Peace Works Travel Blog

Monday, August 26, 2019

Blake School in Rwanda 2019

Kigali: Aspire and Chicken Farm: June 14

Friday morning we visited Aspire, a program that provides a range of services to a village in Kigali.  Started by Peace Ruzage, Aspire provides three levels of preschool schooling, which allows mothers to create businesses, including crafts and plots of land in low-lying areas of the city often referred to as the swamps.  Aspire also offers education programing to counter domestic violence.  Men and women are taught in separate classes, but the focus more men is developing the concept of positive masculinity.  (Notably, the Kibogora hospital had a building devoted to caring for survivors of domestic violence.)  All three Aspire classes sang for us in Kinyarwanda, French and English, before joining us for recess.  We really enjoyed playing with the kids. On our way back through Kigali we plan to stop by the women’s craft market that runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Following lunch Abdoul took us to his chicken farm outside of Kigali, in Rwanda’s Eastern Province.  We had spent all week with Abdoul, so we were excited to see his new business – two thousand chickens.  With some seed money J he has built a multi-building complex that uses solar energy to power the lighting.  He imports chicks from Holland, uses a charcoal burner to keep them warm and employs a specialist to care for them in these critical early months.  Once they are older they are moved to a larger room.  Here we learned how to pick them up.  A quiet, stealthy approach worked the best.  After some early misses, a number of us hit double digits in catches.  Abdoul, then, gave away dozens of eggs and manure to local families to help with their crops.  He opened the doors to the laying hens building, which required us to up our chicken catching skills.  In the coming months Abdoul plans to convert another building on his property to offer businesses classes for the area.

Both of these projects are impressive and inspiring.  They build the community and demonstrate what can be created in a short amount of time.

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