Imbuto Foundation rewards outstanding schoolgirls in Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe districts
When Espérance Gumuzane picked up a freshly born baby girl – after the baby’s mother had died at delivery − at the National University of Rwanda’s Hospital in Butare town, Southern Rwanda, while attending on her own, then ill daughter back in April 2012, she probably couldn’t imagine by that time that one day, in her lifetime, she could get a reward from Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, for her “heroic action”.
60-year-old Gumuzane, from Buruhukiro sector of Nyamagabe district, Southern Rwanda, is among 20 people – 4 women and 16 primary and high schoolgirls – from Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe districts who, on Saturday, were rewarded under Rwanda’s First Lady’s project dubbed “Imbuto Foundation” respectively for taking care of children (besides their biological children) and for outstanding performance in different national examinations.
It was during an event colored with speeches and traditional dances held in Ruramba sector of Nyaruguru district, where over 1,000 people had gathered.
For the 16 schoolgirls, the prizes ranged from school books, calculating machines, English dictionaries, an envelope of Rwf 20,000 (about $30), a personal computer, to a certificate signed off by the country’s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, while for the four women, dubbed “guardian angels”, they were rewarded a medal of recognition, a cow and a certificate signed off by Rwanda’s First Lady.
“I am extremely happy at the moment. The cow will help me get milk to feed this child so that she can grow up well”, said a cheerful Gumuzane, holding her adopted 11 month-old young girl, Claire Umuhoza – the name Gumuzane herself gave to the kid after the death of her biological mother, with Umuhoza meaning, literally, a “comforter”.
“I feel like flying with joy”, said Gumuzane, a widow, mother to seven biological children.
“Being good-hearted didn’t begin in me last year [when she started adopting Claire]. It started within my childhood. And apart from Claire, I even have three other adopted orphans”, she hastened to add, with Claire smiling as if she was overhearing our conversation.
19 year-old Betty Ibyisinamabanga, a fourth year student in the option of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Nyaruguru-based Mère du Verbe high school, was equally delighted.
“I am just honored for the prize and I believe that if my colleagues could perform well at school as well, we would develop our country [Rwanda]”, said Ibyisinamabanga, who excelled in the Ordinary Level-leaving national examinations.
Ibyisinamabanga attributed her good performance to heeding advice from her parents and her teachers and to regularly practicing some sport which, she said, helped her study well.
Speaking at the function, Jean Philibert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Minister for Youth and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), urged other parents to imitate the good-hearted spirit of “guardian angels” like Gumuzane – something, he said, in the long-run, would make the country’s existing orphanages close down for good and rather turn into schools.
Minister Nsengimana also requested schoolgirls to avoid unplanned pregnancies which, as he put it, would hamper their studies.
3,466 school girls and 280 “guardian angels” across the country have been rewarded since 2005 and 2007 respectively through Imbuto Foundation. And each year, similar rewarding events are held throughout the country.