Light for Little Learners – Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

In April this year, Kitty and Jose Cortes visited Bisate Lodge. During their stay they had a chance to visit the Bisate community and they were so touched by the friendliness and warm hospitality of the people, that Kitty decided to start a fundraising campaign via GivenGain when she had returned home.

Kitty wanted to help out some of the most eager little learners she had ever come across, the children of Nyarusizi Village and the larger Bisate Community, in the remote countryside of Northern Rwanda. All of them are highly motivated and keen to learn, which Kitty witnessed personally. However, one of the major hurdles to their progress with reading and studying at home is the absence of a sustainable source of lighting. These children’s enthusiasm and desire to learn must not dim for lack of light. Kitty partnered with Children in the Wilderness and together with Ingrid Baas, general manager in Rwanda, she started the fundraising until she had sufficient funds to afford two WakaWaka solar rechargeable LED lights for each household in the community.

On Thursday the 25th of October Ingrid left early from Kigali, together with Joelle and Charlie from WakaWaka Rwanda, with 358 solar lights, to the Bisate community. When they reached the community everything was well arranged by Aline, Jean Pierre, Hadley and Jomi from Bisate Lodge. All community members were present and the chief of Nyarusizi village, Mr. Bernard, had a list that indicated every household. Also the Executive Leader of the Kaguhu Cell, the Secretarial Executive Leader of the Kinigi sector and the Advisor of the Mayor of Musanze, were present for the event.

After several speeches the WakaWaka team explained how the lights work, how it is recharged and how to maintain the lights. In case there is any problem in the future, WakaWaka has committed to repair or if necessary replace the lights.

We decided that it was best if the parents would receive the lights in name of the children to make sure all would be fair. Since it was a school day when we visited the village to hand out the lights, many of the children were in the school as they should be!

When everybody had received their lights the crowd started singing, dancing and hugging each other of pure joy and happiness.

See the beautiful pictures, all credit to Hadley Pierce, that reflect the day and the happiness of the people. A small gesture can make a big difference.

In Kitty’s words: “Sending you all the best, with the gift of light for all the little learners, and great hopes for a brighter tomorrow for everyone in the community.”

Report by Ingrid Baas (General Manager for Wilderness Safaris Rwanda), with beautiful photos taken by Hadley Pierce (Bisate Management)