Philip started with Hope Haven Rwanda eight years ago in the first-ever preschool class. He was only four years old and joined 96 other kids who showed up that first day. His mother, Margaret, bravely took a chance and brought him to school. She had no other alternative. Philip’s father was killed when he was just a baby, leaving Margaret to raise two young children by herself.
Five years ago, Philip’s sister Ange joined Hope Haven Rwanda. Ange is two years older than Philip, but Margaret realized Philip’s education was far superior to what Ange was receiving at the local government school.
Today, Philip and Ange are both in Senior 1 (7th Grade) and are among the students who had Division #1 scores and ranked among the top 3% in the nation of Rwanda! Philip’s teachers describe him as humble, hard-working, respectful and a natural leader. He has dreams of becoming a pilot or a doctor when he grows up. When asked about studying at Hope Haven, Philip responded, “The other schools don’t have libraries and laboratories and you find that a class has 70 students with nine of them sharing a desk.”
Ange has dreams of becoming a doctor too. Her math teacher Abed describes her as a good listener who is making wise decisions for her age. What keeps Ange motivated? Her reply, “I want to do well at school so I can lift up my family.”
Lifting up the family is what Margaret, Philip and Ange need the most from Hope Haven Rwanda. Margaret is quick to share that without her children receiving two meals a day at school, they would not survive. At the age of 54, Margaret works in her neighbor’s bean field for the equivalent of one U.S. dollar per day—and only on days when they need her. In addition to Philip and Ange, she is raising five grandchildren, two of whom are in the Nursery program at Hope Haven.
Today, Margaret is focused on selling her modest home and downsizing to help pay the school fee debt she has accrued. With opportunities in savings groups and discipleship programs at Hope Haven Rwanda, Margaret can continue pursuing the dreams she has for her family.