Aiglon offers many opportunities to its students, but none more unique than the Rwanda service project. This trip focuses on volunteering and teaching English in a rural school and orphanage with cultural and historical experiences. Continuing Aiglons' history of service in Rwanda, a group of Year 10-12 students, led by Miss Lopez Sancho and Mr Steward, left Aiglon immediately following the end of the academic year for the schools’ 8th visit.
Arriving in Kigali, the group spent their first morning visiting the Rwandan Genocide Memorial in order to gain insight into the background of the country and its people. It was a humbling experience for the students to learn of the atrocities which occurred just 24 years ago. Then, for a more uplifting experience, they headed east to the Akagera National Park for a one day safari. The excitement of seeing zebras, baboons and giraffes was quickly forgotten when a grumpy hippopotamus decided to charge one of the jeeps! Luckily everyone escaped unharmed.
Following the safari, the group travelled to the rural area of Kibungo. Over the next four days they taught basic grammar and vocabulary to primary and secondary classes. After school they spent their time at a local orphanage playing with children and helping with daily chores such as peeling potatoes, sorting beans, farming and scrubbing common areas.
The final leg of the trip was spent at Volcanoes National Park, where they trekked more than 15km, to altitudes over 3’000m, in order to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. From massive silverbacks to naughty babies, it was a remarkable encounter with our critically endangered relatives.
Congratulations to Steph, Jun, Daria & Dasha, Sandrine, Eloy, Omar, Jimena, Anne, Nanoha, Theona, Rina, Rita, Victor and Luma who were not only great ambassadors for Aiglon, but outstanding teachers. Through their fundraising efforts they raised over CHF 2’000 which was donated to the school and the orphanage. The school will use their funds to purchase a new water tank and sporting materials for their students. Well done!