Camara Rwanda operations started mid last year by supporting schools in the eastern district of Bugesera. After just one month of operations, more schools from different parts of the country started seeking support from Camara. At our hub in Kigali, we make sure information on donated computers from Ireland is wiped out, check for defects (if any), and replace faulty parts. Once the schools have met the minimum computer laboratory set up, they come to collect their computers at our hub. Schools are charged a nominal fee of 50 Euros per computer, which covers training for some of their teachers, maintenance costs, and a collection fee once a computer reaches end of life.
We have made several contacts with organisations involved in education throughout the country, including VSO and Rhenanie Palatinat- Jumelage. The latter has the longest ties of cooperation with Rwanda, lasting 28 years. We thank Mr. Frank Lehmann for this lead and his daily supporting and guidance of our operations. Rhenanie Palatinat- Jumelage is supporting 213 schools in Rwanda and they are keen to receive computers from Camara. So far, five schools are lined up to benefit from this new venture.
On Tuesday 19th 2010, we had a ceremony launching the computer laboratory, equipped with Camara computers, at one of their supported schools. The ceremony was marked by thankful messages and speeches from dignitaries present at the ceremony on this joint venture between Camara and Rhenanie Palatinat- Jumelage. The school where the ceremony took place is run by the Catholic diocese of Ruhengeri. His lordship the Monsignor of the diocese sent a representative to this ceremony. Also present were the Mayor of the district where the school is located, the person in charge of cooperation in Rhenanie Palatinat- Jumelage, the Executive Secretary of the area who also doubles as a representative of a Parents Teachers Association (PTA), teachers of the school, and journalists from the local FM radio station.
All of those present wanted to know more about Camara and how it works. Camara’s CEO in Rwanda, Edward Rwagasore, explained all by giving a small presentation of Camara computers and open source software. Everyone seemed to be very interested with the initiative and surely they are going to spread the word. This event was aired on the local FM radio station in their news bulletin, so we expect more contacts to be made, even those schools beyond the cooperation with Rhenanie Palatinat- Jumelage.