This week we focused on our KPI Values (again!). On the playing field, in large group circles & small group circles we know them by heart but when it comes to a quiz and writing them down – see ya! As a result, we have been working on both saying and writing the values – in English and Kinyarwanda.

Our quizzes showed us a few disturbing truths:

1) Many of our 7-12 year olds do not know how to spell their Christian names.  In Rwanda, the first name is the traditional name and second name is the Christian name.  The proper way to write a Kinyarwanda name is all capitals for the first name and upper and lowercase for the Christian name, for example IRADUKUNDA Emmanuel. IRADUKUNDA means “God loves us.” The traditional name is usually selected eight days after birth in a naming ceremony. The name describes the child’s personality or role in the family. In Rwanda, there are rarely “family” names that are passed on to all children. Many families don’t share a name, although that is changing.

mediatrice2) Handwriting – ah! Our handwriting is atrocious. Most kids in both groups don’t use the lines on the paper and multiple words are strung into one long word making it nearly impossible to read. We use upper and lower case whenever our heart desires and a dotted “i” or crossed “t” is a rarity. In order to improve, we purchased KPI notebooks for each of the kids to practice their writing. They stay in the sports room and before program we practice our writing & spelling. Many times we discuss excellence and what that means. We want to be excellent in everything – not just sport, but in everything we do. We want our handwriting to be excellent – we have a LONG way to go but we will get there.

3) Clement: One of our most lively boys in the 13-15 year old group, who dropped out of school, Clement GIKUNDIRO_96preformed among the best, if not the best, on the exam. Although I am not a trained education professional, I would bet Clement has a little (large) dose of ADD or ADHD. Unfortunately, there are no resources in Rwanda to support him. He was unable to focus in a class of 60 students and as a result could not pass P5 (after trying 4x). He finally gave up and it’s a real shame because if he were in the US he would have the resources necessary to succeed.

KPI is intent on figuring out a way to support our boys like Clement. We are currently researching vocational schools and other opportunities for our boys like him. Bottom line is Clement is a smart kid and we are thankful to have him with us so that we can support him. We won’t give up because we believe he, and others like him, and capable of success. Richard Branson of Rwanda? Maybe!