Twenty of the top college-bound students in Rwanda boarded a bus in Kigali and made their way to Hope for Life, unsure of what to expect. As the bus parked and unloaded, they immediately found themselves surrounded in hugs. They didn’t know it then, but they were about to give the boys of Hope for Life one of the best days of their lives.
Eugene*, 18, rarely engages with visitors to HFL, preferring instead to watch from the sidelines or disappear to his room. Something about today, though, felt different. Maybe it was the fact that the visitors, who are most typically foreigners, were fellow Rwandans who had achieved success and who came from communities like his. Maybe it was the fact that there were a plethora of activities for both the extroverted and the introverted kids. Maybe it was the commitment of the volunteer students to continue pursuing the hesitant kids and find something they could do together. Whatever it was, this day was different.
At the end of a day full of sports, crafts, acrobatics, and a lot of laughter, we watched as Eugene engaged in the giant dance party with confidence and freedom. His eyes met with ours and a giant smile immediately glowed on his face. A few days later, Eugene proudly declared, “The day with Bridge2Rwanda was the best day ever. I want to be in that program when I graduate from high school.” For a boy who struggles with hopelessness and self-esteem, seeing him begin to dream again is what this ministry is all about.
The boys enjoy a day filled with laughter, new friendships and dancing.
Over the next few days, both HFL’s and Bridge2Rwanda’s staff received dozens of questions from our youth about when they could see their new friends again. We look forward to making gathering such as these a more regular event.
Each month, you are helping to resuscitate the ability for Rwanda’s most vulnerable children to hope and dream again. Thank you!
*Fictional name for confidentiality