What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Sanejo began working with Ntenyo Primary School 2 years ago when it was at risk of closing because of poor infrastructure and low graduations rates. Over the last two years we have built 5 new classrooms with the help of the Ntenyo community, landscaped the school grounds and installed two water tanks to ensure that the children have fresh drinking water throughout the school day. In 2011, the school was ranked 2/12 on the Sector level and 4/69 on the District level. During this time, we have brought in volunteers from different countries to expose the children to different cultures. This cross-cultural interaction has peaked the students' interest and they are constantly writing letters for the volunteers to take to children in their home countries. With this project, we aim to take their eagerness for pen pals one step further and connect them with entire classrooms in the US through virtual meetings, lessons and games.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
In the next 1-3 years we aim to complete the renovation of the Ntenyo Primary School and adding enough classrooms to expand to include a Secondary School, new latrines, and an improved playing field. Electricity is slated to come to the school this year but we will also add solar panels for fluctuations in power. We will have a fully functioning computer lab dedicated to cross-cultural interaction over the internet with other schools in the United States (and ultimately, elsewhere). Our aim is to impact both students in Rwanda and the US by exposing them to people and cultures of which they would otherwise not have knowledge. By exposing them to new experiences and instilling empathy, our goal is to impact how they think about the world and encourage them to dream big and work together.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The Ntenyo & Charlottesville communities are 100% behind this project, however, there are logistical issues that need to be taken into account in Rwanda: 1. We need to raise $6,000 for the 300 meters of fiber-optic cable and installation. 2. The school does not yet have electricity, but electrical poles are in the vicinity and the government has promised that it will be installed by the end of the year. If it is not installed on time, we have contacts with a solar company and a rice-husk gasification generator company (rice is now being cultivated in the area). To ensure that national grid electricity will be installed as soon as possible, we have remained in constant contact with the local government. With approximately $2,500, we have been guaranteed that electricity will be installed.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Have 300 meters of fiber-optic cable laid from national fiber-optic backbone to school and purchase laptops and projectors.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Holding regular bi-weekly sessions with Charlottesville Middle School students and University of Virginia students.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
During the summer of 2010, Sanejo worked with the oldest students at Nteyno Primary School (P6) to create a mural about the dreams for their future. Initially the students were reserved in their dreaming, thinking only about goals that they knew were tangible for them. Together with the teachers, we encouraged the kids to start thinking bigger and once they realized that they had the power to control their future, there was no stopping them! "I want to be a doctor!", "I want to go to university!" reads the Dream Wall. Standing in the schoolyard the wall continues to be a daily reminder for the students and community members of what is possible if you work hard. The inspiration derived from the wall has inspired the community and Sanejo board members to think bigger and see how we can connect the students to the wider world before they leave school. Our goal is to further encourage our Rwandan and US students to work hard and view themselves a part of a wider, global community.