Africa, Afrika, ausbildung, Bildung, Bildungspatenschafts-Programm, Children, donation, Dritte Welt, Education, Eine Welt, gehörlos, handicap, Information, one world, Ruanda, Rwanda, scholarship, Spende, sponsorship, stipendium, support, unterricht
English summary of Mr Mauermanns article of September, 6, 2016
Dietmar agrees that he should write/blog more often or even better, make his reports on a regular basis. The bottom line is, he recognizes there needs to be a standing request for program support and acquire foster parents. However, the reality is that Dietmar and Susan’s daily visitation and administrative responsibilities keep them very busy, often leaving them completely spent at the end of the day. The simple task of mere grocery shopping requires going from one market to the next. Markets with all under one roof is not the norm.
So that you, our reader, better understands the challenges of our OWG manager, his main task at hand is responsibile, clear communication between you the foster parent, the foster child, the family, the individual school administration, the foster child’s teacher/s and OWG. Every visitation requires a student status report and a financial accounting. Driving from A to B is met with either traffic jams in Kigali or often primative traverses over unimaginable ‚roads.‘
Dietmar reports often about the difficulties in everyday life in Rwanda. The reasoning for his explanation is so that we in the western world can appreciate how existence in a developing third-world country is so different. Also it is important to understand that the Rwandan tempo of life is very different. The plan for a day can be very different than the actual result.
And, of course, Dietmar stays in contact with any inquiring foster parents answering their question and passing on information to their respective foster children.
For those Rwandans born before 1994, the memory of the genocide and it’s lingering consequences is vivid. This means that they were children or babies who were present as their parents, grandparents and other family member were murdered. The genocide destroyed the basic family infrastructure which resulted in „children families“ in which the „parent“ was typically an older, surviving neighborhood child. A positive result is that many of these young survivors are highly motivated to learn and improve their living standard. Four of our students were born during 1986/87. Seventeen were born between 1990 and 1998. The remaining students were born later and had an advantage of growing up in a more normal neighborhood social structure. However these children are missing the traditional family structure of grand parents, uncles, aunts and cousins. It is unfortunate and typical that these „survival“ families belong to the poorest of the poor and there is no social service available to them for psychological support for working through their trauma. Those in their 30’s do not discuss childhood. The 20-year olds have learned to cope with a childhood within consequence and continued their development. Many have talked out their questions with older surviving family members. Some of our student’s fathers have been tried and convicted as mass-murderers and are serving life sentences in prison. Several student’s mothers have simply told their children that their fathers are dead, thereby avoiding their prejudicial shame and helplessness, which often falls on children. They find themselves in an environment of strangers. Because of their hemmed-in educational exposure, these children are unable to progress beyond the secondary school level. Their general knowledge and language capability is severely limited. When they were younger students, that was the time in which Rwanda changed from French to English as the required second language. Therefore, they speak neither French or English. In the last few years, national educational programs have improved many technical curriculums, interestingly many of today youths have technical know-how, however this is without the foundation of a good general education.
It is easy for us, as European foster parents, to falsely assume that our foster children understand the process of how they are supported. In reality, the children have no comprehension as to how the system works to their advantage. For example, Rwanda and Germany are equidistant. The difference is that we have the means and knowledge of how the foster support manifests itself into a reality. Many, if not all of us, could take a flight into Kigali, see the country for ourselves, meet the people and therefore get an insight into the living conditions. Normally, a Rwandan has no knowledge of the neighboring village and certainly no idea of one’s neighboring country. A foster child has practically no conception of a Germany or a Europe. Dietmar’s fulfilled desire would be that each foster parent could see a part of their support as a visit to their foster child and therefore get first-hand experience of the humble living standard of their foster child. This has been confirmed as a valuable and life-changing by those parents who have visited and developed a treasured, life-long foster child-parent relationships. As we are strong and they are weak, foster parent visits are highly encouraged!
Dietmar intends, through his following writings, to give us a deeper understanding of real life in Rwanda. Since his arrival in Rwanda he has collected many insights and perspectives of how the OWG foster program can be improved, better implemented and refined. The objective is always to do the best possible to secure the futures of our OWG foster children.
The more that our Rwanda students know of us, their supporting parents, the stronger the relationship between child and parent will be. The strength and solidarity of project development remains the central focus.
And now a little about Dietmars every days life in Rwanda and his residence on a cattle farm.
It is hot. There is always a dry season and now the last few weeks without rain have left the land really dry. The flowers, as well as the banana, mango, avacado and shade trees have dropped their leaves and are waiting to bud. It is a joy for Dietmar to observe the miracle of nature from his perspective high on the hill.
There is a great anticipation of the coming rainy season because most everything is covered in dust. You name it. It’s dusty.
Last week it did actually rain, but it was only a preview of what we know is yet to come.
Dietmar is extremely appreciative that since their last move to the farm, they have dependable water supply. Every time they take a shower, do the dishes or laundry and especially in the preparation of meals, there is a great feeling of appreciation for what so many take as a given…water.
Whenever they receive water, whether it comes from the heavens or delivered, it is stored in containers. Dietmar and Susan have one and the animals have one which is 3 times bigger as theirs.
The skys over the last few days have been filled with heavy rain clouds. This is good. The cows needs fresh green grass. They have had enough of chewing on dried banana tree stalks.
Finally…the rainy season has begun!