Project Rwanda 2016
Project Rwanda is a student-guided initiative dedicated to bridging the gap between Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh (CMU-P) and Rwanda (CMU-R) campuses, as well as furthering the goal of providing all children with the access to a modern education to prepare them for our global world. The initiative is comprised of dedicated and impassioned students who come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, reflecting the uniqueness of Carnegie Mellon University’s student body.
Rwanda is a country which has known many hardships. It is estimated that 32% of schools were destroyed and 3,000 teachers were killed due to the tragedies associated with the country’s genocide. However, this does not define Rwanda. The country is rich with culture and the people are ever determined and vibrant. Rwanda has undergone immense progressive change as it strives to move towards a “knowledge-based economy.” In an effort to sustain itself, Rwanda has pushed for rapid development and training in information technologies, making it a strong role model in the international arena. Our initiative will only serve to aid the country’s efforts, and continue to grow the international community of learners CMU prides itself on fostering. The Project, with its first incarnation in 2010, is one of CMU’s only service trips to the African continent. The initiative is projected to span two weeks in the end of May. The project will be an inclusive, interactive summit spanning ten days, dedicated to teaching Rwandans how to utilize technology in learning, in particular, using One Laptop Per Child XO-3 laptops. Previous trips found that when visiting Rwanda, the schools were well-equipped with these devices, but the laptops were often collecting dust in storage because no one knew how to use them! We will be holding workshops on communication and information technology, and even programming with the laptops. In addition to our ten-day summit, we will be starting new initiatives in order to foster ties and long-lasting, meaningful relationships between CMU-P and CMU-R students. Further, we will be reaching out to communities in both Pittsburgh and Rwanda to raise awareness about each other’s culture.CMU-R students will work with us in the two-week summit to lead the workshop and our programs.
The future of education lies in technological advancement - something of which Carnegie Mellon is at the forefront. In past trips, hundreds of students in Rwanda primary schools have boasted their new found programming abilities to beaming parents. An extremely important component to the program is indeed the summit in Kigali, and flights to Rwanda are not cheap. In order to reach as many children as possible during our time there, we need every donation possible! We hope that you’ll join us in bridging the gap between Pittsburgh and Rwanda. Every donation counts to making technology as accessible for Rwandan students as it has been for us at Carnegie Mellon.