August 2011 - Burundi
Saturday, June 11th saw the RET hold a celebration of perseverance at Butezi Learning Centre in Rutana province. The day was to remind students of the importance of education in rebuilding their lives – and particularly of the importance of two crucial words – perseverance and effort.
The day began with several speeches, including from the DAFI scholarship students, former returnees who had successfully integrated into Burundi, where they became recipients of scholarship funds that enabled them to study at university in Bujumbura. They are examples that the assistance the RET has provided throughout the years in Burundi has helped them to engage with their societies, turning them into unique individuals who have and can bring a lot to the development of their country. It was a great opportunity for DAFI scholars to encourage their younger sisters and brothers from the returnee community to re-enter or stay in school in order for them to truly succeed in life.
There were performances by the students and teachers, prepared around the theme of education and perseverance, which demonstrated that those youth who have really grasped hold of the opportunities suddenly open to them had really benefited from the assistance provided by the RET with regards to their language capabilities and life skills’ training. Burundian returnees who had grown up all or most of their lives in Tanzanian refugee camps had returned to Burundi with neither French nor Kirundi (the two national languages) but after enrolling in the RET’s mise a niveau courses, many were able to integrate and enrol into the local schools, having learnt enough of the languages to be educated in them.
At the end of the performances by the students, a prize was awarded to the class that had given the best sketch, and also to the students who had proven to be most motivated during their training. The event was a great experience for everyone – students, RET staff and teachers, families and communities.