3? From July 22 to August 2, 29 students were thrilled to be immersed in an enrichment program with these integrated themes:

·         Social innovation

·         Emotional intelligence

·         Cultural immersion

Two dynamic Rwandan interns—Francoise Niyigena, a neuroscience and psychology student at Middlebury College in Vermont, and Elnaam Umutoni, a computer science student at African Leadership University in Kigali—led the program. Their vision was to empower the children with the skills and a mindset of problem solving, cultural understanding, leadership, as well as personal and emotional development. A cadre of other energetic Rwandan volunteers, some Bright School staff, and even a volunteer from China were on hand as part of the crew, too.

Week 1—Emotions, Ethics, Creativity

During the first week, the children engaged in activities that encouraged self-discovery & emotional development, exploration of various challenges in their communities, team ethics, and the ability to innovatively think of solutions in the face of a challenge. Children were inspired to see themselves as capable young change-makers.

During team-building activities, one of the 5 things that were evaluated was team support, so this team is cheering for each other.

During team-building activities, one of the 5 things that were evaluated was team support, so this team is cheering for each other.

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Pairs of children used a design thinking model that is rooted in empathy to design personalized backpacks for each other.

Pairs of children used a design thinking model that is rooted in empathy to design personalized backpacks for each other.

During our field trip to nearby Zipline Rwanda, a drone port that flies medical supplies and blood to remote areas of the country, our guide was amazed by the brilliant questions the children asked. Everyone was curious to learn more about a neighboring social innovation.

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Week 2—Cultural Immersion

During the second week, children at Bright School engaged in activities such as theater plays, music, dances, poetry, and storytelling to gain a deeper understanding of Rwandan culture.

The children were surprised by how gentle and skilled the cows were. “How is it that these cows are even more organized and disciplined than us people?” one of the children exclaimed in shock after seeing how the cows gracefully moved in lines. 

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On the last day of Enrichment, August 2, we were so lucky it happened to be the annual national Umuganura celebration where Rwandans historically bring together their best harvest to cook and celebrate their crop and animal produce. So with the children, we had our own celebration with milk, corn on the cob, presentations, stories, and dancing.

Invest in innovation through education…

with TEACH Rwanda!