Seven Rwandan students include Ntakirutimana Thomas, Mukamudenge Marcella, Niyongabo Claude, Kajyibwami Jonathan, Nyiramanywa Gloriose, Ngabonziza Alfred, Murwanashyaka Innocent stand alongside NCC Education staff.
SEVEN Rwandan orphans have a chance of a better future after experiencing more heartache and death than most people see in a lifetime.
The scars of the 1994 mass murder still run deep and these orphaned youngsters are just seven out of thousands of victims of the most heinous act of genocide in recent history. Death was impossible to escape, which sadly led to all of them losing their parents at a young age.
Surviving great turmoil and anguish, these seven young people are now embarking on a new chapter in their lives thanks to receiving a sponsorship through NCC Education. The opportunity to broaden their horizons has allowed them to pursue studies for the IDCS (International Diploma in Computer Studies) at Rwanda's Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), which is the first technology-focused institution of higher education to be created by the Rwandan government.
Last year, NCC Education's Business Development Manager, Marcelle du Rand visited Rwanda and was dismayed to discover that every person she met had lost either one or both of their parents.
"I was in total shock when I started speaking to people, it was very hard," said Marcelle. "Eventually my hosts actually had to say to me that I shouldn't keep asking, as it is a given that most young people in Rwanda have lost family members."
"It was just heartbreaking and when the Director of the centre, Jerome Gasana told us that seven orphans would not be able to afford to study we granted each a sponsorship and now they are taking their first exam."
The courageous group, all aged 20-26-years-old, are now enjoying their studies and are determined to pave a better future for themselves.
One student, Thomas Ntakirutimana, is hoping to continue his studies and help other children who have experienced the same suffering as himself.
"My life here in Rwanda is very difficult," said 22-year-old Thomas. "I am an orphan with no parents and I have no one who can support me to find the materials I need to study or other things, so it's very difficult. But thanks to this sponsorship I can study, and I hope to be good and be able to help other children who are in need. The course is very interesting and I hope to look for a job in networking or software development."
Marcella Mukamudenge, 24, who is also grateful for the opportunity to study, said: "The life here is very hard and I can't find the money to study, including materials and transport. I really hope I can carry on with my studies because I am really enjoying it and I would love to have a job in hardware or web design in the future. I'm very grateful to NCC Education for the sponsorship and for giving me this amazing opportunity."
More than 9,000 new students have embarked on a learning pathway through NCC Education this year alone. NCC Education provides students with the opportunity to access a British education without having to leave their home country, by offering a complete education solution to over 200 Accredited Partner Centres in more than 45 countries worldwide. By working in partnership with Accredited Partner Centres and universities they provide students with affordable qualifications in Business and IT, from foundation through to degree, master's level and beyond. NCC Education prides itself on providing sponsorship to students from underprivileged backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to study for a programme that may have previously been beyond their reach.
During the Rwandan genocide more than 800,000 people died. Mass killings were prompted by ethnic tensions between the minority Tutsi people, who had power over the area for centuries, and the majority Hutu people. In 2006 it was reported that there were more than a million orphans in the country and since the genocide, increasing numbers of children were also orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS, making it a common sight to see older children raising younger siblings by themselves.
For more information on the centre and the NCC Education programmes they run, please visit the Kist website