Classroom Block InaugurationOn the sunny afternoon of Sunday, September 24th 2017 we, Jesuits, collaborators, friends, and benefactors gathered at Saint Ignatius High School (SIHS) for the presentations of the new facilities erected therein. When the first ribbon was cut by Julie and Daniel Coleman, SIHS’s benefactors, we got into the building –the second to be inaugurated in the history of SIHS. Therein, we forgot about the sun heat outside, for the insides are cool and tranquil! The second ribbon was cut by elder Jesuits –Théoneste Nkeramihigo, Augustin Karekezi, and Martin Mudendeli – opening up to a magnificent storey building of 12 classrooms.

 

The journey continued to the science building. A plaque was prepared, and on it written: “The Jesuits of Rwanda-Burundi Region honor the many benefactors from the Greater Seattle, Mercer Island, and Bellevue areas in Washington State. Their generosity made possible the construction of Saint Ignatius School in Kigali since 2011”. Indeed, thanks to the generosity of a great many people, Saint Ignatius High School is blossoming. That reason alone prompted the popping of champagne for the occasion to honor and celebrate the love and kindness of our various partners.

We later visited the science laboratories and while in the chemistry lab, a group of students demonstrated how to extract ethanol from banana wine. They also explained how they produce soaps in the same lab. The guests were amazed and commended them to carry with them their science passion in practical life.
Thereafter, the guests were taken to Ecole Primaire Saint Ignace (EPSI). Upon arrival, a ribbon was also cut for the inauguration of the newly constructed building. Two parents –one from EPSI and another from SIHS – graced the occasion by cutting the ribbon while a group of pupils entertained the guests with traditional dance.

After the visit of the new buildings, all the people in attendance were welcomed in the school hall at EPSI where some speeches were delivered, and snacks and drinks shared. Fr Olivier Kayitare, SJ the Rector of SIHS, addressed the assembly expressing his gratitude to God for the many achievements that SIHS is realizing. He also expressed his faith in the realization of the many needs that are yet to be met; among which he highlighted the construction of a Jesuit community at the school, an administration block, playgrounds and a multi-purpose hall.

Julie, on her turn, retold the story of how she met Fr Jean Baptiste Ganza at Seattle University, and how all went on to having a lasting collaboration that yielded the creation of The Grace Foundation (www.thegrace-foundation.org) which is meant to raise friends and funds in view of making a reality the dream of Saint Ignatius School Complex in Rwanda.

Fr. Jean Baptiste Ganza, SJ on his part, acknowledged the blessings that can be read in the path which has been covered so far. He also expressed his hope in the future insisting on the faith we carry in God’s grace that is shown in the good people He puts on our way.

Extract from Tubane Newsletter

 

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