ALL AFRICA REPORT: The administration of Maranyundo Girls School in Bugesera District, was transferred from Maranyundo Initiative to Benebikira Congregation at a ceremony officiated by the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, yesterday.
Addressing parents, staff and invited guests, Mrs. Kagame who is among the people who championed the idea to start the school in 2008, said it was borne out of the commitment and enthusiasm to educate and empower Rwandan girls.
She particularly cited Maranyundo Initiative - a group of US-based Friends of Rwanda, who tirelessly put efforts together to ensure that the girl child is educated, with the belief that educating Rwandan girls is building a nation.
Yesterday also saw the first batch of female students complete O' Levels at the school which currently has S1 up to S3.
"I am happy to see that once again, we are back here to celebrate the continued success of this school.
Importantly, in the spirit of promoting sustainability, we are here to witness the transfer of Maranyundo Girls School from the Maranyundo Initiative to the Benebikira Congregation and the Bugesera community," Mrs, Kagame said.
"I believe that the Benebikira Congregation, with their sterling record in education, will be outstanding custodians of this centre of excellence, aimed at educating Rwanda's women leaders of tomorrow," the First Lady noted after the two parties had signed a MoU.
She added that the transfer of administration to the nuns illustrates the union of the "best of Boston and Bugesera" through the Boston-based Maranyundo Initiative and the Bugesera Community.
"The world today is one global village, rich with diversity. Those who understand this and take full advantage of its benefits will certainly go far," she said.
"We have seen this happening over the last two years, as demonstrated by the extraordinary partnership between the Maranyundo Initiative and the Benebikira Congregation - both driven by their commitment to creating an all-round, high quality education for girls."
Just like the Maranyundo School started out of a vision, she added, Rwanda as a country also has a vision and goals it is working very hard towards achieving and that the integral part of the vision is educating and developing one of Rwanda's most important resources - its people.
She warned female students of the dangers of HIV/AIDS, early marriages and unplanned pregnancies.
The State Minister for Education in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, commended the founders of the school for the efforts towards educating the girl child and reiterated the government commitment to support the school to even add the A' Level section.
Sister Anne Fox, who is one of the founders and Joyce Fletcher, who signed the MoU on behalf of the founders, both noted that much as the management of the school has changed, they will remain in touch with the new management on the day-to-day running of the school.
The new management comprises of the headmistress Sister Felicite Mukashema and Sister Dominic Thierry, the Superior General of Benebikira Congregation and a board of governors chaired by Dr. Eugene Mutimura.
Maranyundo Girls School targets girls whose opportunity for education is limited by financial constraints and it supports students from all over country - 75% from Bugesera district and 25% from the remaining districts.
The Benebikira are a Catholic congregation that started in 1919 in Rwanda. The Founders were White Fathers and White Sisters. The Congregation has about 380 nuns. http://allafrica.com/stories/201011120252.html