KPI is very happy to welcome 14 volunteers to Rwanda this year. Our first group of four volunteers arrived on the 9th of July and left the 18th while our second group of ten joined us on the 19th and will be staying until the 28th.
The first group was made up of all first time visitors, including two recent college graduates and two professionals – all interested in sport! Before heading to our program site in Gatagara, the group visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center and had the chance to meet Jean Michel Habineza, a young Rwandan leader who is empowering his peers and building a a future generation of self-sufficent, brilliant Rwandans. The group had the opportunity to ask many questions and prepare for their journey to Gatagara.
Upon arriving in Gatagara, the kids from Kids Play were incredibly excited to greet them and welcomed them with a small skit and song. During the volunteers five day stay in Gatagara, we had the opportunity to attend two full sessions of Kids Play Fair! as well as our Community Day on Sunday. Each volunteer lead a station during our program and had the opportunity to share the sports they love.
While in Gatagara we also had the chance to lead P.E. class with City of Joy preschoolers, paint one of the City of Joy classrooms, visit one of KPI’s partner schools, Kaganza, as well as OlympAfrica, and host a special Friday session of Taekwondo hosted by four members of the Rwandan Taekwondo Federation. The volunteers loved working with the three, four and five year olds from City of Joy as well as painting their classrooms to be sure they had a bright, welcoming learning environment. At Kaganza, the volunteers were swarmed by students and, again, had the opportunity to split into groups and share their skills. At OlympAfrica, volunteers were challenged to an intense game of basketball by a couple students. And, lastly, on Friday, we had a special Taekwondo session – the kids (and volunteers) had a blast.
During our stay volunteers also had the opportunity to visit Gatagara pottery and marvel at the local craftsmanship of a few of our community members. We had the opportunity to watch them make the pottery as well as learn about the history of the facility. Before leaving, KPI’s volunteers almost cleaned out the shop! Everything from plates, to cookers, to cups, to candle holders – they bought it all!
After a heartfelt thank you and farewell from our KPI participants, the team headed to Musanze to see the beautiful countryside. On our way to we stopped by the Ubushobozi Project and were greeted by their very enthusiastic group of young women who showed us their crafts and entertained us with their Rwandan traditional dance. After we left Ubushobozi, we headed to the Mountain View Gorilla Lodge where we stayed to gorilla trek and experience the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village. Three of our volunteers gorilla trekked and LOVED it (after the fact)…one was even pushed out of the way by a Silverback!!
As our trip was coming to an end, we headed back to Kigali and stopped at Virunga Lodge for spectacular views of Lakes Burera & Ruhundo. When we arrived in Kigali we stayed at Hôtel des Milles Collines for a night of luxury! Volunteers swam in the pool, enjoyed a delicious dinner, and prepared for their trip home the next day.
Overall the trip was a success. The volunteers were a wonderful group of people and KPI’s coaches and participants thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them and share our community with them. We are excited to do the same with this new group of 10! So far, so good!
For pictures of our first trip and to keep up with all that’s happening on the second, follow us on Instagram “kidsplayintl” and “like” us on Facebook.