In March of this year, Brighton-based Architect Sara De Marco visited Rwanda with our CEO to act as APIE's eyes and ears as we come closer to commencing construction of three additional classrooms and a multi-purpose hall and community centre on the land next to Umubano Primary School (UPS) in Kigali. We thank her enormously for the gift of her time as we move closer to this important stage, and we thank Active Social Architecture for having Sara on board, sharing the designs and plans with her. We always so enjoy people's first impressions and experiences of UPS, and Sara's experience, captured in her words below, do not disappoint!
'2nd of April 2017. The last Malarone tablet and the last physical trace of my Rwandan adventure takes leave of my blood stream. One week ago l was on my way back home, first in a little aeroplane over the hills of Kigali and then, after a break in Addis Ababa with the taste of Ethiopian spicy sauce still in my mouth, the long flight back to England. It was one of the most interesting weeks of my life.
Driven across Kigali by the amazing women of APIE, l oriented myself through a brief exploration of Rwandan educational architecture. Looking, feeling and living the buildings...collecting information from the teachers, the children, and passionate Head Teacher of Umubano Primary School. It was a pleasure getting to understand the new ASA project for the school's secondary section and hall extension. I left with the attentive gaze of the students imprinted in my memory, with their precious desire to understand, communicate and welcome me and my ideas. I hope such attention was merited.
Well done APIE! The school's atmosphere has stayed with me and will nourish also my aspirations for a long while. I feel proud to have taken part in your work, even if only for a week; a drop in the ocean of good APIE’s work represents to the children of Kigali who have the opportunity to study at UPS.'