You’ll work with our in-country partner Grace Rwanda in Kigali, Rwanda. Founded by two survivors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, Grace Rwanda is helping rebuild the lives of the country’s youth through literacy and education resources, including mini-libraries in community centres.
About The Trip:
Literacy is a catalyst for change, and because books are scarce in Rwanda, libraries are precious and needed. You’ll be working with Grace Rwanda to build mini-libraries in community youth centres where young people can access books to help them fulfill their futures. You’ll also help with construction of a sustainable eco-lodge or other project that is needed in the community.
Our in-country partner, Grace Rwanda, has initiated and completed several successful sustainable community development and literacy projects since their founding in 2009. To date, they’ve built eight new classrooms for Rwinkwavu School in the Kayonza District, plus 16 latrines, a kitchen and a garden with livestock. The multi-year project was completed in 2012 and serves 1,500 students.
You’ll work alongside like-minded volunteers who are also passionate about travel and giving others a hand up, not a hand out.
It’s Not All Work:
Rwanda is a tiny country in the heart of Africa, fractionally south of the equator. The population of Rwanda is 10 million people – the densest population in continental Africa. The vast majority of Rwandans engage in subsistence agriculture. Rwanda is beautiful, lush, fertile and hilly – it is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Our volunteer projects are based in and around the hilly Rwandan capital city of Kigali. Teams will reside in Kigali and transport each day to the project site. Kigali’s centre is located on one of four mountain ridges and valleys that contain the city and the elevation of homes reflects the social classes of their inhabitants.
Several memorials, museums and other centres in Kigali are dedicated to the Rwandan genocide that saw more than one million people killed in 1994. That dark history is in the country’s past, as Rwanda has worked to move forward from the genocide that was ended by a military victory.
Kigali is touted as one of the most attractive capital cities in Africa, as well as cleanest and safest, according to the Lonely Planet. Outside of the city, there are gorilla safaris and wildlife viewing in the lush hillsides.
While Rwanda is located on the equator, its higher elevation results in a warm and temperate climate of about 28C rather than the sweltering heat of most equatorial cities. August is definitely summer, so temperatures are a little higher than at other times of the year. It’s also the dry season, so there is usually little if any rain.
Learn more about the Rwanda »
Volunteers will be doing construction work on an eco-friendly lodge/training centre that will be based at Gisozi Hill, five minutes from the Kigali National Genocide Memorial. The project will take several years and stages, and is currently at the point of having the architectural site drafts finalized.
The University of B.C.’s engineering school students are also partners in this project, which is located on almost one hectare of land. When complete, women and youth will be able to go to the lodge for literacy, health, sport and social enterprise programs.
In 2011, Grace Rwanda created six mini-libraries of 500 books and 250 dictionaries in rural Rwandan schools, providing more than 3,000 children access to books. In 2013, Grace Rwanda created a community library in a youth centre in Muhanga, the first of 21 planned regional youth libraries.
Grace Rwanda’s priority is to supply books to every student in the Muhanga District. Muhanga of Rwanda is a rural, agricultural district of 350,000 citizens including 87,000 students. Resources and books are scarce.
Three times a year, Grace Rwanda distributes books, installs new libraries and checks in on past projects. Self-funded volunteers are welcome to join the team on these life-changing trips to help out on the ground in Rwanda and see for themselves the difference the literacy programs are making.
When / Itinerary:
- Saturday August 12 and Sunday, August 13 – Team arrives Kigali airport; check in to hotel
- Monday, August 14 to Friday, August 18 – PROJECT WORK in Kigali
- Saturday, August 19 to Sunday, August 20 – Free days for some R and R
- Monday, August 21 to Friday, August 25 – PROJECT WORK in Kigali
- Saturday, August 26: Transport to airport in Kigali
The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC. You can also fundraise and we will issue charitable receipts for donations $20 CDN or greater.
You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.
DWC Team Leader:
His love of travelling started when Dario went to Europe for two months by himself when he was 22. Since then, he has been to 30-plus countries and six continents. He taught English in South Korea for a year and lived in Australia for two years. Currently, he teaches high school in Ontario and incorporates his travel experiences into the curriculum as often as he can. Dario believes service trips should be fun, educational, challenging and meaningful.
For the last four years, Dario has been a co-facilitator on his school’s trips to Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cambodia – in the case of the latter, both trips were partnered with DWC. He has found seeing the students learn and experience so much in such a short period inspiring, hopeful and a bit addictive. Dario wishes he could uproot all of his classes and allow students to see firsthand the realities of other people’s lives. The learning on a service trip is unlike any other travel experience and provides a unique perspective of what’s happening in the world.
Dario’s experiences on two DWC trips gave him a strong understanding of our values and goals, as well as the partnerships it has with in-country organizations and he believes they are worth supporting. He is excited about going to Rwanda, especially since he teaches about its history and struggles in his classes and he has long wanted to see what the country is like and how it is overcoming its troubled past.
Are You Ready To Go?
You can secure your place on this trip with a $500, non-refundable deposit that will go toward your total trip cost. After you’ve submitted your forms and deposit, our office will contact you and send you a welcome package.
We’re glad to have you join us.
Still have some questions? We’re here to help, please feel free to contact us now, or fill out the form.