Books Support Kids through Quarantine in Rwanda

Two of our container captains, Pam Pappas Stanoch and Kim Harms, sent us some news and photos from Rwanda about how BFA books are helping children through school closures in Rwanda.

Pam said she received a phone call from the husband of a science teacher at Saint Dominique, a beneficiary school in Remera, a suburb of Kigali, Rwanda. He said that his wife wanted to tell Pam that she was "a gift from God" for bringing the books. In Pam's words:

Her students are all in quarantine. Up until they received the books from Books For Africa, the only way the children could learn was if they copied the information from the teachers that had been written on the board. Because of the books received from BFA, each child went home with a book to continue learning while they were in quarantine.... She was so gracious and so grateful, she touched my heart.

Pam recalled that when she had visited the school in August, the day before the books arrived, she asked what the students hoped to learn from the books. Each class spoke for nearly an hour and a half, sharing all that they would learn that would help them become who they wanted to be: President of Rwanda, teachers, doctors, nurses, soccer players... the list went on and on. Pam reported that she was amazed by the children she met, and that she can't wait to get back to Rwanda when the pandemic is over to teach again.

As for Kim, she brought three students from the University of Central Florida, Madeline Mills (Kim’s niece), Sydney Carey, and Bridgitte Michaela, to Rwanda in March. They brought books donated by University students to Esther’s Aide Culinary School in Kigali. These books supplemented previous book donations by UCF students and were organized by Madeline, who serves as Vice-President of the student body.

The day was spent talking to students about attitude and self esteem, unboxing the new books and marveling at the strides made at the school by founder Clare Effong and her team.  The school works with many marginalized young men and women, including some who have been trafficked.  Clare also has a sewing school and we will begin to collect sewing and craft books to build a library for those students.

The true value of Clare’s work became apparent when, after bringing her to lunch at the Marriot, she was surrounded on multiple occasions by former students, now working in the Culinary field, who were extremely happy to see her.

Not only have Kim and Pam been friends of Rwanda and of BFA for some time, they are also friends with one another. In fact, it was Pam who introduced Kim to Books For Africa!

Read more about Kim's background or about current projects in Rwanda, or check out our slideshow of photos from Pam and Kim's visits to Rwanda!

Container Captain Visits to Rwanda