When we heard from our team that the Rwandan government was temporarily closing schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wondered what the implications would be. While the future of global education seemed uncertain, we were confident that our incredible team would continue to thrive in the midst of the uncertainty. And they did.
As it turns out, several months into what many Rwandans call “the lockdown,” we have experienced incredible benefits at Hope Haven Rwanda. After an initial quarantine period, we implemented several creative strategies to keep our faculty employed and to serve our students remotely as much as we could. The mastermind behind the strategy was Fred Karangwa, our School Director. His leadership brought teachers back to the campus so they could expand their skills and broaden our long-term educational impact. His team also created work-at-home packets for some of our classes.
With the additional help of an American teacher and consultant who was also in Rwanda at the time, Erin Parks, we were able to maximize the lockdown season. During this unique time, teachers have completed professional development, created a plethora of teaching aids, and stayed in touch with their students.
Perhaps most importantly, they have nearly finished a comprehensive workbook project for all three terms of every class at Hope Haven Rwanda. The workbook project has been underway for a couple of years, with many contributors from the US and local educational expertise. We thank God that with Erin’s help, and a lot of local effort, this massive project is nearly complete.
During the pandemic, we are all learning to trust fully in God‘s providence. As Scripture reminds us, “the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11). God’s purposes will never be thwarted! In recent months, He gently reminded us that the team He has assembled in Rwanda is supremely qualified.
Fred is not only a superb educational leader, he is a strong man of God. Working alongside his Director of Studies, Emmanuel Nsengumuremyi, Fred has led his team to accomplish great things for God and the benefit of our entire community during this unexpected lockdown.
Here is some of what the team has been working on, in their own words: “Our teachers have really been working hard during this period of time. They managed to make the library inventory, an update of pedagogical documents, teacher trainings and material development, as well as integrating ICT (Information Communication Technology) in teaching and learning activities.”
To God be the glory for the great things He has done, and continues to do, at Hope Haven Rwanda.
We’ve all been reminded that “lockdowns” will never slow God down!