2015 has been an exciting year at APIE and Umubano Primary School. In Rwanda, Amy Barnecutt has reprised her role as APIE country director after a year on maternity leave. School may have closed in early November for the pupils, but since then Amy has been working non-stop with Head Teacher Jean de Dieu and Office Manager Rosemary Karangwa, to plan and prepare for an even better year in 2016 - to ensure that Umubano Primary School is leading the way in modelling best practice in the new Rwandan curriculum. Some of the new innovations include the Early Years Centre - see below for pics - and the introduction of ICT in the curriculum. And then there are all the usual building repairs to do at the end of the year plus the summer school for children and basically never a dull moment!
Our Brighton headquarters have been a hive of activity as well. Along with our normal grant applications and fundraising activity, we have explored various ways to raise APIE's profile in the community and strengthen our relationships for the future.
We are delighted to announce a new partnership with OLT who will be delivering training to all the staff at UPS from January onwards. We are immensely grateful to OLT for their generous and enthusiastic support to enable us to deliver quality education to all children whatever their needs.
Another wonderful milestone was reaching the £10,000 fundraising target for the scholarship fund which means that the 30 additional children with particular needs will be in school, with uniforms, school meals and all materials and specialist teaching for those who need it supplied by this fund. Thank you to all who ran, cycled, sang, played, danced and gave! A special thanks to Hove Park School students who continued in their fundraising efforts as ambassadors for APIE, raising enough money for another scholarship place.
Dolphin School enjoyed their first ever Skype call with UPS, which proved to be a huge success. Children in the UK and Rwanda were able to identify their similarities and differences and it was hugely beneficial for all involved, culturally and socially. Parents and children have also have generously donated rounders equipment to UPS which will be received with much excitement and gratitude in the new year.
The APIE society at Sussex University is well and truly underway with students planning their first meeting in February 2016. This will be an exciting way for University students to really get involved with helping APIE in a variety of interesting ways, whether through running events or running the Brighton Marathon for us in April!
In November, we had our first major Brighton fundraising event, where we had a number of talented acts perform for us at The Fortune of War. Opening was Eliad Friedman Green, who's dulcet tones and thoughtful indie lyrics proved the perfect way to start the evening. Funmilayo and the Border Band played an exceptional set, playing a mixture of blues, funk and soul- demonstrating not only the impressive vocal prowess of the lovely Funmilayo but also the note and pitch perfect abilities of the band.
Local DJ Axiomatt provided a lively interlude, playing a mixture of ska and old school tunes to get the crowd moving. The star of the show, our patron Jean Paul Samputu, was truly phenomenal. Playing a selection of songs from his new album 'Only Love', he demonstrated what makes him a world renowned musician. After opening with a couple of soulful and emotional tracks, the bulk of his set consisted of pulse quickening rhythms and stirring melodies. The crowd tore up the dance floor, while Jean Paul proved tiring simply to watch! This hugely successful night raised enough money for another scholarship place, and brought together also a lot more people who expressed an interest in working with APIE. It was also a chance for our existing volunteers to meet and share the excitement of being part of a partner in education.
From everyone at APIE we wish you a peaceful merry Christmas and a happy, and healthy, New Year.