In Rwanda: Kelsey Buchbinder at the FAWE Girls School

anna hanke

Posted on August 13 2014


This week I had the opportunity to return to FAWE Girls School. Having visited the school last January with a group of Same Sky Ambassadors, I knew I was in for a treat. I was excited to have the opportunity to speak with a group of girls who are sure to be the next generation of innovators and leaders and to share with them my experience as a student in the United States.

Upon my arrival, the girls informed me that they had prepared a debate to showcase the strength of their award winning debate team. Discussing the ongoing education reform sweeping the region, the girls spoke with conviction and passion. Pointing to their personal experience as students and the statistics of learning each team built an argument that was not only emotional and exciting but also well researched and convincing. Their passion for the future of their nation was clear.


This same passion was evident when the environmental club took the stage. A self run student group, the girls draw upon their own experiences to devise innovative solutions to problems they faced in their day to day lives. Presenting me with a beautiful program outline, the girls explained that they took issue with the kerosene lanterns that they and their classmates used at home to light their rooms.


Highly dangerous and dirty, the girls of the energy club decided it was up to them to find a solution to the energy problem they faced. This solution has come in the form of solar replacement lanterns. The girls’ drive and curiosity led them the contact fellow student in Massachusetts. Partnering together, the two groups of students on opposite sides of the world plan to start their first pilot program in the upcoming months.

As is always the case when I visit FAWE, I was completely blown away by the experience. The excitement and curiosity that the girls of FAWE displayed towards their clubs and student groups is a testament to the way they see the world. Challenges excite them, roadblocks foster innovation and the future is brighter than the past. I wait with baited breath to see what the girls of FAWE will do and I have no doubt that whatever that might be, it will be great.


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