Ndava good Hope Preschool for Batwa Children''It is easy for anyone to start a work when he/she has partners who will help him/her or when funding has been found. But it's not always obvious when someone has no vision to start anything when he/she doesn't even have funding,'' said Evariste Ndikumana.
One of the major challenges facing the Batwa community in Burundi is that they have not had the opportunity to go to school like other children and acquire knowledge that would have enabled them to develop. As Nelson Mandela put it well, ''Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.'' ASSEJEBA made the decision to start the Preschool called Hope Ndava Preschool. When we had the idea of starting this kindergarten, we had no promise of financial support for the construction of classrooms, buy uniforms for the Batwa children who will attend it or have the salaries of the teachers who will come to work there.
We started teaching children in a warehouse built for the intention of conserving the harvests of the surrounding Batwa community with funding from the African Road's friends( The Wesley United Methodist church Eugene ). It was terribly hard to see children half-naked or wearing ragged clothes attending school due to their parents' misery that could not allow them to buy clothes for their kids. Likewise, the number of children who rushed in the class that year was so huge that we could not believe our eyes. The hardest part of this ''adventure'' was the fact that we had no money to pay the teachers.
We started with one classroom with one teacher and the class size was 180 children! By a kind of divine miracle, the second classroom was built by the team members of African Road learning trip 2018. Although the situation of paying the first teacher was not sure, we decided, out of faith in God, to recruit a second teacher and two substitutes. Afterwards, we were able to have different friends who offered us uniforms for the children.
When we decided to start the project, many people said: ''the project is utopian and it is just a dream of the association's legal representative. We will not be able to start this Preschool if we do not have funding and it will never be able to operate!' but now it is here and we have even been able to pay the teachers and staff members of this school even if the task was not easy.
Now we are just one month away from ending the school year even though we have no partners who have committed to funding this Preschool. We are so glad we did it. We are confident that we will also be able to finish the next year. Nothing is impossible for people with a vision!
We are grateful to people who brought us whichever support during the construction, the purchase of uniforms for the children, the payment of a salary, even one monthly salary, for the teacher.
Thank you very much our dear friends and we count on your kindness for next year.