This year the Educational Sponsorship Project of the Ecumenical 1World-Circle of Ruhla (Germany) celebrates its 10th anniversary.
In February 2007, the idea for this project came into being at a meeting with several educators, to which the head and members of the 1Welt Circle were invited to Kigali (Rwanda). The main question was how to help children and young people who had been thrown out of the way by the former genocide in 1994. It quickly became clear that an educational sponsorship program is an important tool.
And so we began to build up the project gradually. First with the help of local partners. Since 2013 the retired social pedagogue Dietmar Mauermann has been directing the organization of the program.
The project started with a sponsorship for two deaf pupils by a couple from Ruhla. In the meantime, the girls have become young women who graduated from computer science in the last year. They are exemplary for all the beneficiaries who have successfully completed their school or professional or university education over the years.
We have not been able to promote all the sponsored children until the end of their training. Because, for example, their parents moved away with them without informing us. Or the children were taken out of school by the parents. Nevertheless, during the time they went to school, these young people were able to benefit from the funding and hopefully the acquired knowledge would be useful to them for their later life.
At present, 52 girls and boys are supported by sponsors from Germany, Norway, Switzerland and the USA. But the list of children waiting for such a chance is long.
In February 2017, Rev. Reuther traveled to Rwanda with the Güldenpfennig couple. Mrs Güldenpfennig is a director at the Evangelical Primary School in Eisenach, and she visited the sponsored child of this Eisenach educational institution. Such visits are important because they give the sponsors an insight into the everyday life of the children and their families, which is drastically different from our everyday life.
On the basis of such experiences the sponsors can, after their return, very vividly and intuitively tell relatives, friends and acquaintances of their impressions – and so hopefully win further sponsors.
The jubilee gives reason to look back gratefully for a successful ten-year work. But there is no reason to rest. Therefore, we look forward and ask our readers to support our project: with a sponsorship or with donations for the compensation fund, which provides addional financial support in emergencies or for medical treatments of beneficiaries which can not be financially absorbed by regular sponsorships.
We are pleased that three musicians from DR Congo and Gambia and their bands have agreed to support our project with a charity concert at the St. Concordia church in Ruhla on April 29, 2017, 7 pm. A guitar and student charity concert will also be performed in the church on Wednesday, 21 June 2017, at 6 pm. We would like to invite you to join us.
We hope that with the help of many sponsors we can help numerous children and teenagers in Rwanda – even with yours!
(Translation by a translating program)