Boy from Dreamfly School in Rwanda

One million lives lost in a mere one hundred days. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda happened in our lifetimes. In 2011, Dreamfly traveled to Rwanda to hear firsthand stories of what occurred. It seemed incredible that someone could live through such crushing loss, and even more incredible that they could do so choosing forgiveness and love in the hopes of creating a brighter future. And yet this is the story of the people of Rwanda. It is the story of a country torn apart by violence now dedicating its strength to moving forward as one.

In 2012, dreamfly launched a partnership with an inspiring community in the lush southwest of Rwanda to expand a rural primary school. The parents in the village of Cyingwa, both survivors and perpetrators of the genocide, built the school with their own hands some ten years ago, hoping to give their children a future that is different from and better than their own.  They pay local teachers extra out-of-pocket.  They want their children to become the future leaders of Rwanda.

Dreamfly learned of this community through Pierre Munyara, a social entrepreneur who is originally from this province where he lost his parents and 15 family members in the genocide.  He has since built a coffee washing station in Cyingwa, selling coffee at a “social premium” and channeling revenues into developing the community.  He wants to show his children that he, and all Rwandans, will work actively to create a better future.

Dreamfly’s efforts in Cyingwa are a partnership amongst dreamfly, Pierre Munyara’s Cyingwa Washing Station, Cyingwa Primary School, and the Government of Rwanda.  Serving over a thousand children, the school provides access to the vital education needed to grow Rwanda, and these bright young children, into a more brilliant future. Yet the school also faces challenges. When Dreamfly first visited the school, it had only 15 teachers, limited classroom space, no computers or internet, no running water, and no electricity.

In 2013, Dreamfly built three new classrooms and supporting infrastructure, including latrines and a water tank.  Parents covered 20% of the cost in kind with stones, bricks and labor. The Government of Rwanda pays teacher salaries and the Cyingwa Washing Station funds ongoing costs and improvements, ensuring sustainability and community ownership. The school was recently lit up with solar panels, and Dreamfly is introducing a tablet library to enable teacher training, and to promote a space where kids can learn from each other, develop critical thinking skills, and build life-long connections and friendships.