Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding
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"My homestay family welcomed me with open arms into their home because they were just as excited to learn from me as I was from them. The homestay was the best aspect of the program!"
Kai Conley, Fall 2009, Goucher College
Share daily life with a Rwandan family
Students live for six weeks with a host family in Kigali. The homestay helps students become more immersed in local social and cultural dynamics and gives them a unique inside perspective of life in post-genocide Rwanda. Students often observe and learn from Rwandans' processes of remembering and forgetting, strategies of overcoming genocide ideology, and their work towards unity and reconciliation.
The homestay is also an important setting to improve Kinyarwanda language skills. Students typically take public transportation to class, which provides them with a good sense of direction and orientation within the city as well as better insight into the local culture.
Host families are typically middle class and are located throughout Kigali. Host parents are a variety of professions including small business owners, government employees, accountants, lawyers, and doctors. Rwandan families often include many children and other relatives. Some families live in large single and self-contained houses with a fenced garden, while others have smaller houses with an outside bathroom and outside cooking facilities. Soccer and church are of high significance to a large number of Rwandan families.
Homestay families are identified and coordinated through the program’s partner school, College Amis des Enfants (CAE), a secondary boarding school in Kigali. All homestay families have at least one child attending CAE. SIT students are assigned a Rwandan "buddy", someone between the ages of 15 and 20, who speaks some English and helps each student become orientated in Kigali.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels, guest houses, or small hotels.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Kigali
Language Study: Kinyarwanda
Prerequisites: Coursework in conflict theories recommended. Read more...
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