Close this search box.

Using his scholarship he supports children who dropped out of school

Cyusa Ian Berulo is a young man from the Murundi sector in the Karongi District. He initiated a program called “Murengere atararenga” (Protect before it’s too late) with the aim of preventing the challenges he faced that led to him dropping out of school for three years from happening to others.

While pursuing his second-level university studies in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, he told KURA that in the year 2000, during his fourth year of primary school, he dropped out because he lacked 100Frw (Rwandan Francs) for school fees and stayed out of school for three years.

He said, “I spent three years without going to school, tending to cows, and doing other household chores. I appreciate President Kagame for introducing the education-for-all program. It helped me return to school.”

This fortunate opportunity to return to education made him reflect on his hardships. When he received his university grant (bourse), he chose not to spend it all but to save a portion to assist those in similar situations.

At that time, the university stipend was 25,000Frw per month. While some students felt this wasn’t enough, Cyusa would save 5000Frw from it every month to buy sheep for four underprivileged children. He would teach these children to reinvest the returns from the sheep into other livestock like pigs, goats, and even cows. Some of them have now even managed to buy their own cows from the proceeds.

The aim of his program is to make these children self-reliant so that they do not need to depend on their parents for everything.

He said, “I wanted to prevent children from experiencing what I went through. Although it’s not perfect, the results have been encouraging, with five of the children now owning cows, one having five pigs, and others owning goats, chickens, and other assets.”

Cyusa’s initiative to empower the needy grew into the Berulo Foundation, which has empowered over 2050 people, including more than 100 who had dropped out of school and have since returned.

Murengere atararenga

After seeing the success of his initiatives in Karongi, Rulindo, and Bugesera districts, he decided to expand but with a stronger focus on getting dropouts back to school. On 20th July 2023, he started the “Murengere atararenga” program, aiming to extend it throughout the country.

For the effective implementation of this initiative, every village is expected to have two people known as “Friends of Loving School.” They will collaborate with school administrations. If a child is frequently absent or drops out, these ‘friends’ will work with the school to determine the reason for the dropout.

Cyusa also plans to establish “Zero Dropout Clubs” in schools, where students and teachers will work together to address the dropout issue.

He added, “This club will closely monitor any student who returns to school after dropping out to ensure they don’t leave again.”

Another feature of the “Murengere atararenga” program is to set up a fund to assist children where poverty is identified as the reason for dropping out.

He said, “The ‘Friends of Loving School’ will help identify if a child needs financial support or other assistance. If it’s clear that poverty led to their dropout, funds from the ‘Murengere atarenga fund’ will be used to support their return to school.”

The deputy mayor of Karongi District, Mukase Valentine, applauded the initiative, stating it complements their existing efforts.

She said, “We warmly welcome this initiative as it will aid in our campaigns to encourage education and urge parents to enroll their children in school.”

Deputy Mayor Mukase also promised to collaborate closely with Cyusa in implementing the “Murengere atararenga” program, saying its objectives align well with the district’s mission to return children to school and prevent dropouts.

Last academic year in Karongi District, 706 children dropped out of school. The district now plans to use the “Intore during holidays” program to encourage these dropouts to return to school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Straight out of Twitter