Rwanda and U.S. Dedicate a Newly Expanded School Near Kigali City
Rwanda and the United States partnered in expanding the Masaka Secondary School near Kigali City and celebrated with a school dedication July 9, 2010. With more than 250 students in attendance, the dedication was symbolic of a successful joint effort project that improved the school and left a lasting impression on the community.
"We can't thank you enough for the things you have done for us," said 3rd year Masaka student Axel Hozo, who spoke during the ceremony. "We hope and dream to be where you want us to be," he said.
Located outside of the capital city of Kigili in the Kicukiru District, the project expansion included adding a refectory, which consists of a dining hall, kitchen and store room, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrines and a sports field complex. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) provided the project funding and also donated chairs, tables and benches to furnish the new buildings. The Kigali-based company TELE Developments completed the work and the school's parents' association commissioned an architect to design the facilities.
"I'd like to extend my sincere appreciation to the USA for their endless support to this school and to the country of Rwanda," said Kicukiru District Mayor Jules Paul Ndamage. Ndamage participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony with Anne Casper, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Chargé d'Affaires.
Casper, who represented the U.S. Embassy to Rwanda as acting ambassador and keynote speaker, expressed the importance of the work done. "We're celebrating not only the physical additions of these buildings but also the continued success of the Rwandan people in developing the educational system of their children," she said. "The classrooms and facilities will be used by an increasing number of young people who are studying a full nine years and I hope many more. You students are the future leaders of the Rwandan nation."
Distinguished guests of the Masaka Secondary School Dedication included the school's director, Jonathan Rwagasore, the school's Parents and Teachers Association President Paul Mukanganije, and U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Vasina, who spoke in behalf of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. Distinguished visitors were given a tour of the classrooms, ball field and refectory. The dedication included ceremonial dancing by the students and handing out school supply packets to 535 students. The packets were donated by the U.S. non-government organization. "This project is an excellent example of how Americans and Rwandans work in partnership for a common goal," said Vasina. "We celebrate the new educational opportunities that this school will provide for future generations."