In September 2013, the GFP HQ team, which included Safiya Ibn Garba (Programmes Officer) and Sevgi Şairoğlu (University of Oxford Summer Field Researcher), embarked on a Field Research Visit to Rwanda. During the 10 days they spent time in Kigali, Ngoma and Rubavu.
Throughout the visit, Safiya had the chance to meet second generation Delegates, observe programme implementation and discuss challenges that the volunteers may have faced. Furthermore, both Safiya and Sevgi were able to meet and interview volunteers, participants and members of the beneficiary community. GFP Pioneers Christian Hatumimana (Lead Pioneer), Didier Maboko – Shema, and Jean Luc Ndayikengurukiye, provided staff with invaluable support throughout the course of the week.
While in Rwanda’s capital city, staff met with Pioneers and Delegates, who were supervising activities and providing mentoring support to Delegates across the various provinces. During their stay, Safiya and Sevgi also visited the Genocide memorial, which gave them a clearer perception of the conflict in the country, and how it has affected Rwandan society.
Ngoma – Eastern Province:
In Ngoma, they observed an SPPY (Sport for Peace Programme for Youth) session for fifty-four students at Aspek Primary and Secondary School – one of three schools participating in the programme. Furthermore, they were able to speak to parents, teachers and the participants, allowing them to see how much progress the programme, which is being led by Dominique Ntawangundi, is making at present.
Rubavu – Western Province:
The staff then travelled to Rubavu to visit three programmes, which are being led by Sandra Rukundo, and supported by Jean Paul Ingabaire and Joseph Tuyishime, who are second generation Delegates. They visited Gacuba Secondary School, College Inyemeramihigo (a model sports school in Rwanda) and Lycee de Nyundo (a mission school). As well as observing SPPY sessions, Safiya and Sevgi conducted interviews with school officials and participants.
In addition to these Research Visits, a meeting with the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Mr Kalisa Edward, granted the staff an opportunity to discuss various methods of peace building both within and outside of Rwanda.
Commenting on the importance of Field Research, Safiya said: “these visits provide a unique opportunity to get a real sense of what our volunteers experience, and to look at the challenges they are faced with, as well as the difference they’re making.”