Service Learning & Community Outreach

04_Outreach_Local_Community      

ISKR yearly supports projects, communities or activities outside the school that benefit Rwandan people. By doing this, ISKR not only gives support to our host country, but the ISKR students gather knowledge about their host country and its people. They also learn to work for other people than themselves and to care for the outside world.

Service learning at ISKR is about developing new skills and understanding through empowering communities.

Service Learning Program Goals

  • To cultivate a sense of social responsibility and commitment to service within the ISKR student body
  • To provide transformative opportunities for ISKR students to learn about and partner with our local community, national community.
  • To be a part of the ISKR Mission & Vision – to enable our students to become lifelong learners ready to make a difference within their respective communities.

Service Learning in Grades 1-8

In the Elementary School this coming academic year some grades will take part in a pilot service learning program incorporated into their International Primary Curriculum In the Middle School students in some grades will take part in a pilot service learning program incorporated into their International Middle Years Curriculum. All students will have the opportunity to take part in after-school Service Learning activities (such as Take Action Tuesday’s at Megs Foundation School). We anticipate that this program will grow in the coming years at ISKR and we would appreciate feedback and ideas from the community.

Service Learning in Grades 9-12

Service Component

This part is up to the students and the ideas/projects they want to pursue. However, students must do the following:

  • The service project must be ongoing. At least one semester of service with the same organization completed at regular intervals (weekly, fortnightly, monthly)
  • Students must complete the five stages of service learning.
Learning Component

Students will complete a reflective project that includes 5 stages:

  1. Investigation and Inventory – thinking about their skills, interests and skills they wish to develop. Then they need to investigate needs in their local or wider community that interest them. Finally come up with ideas of how they can use their skills to positively impact others in their communities.
  2. Planning and Preparation – Students must write a Service Project Proposal (submitted prior to or in the initial weeks of the service project) – including a reflection on the student’s prior knowledge of the organization, program, or issue addressed by the program, a description of the organization and purpose of the project, an explanation of his or her role in the project, and a reflection on why he or she chose the project and expects to gain from the experience.
  3. Action – carry out the planned project and at the same time keep a reflective journal throughout the course of the project.
  4. Reflection – A final reflection about the project answering the following questions:
    1. What have I learned?
    2. Did the project meet my expectations? Would I change anything?
    3. How has it changed me or made me think differently?
    4. What have I gained from this experience?
    5.  Demonstration and Communication – Students will have opportunities to share their experiences with the school and wider community.
Graduation Requirements

Students in Grades 9 and 10 are required to take part in service learning and will be guided through stages 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the learning component, during school hours. Grades 11 and 12 are required to independently complete the five stages of service learning over at least one semester by using their own initiative and skills to find a service project.

Completion of service learning projects is an important part of the ISKR High School graduation requirements.

Community Outreach

The Umubyeyi Community Foundation (UCF) is one of the projects that is adopted by 4th and 5th grade of ISKR. UFC is a child care centre in Nyamata, close to Kigali. ISKR supports UCF in different ways. Reading Rallies and Plays are organized so the children can collect money for UCF. The children also collect clothing, food and toys, to donate to UCF. Last but not least, the students of 4th and 5th grade go to the centre in Nyamata twice a year. They make games and set up a program to interact with the children of UCF. This is a very rewarding process.

ISKR offers an after-school service club in which students organize and participate in both fundraising activities and hands-on service projects. Service club partners with a local organization, Amahoro Association, which supports children affected by HIV/AIDS.

ISKR endeavors to engage with the local community. During our annual Celebration of Art and Culture, students have the opportunity to enjoy local dancing from Kinamba Project School, learn local arts and crafts from professionals, learn local drumming. Local artists and craftspeople are invited to sell their work at an ISKR-sponsored Spring Fair.

Examples of other outreach activities include:

  • ISKR students have visited Gahanga Handicapped Centre. They made games, took their pets and did music and dancing performances for the handicapped children and youth adults in Gahanga.
  • At the Spring Music Show ISKR children performed songs in Kinyarwanda together with children from Kibagabaga Anglican Primary School, who were being trained as part of the University of Rwanda Primary Arts Education Programme.
  • Student Council projects including donating shoes and socks to a local school, participating in a Fashion For All project sponsored by PTO, and donating gently used books during our annual Book Week.
  • We have also supported numerous projects with our partner schools – Kinamba Project (The Meg Foundation) & Little Angels School (Nyarutarama, Kigali, Rwanda) including weekly tutoring visits, invitations to participate in our Maker-Space, weekly computer and ICT lessons, etc.

04_Outreach  Also on field trips in Rwanda, ISKR frequently chooses to visit sites where for example environmental friendly activities are set up. Like the visit to Inyenyeri, a Rwandan Energy Company, seeking to deliver biomass fuel pellets and producing Clean Micro Gasifier Cookstoves, that are more environmental friendly than regular stoves and burning trees for charcoal. By doing this, the students learn about the environment and also see and develop the creativity that can lead to products and systems that are better for the environment.

For more information about service learning, our partner schools, or getting involved, contact Kersti Lwambo at klwambo@iskr.org

 


Kersti Lwambo

Service Learning Coordinator
klwambo@iskr.org

Bachelor of Science in Biology, UK

Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Science specializing in Biology Master’s in International Development and Education (in progress)