Rwanda and U.S. Dedicate a Newly Expanded School Near Kigali City

KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Anne Casper, hands one of the donated school packets to a student of the Masaka Secondary School at a dedication ceremony July 9, 2010. Approximately 540 packets filled with paper, pencils, markers and other supplies were donated by People to People, a non-governmental organization. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, to upgrade and expand the suburban Kigali school with a refectory (dining hall/kitchen/store room), teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)     CJTF-HOA Photo KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Anne Casper, hands one of the donated school packets to a student of the Masaka Secondary School at a dedication ceremony July 9, 2010. Approximately 540 packets filled with paper, pencils, markers and other supplies were donated by People to People, a non-governmental organization. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, to upgrade and expand the suburban Kigali school with a refectory (dining hall/kitchen/store room), teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)
KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Axel Hozo (right), a senior 3rd Year Student of Masaka Secondary School, speaks in English to Rwandan to U.S. attendees of his school's dedication July 9, 2010. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, to upgrade and expand the suburban Kigali school with a refectory (dining hall/kitchen/store room), teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)   CJTF-HOA Photo KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Axel Hozo (right), a senior 3rd Year Student of Masaka Secondary School, speaks in English to Rwandan to U.S. attendees of his school's dedication July 9, 2010. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, to upgrade and expand the suburban Kigali school with a refectory (dining hall/kitchen/store room), teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)
KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Anne Casper, addresses approximately 250 Rwandan students, teachers and officials as keynote speaker of the Masaka Secondary School Dedication July 9, 2010. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, to upgrade and expand the suburban Kigali school with a refectory (dining hall/kitchen/store room), teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)   CJTF-HOA Photo KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Anne Casper, addresses approximately 250 Rwandan students, teachers and officials as keynote speaker of the Masaka Secondary School Dedication July 9, 2010. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, to upgrade and expand the suburban Kigali school with a refectory (dining hall/kitchen/store room), teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)
KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - U.S. Navy Captain Scott Vasina, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, speaks to students and teachers during the Masaka Secondary School Dedication July 9, 2010. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and CJTF-HOA to build a refectory, which includes a dining hall, kitchen and storage room, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)   CJTF-HOA Photo KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - U.S. Navy Captain Scott Vasina, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, speaks to students and teachers during the Masaka Secondary School Dedication July 9, 2010. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and CJTF-HOA to build a refectory, which includes a dining hall, kitchen and storage room, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)
KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Rwanda Kicukiru District Mayor Jules Paul Ndamage (left) guides Anne Casper (center), U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Charge d'Affaires and school headmaster John Rwagasore through the dining hall of the newly-built Masaka Secondary School refectory July  9, 2010. Equipped with a kitchen, storeroom and new furniture, the refectory provides the school's 500 students with a place to have lunch. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa to expand the school with the refectory, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)   CJTF-HOA Photo KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Rwanda Kicukiru District Mayor Jules Paul Ndamage (left) guides Anne Casper (center), U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Charge d'Affaires and school headmaster John Rwagasore through the dining hall of the newly-built Masaka Secondary School refectory July 9, 2010. Equipped with a kitchen, storeroom and new furniture, the refectory provides the school's 500 students with a place to have lunch. Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa to expand the school with the refectory, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)
KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Anne Casper, and Kicukiru District Mayor Jules Paul Ndamage opens Masaka Secondary School's new refectory with a ribbon cutting during the school dedication July 9, 2010. Standing behind them is U.S. Navy Captain Scott Vasina, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, and the school's headmaster John Rwagasore (between Casper and Ndamage). Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and CJTF-HOA to build the refectory, which includes a dining hall, kitchen and store room, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos) CJTF-HOA Photo KIGALI CITY, Rwanda - Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Anne Casper, and Kicukiru District Mayor Jules Paul Ndamage opens Masaka Secondary School's new refectory with a ribbon cutting during the school dedication July 9, 2010. Standing behind them is U.S. Navy Captain Scott Vasina, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Djibouti, and the school's headmaster John Rwagasore (between Casper and Ndamage). Rwanda Ministry of Education partnered with the U.S. Embassy of Rwanda and CJTF-HOA to build the refectory, which includes a dining hall, kitchen and store room, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrine, a sports field, expanded class rooms and furniture. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Larry Foos)

Rwanda and the United States partnered in expanding the Masaka Secondary School near Kigali City and celebrated with a school dedication July 9, 2010. With more than 250 students in attendance, the dedication was symbolic of a successful joint effort project that improved the school and left a lasting impression on the community.

"We can't thank you enough for the things you have done for us," said 3rd year Masaka student Axel Hozo, who spoke during the ceremony. "We hope and dream to be where you want us to be," he said.

Located outside of the capital city of Kigili in the Kicukiru District, the project expansion included adding a refectory, which consists of a dining hall, kitchen and store room, a teacher's lounge, 12-stall latrines and a sports field complex. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) provided the project funding and also donated chairs, tables and benches to furnish the new buildings. The Kigali-based company TELE Developments completed the work and the school's parents' association commissioned an architect to design the facilities.

"I'd like to extend my sincere appreciation to the USA for their endless support to this school and to the country of Rwanda," said Kicukiru District Mayor Jules Paul Ndamage. Ndamage participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony with Anne Casper, U.S. Embassy to Rwanda, Chargé d'Affaires.

Casper, who represented the U.S. Embassy to Rwanda as acting ambassador and keynote speaker, expressed the importance of the work done. "We're celebrating not only the physical additions of these buildings but also the continued success of the Rwandan people in developing the educational system of their children," she said. "The classrooms and facilities will be used by an increasing number of young people who are studying a full nine years and I hope many more. You students are the future leaders of the Rwandan nation."

Distinguished guests of the Masaka Secondary School Dedication included the school's director, Jonathan Rwagasore, the school's Parents and Teachers Association President Paul Mukanganije, and U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Vasina, who spoke in behalf of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. Distinguished visitors were given a tour of the classrooms, ball field and refectory. The dedication included ceremonial dancing by the students and handing out school supply packets to 535 students. The packets were donated by the U.S. non-government organization. "This project is an excellent example of how Americans and Rwandans work in partnership for a common goal," said Vasina. "We celebrate the new educational opportunities that this school will provide for future generations."

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