ARC7 Rwanda: 

Combating Education Disruption Caused by Poverty

In Rwanda,

less than 8% of

university students

make it to graduation day.

We are here to

improve that number!

Poverty and education go hand in hand. If we want to eradicate poverty, we have to support students who have made it to the university level against all odds. But all it takes is a life-threatening bout with malaria or smallpox and a university student can easily lose footing. When a student falls behind in paying school fees he loses his monthly stipend. It is a fast spiral that ends the careers of thousands of students every year.

Add to that the lurking thieves who are willing to attack with a knife just to your steal shoes. But wait, there’s more. There are no refrigerators or stoves in the dorms. Meals, such as rice or beans, must be cooked fresh every day by each and every student using a propane tank with a pot balanced on top of it. It can’t be stored or it will go bad and carry food-borne illnesses that will give them intestinal infections that are hard to get rid of. Many students go to bed hungry knowing they have to sit for the CATs in the morning.

Meanwhile, the landlord needs the rent to pay for their own students school fees. Poverty is the gift that keeps on giving. So we pay a school fee of $35 so that a university student can continue their studies for another semester. We pay $40 for two months back rent, so they can stay put for their assessments. That $40 pays the school fees of two children who would have otherwise been unable to continue their education.

ARC7 is a 501c(3) that takes a comprehensive, sustainable approach to reducing poverty by simultaneously improving 7 aspects of well-being:  financial, physical, personal (intellectual), emotional, social, career, and global. This effort starts with paying university students to take the ARC7 training program where they learn to address poverty from a compassion orientation and ends with students developing a proposal to meet an unmet need in their hometown community. Each proposal falls within one of the 7 aspects of well-being.

When 50 students from the same community have completed their training, they are called Compassion Leaders, and they form a Compassion Center, which can be a room on a school campus, in a farmhouse, or in an office building, for example. Each student chooses one of 50 paid roles that sustain the Center and 21 specific community projects the Center will implement to meet an unmet need for townspeople and/or generate income for the Center (so that Compassion Leaders can be paid and can afford their university fees).

Typical projects at a Compassion Center include purchasing and stocking the Center with potable water, protein snacks, and toothbrushes and toothpaste so Compassion Leaders and visitors have some basics while Compassion Leaders work on other projects such as running an first aid station, a cell phone repair station, or a computer lab, which provides services to the general public on a sliding scale donation.

We currently have 50 fully trained Compassion Leaders. They are very eager to accept work building their first Compassion Center in Kigali, Rwanda and to open it to the general public.

Building the First Compassion Center

We’re gearing up to build our Compassion Center in Kigali, Rwanda! We’re paying 50 university students who are trained Compassion Leaders to deliver 21 Compassion Projects they’ve designed to meet unmet needs of the Kigali community.

How will the money be used:

The $1000 will be used for three projects, each led by one Compassion Leaders:  1) secure a rentable office for the Compassion Center in Kigali, Rwanda ($400 USD covers 3-4 months), 2) stock the Compassion Center with potable water, nuts and fruit ($300), and 3) stock the Compassion Center with toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and basic first aid items (bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls, and related over-the-counter (OTC) items) for $300. 


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