One of the most exciting aspects of our life-long adventure of faith is to watch God lead certain people to meet distinct needs—the right person, for the right position, right on time!
As Hope Haven Rwanda continues to grow, by God’s grace, one of the greatest needs we face is hiring key Rwandan staff who are qualified, equipped and called by God to lead us into the future. When the time came for us to hire a leader for Secondary School, Fred Karangwa’s name quickly rose to the top of the list of candidates. Fred brought experience as a director at a school for children with special needs, a leader at a non-governmental organization (NGO) and an educational consultant for the government of Rwanda.
We asked Fred to serve as a consultant with us, completing interviews for prospective teachers. It was quickly clear that he was an expert in the field! We eventually hired him to lead our Secondary School and he immediately demonstrated the capacity for senior leadership. When the opportunity arose, Fred was promoted to Headmaster.
As Headmaster, Fred is the principal of the school and is responsible for all education, discipline, community relations, standards, assessments and teacher training. He serves alongside Liz Ingabire, Managing Director, as part of our senior leadership team.
One example of the challenges the Headmaster faces is overseeing the registration lottery. Last week, we completed a registration lottery to allow 240 students to compete for 75 open spots for the next term. This is always a heart-wrenching process, and one that we take very seriously. We prayerfully establish guidelines, targeting the poorest in our community (using national “Ubudehe” categories), considering sibling and staff relationships and ensuring that proximity requirements are met. It is much more complicated than most people expect, but our Rwandan team, with the exceptional leadership of Sarah Damour from the U.S., works hard to get the right students in the available slots.
In addition to his professional expertise, Fred is a strong Christian, husband and father. He is able to easily connect with both teachers and students with a fantastic attitude. I fondly remember how he organized our first-ever field trip to the King’s Palace and the Ethnographic Museum, the national museum of Rwanda in Butare. I’ll never forget Headmaster Fred patiently riding a bus filled with students and donning an animal mask to watch them laugh out loud!
Fred is generously giving of himself to help transform Rwandan families for Christ. He personifies God’s design for serving the impoverished: “Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:10-11).