This past May, I had the opportunity to travel back to Rwanda, along with a group of students from Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University. During our trip, we were able to frequent The Nyanya Project site based in the Jabana Hills of Rwanda near the capital of Kigali, and we met with both the Nyanya grandmothers and their grandchildren.
Having previously visited with the grandmothers in the summer of 2013, I was overjoyed when I saw so many familiar faces of children in the crowd who ran out to greet us. The students were thrilled to play with the grandchildren and share in their laughter and excitement over the simplest games and toys.
As part of our service project, we assisted the grandmothers with their agricultural work by shelling beans, picking eggplants, and pulling weeds. The Nyanya Project (TNP) had given them training in various agricultural programs, and while some of the college students, myself included, had trouble simply getting from one field to the other, the grandmothers approached the difficult terrain and fieldwork with ease.
We were also able to visit the grandmothers’ most recent mushroom project site, where we were welcomed by grandmothers both singing and clapping. With TNP’s help, the grandmothers are able to earn extra income by selling their produce in local markets.
It was empowering to witness how much the grandmothers are able to accomplish and how genuinely happy they are, regardless of the obstacles they have faced in the past, and continue to face in the future. Many of the students found the time spent with The Nyanya Project to be one of the most memorable experiences of their trip.
Wake Forest University ’16