The Childcare Program
Rwanda is now open to international arrivals. See the Additional Info. section for procedures in place during the pandemic.
The aim of this childcare program is to support children from families who were affected by genocide and those from some of Rwanda’s poorest families. Early childhood education levels are very low in Rwanda, with a severe lack of teachers. In the town of Rwamagana Love Volunteer’s partner agency developed an early education facility after seeing a huge need through their own work with local families and through discussions with local leaders and community groups. It was apparent that the community needed an early childhood education facility to help their young develop to their full potential. Early childhood education is essential to establish a solid base of learning for children. A large number of local children have not had access to nursery education so classes are mixed in age from 3 - 6 years. Construction is underway to extend the school to include primary aged children. Many children in Rwamagana are missing out on the basics which is detrimental to their educational future. This program aims to offer a caring educational foundation for children to learn and thrive. Volunteers are desperately needed to assist and teach these wonderful children.
Goals of this Project:
- Teach and interact with children and supply a solid educational base for them
- Improve the future prospects of some of Rwanda’s most impoverished children, and help them to break the poverty cycle
- Enable inter-cultural exchange between local children and international volunteers alike
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an essential role in helping improve the early education levels of the impoverished children of Rwamagana. This program allows volunteers to get stuck in and introduce more active learning styles and gives them the opportunity to have real input into the curriculum and procedures of the facility, ultimately benefiting hundreds of children for years to come. The standard of spoken English amongst children at the nursery and primary school has improved enormously since volunteers helped to build the first classroom in 2016. Volunteers will find they have the chance to spend time teaching and playing with children – a wonderful experience for all.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Assist local teachers
- Provide lessons in interest areas such as sport, music and art
- Plan and oversee simple games in English
- Help with preparing and meals and assisting the children with eating and cleaning up
- Assist with the acquisition of social skills and language development
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the development of Rwanda's next generation. While this highly rewarding project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with staff and students, though this is not a pre-requisite. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Rwamagana is about one hour east of the capital, Kigali and is a relatively big town by Rwandan standards. Many cities are accessible from Rwamagana, including Kilgali which has a number of interesting museums, Cyangugu where Obo National Park is one of the main tourist attractions, Gisenyi where you will find Gishwati Forest, and of course Gikongoro which is home to National des Volcans and Parc National Nyungwe Forest.
The Genocide Memorial in Kigali provides good insight into one of the world’s greatest tragedies. This excellent museum is laid out in three sections. The first contextualizes the Rwandan genocide, detailing the events leading up to it and the international response. The second section brings it into the wider context of genocide in other countries and the third is a heart-breaking tribute to the children that died.
Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans is home of the rare mountain gorilla. This is Rwanda’s biggest tourist attraction, and at $500+ for one hour with the gorillas it is also a substantial earner. If you can afford it it’s an excellent experience, and even possible as a day trip from Kigali. However, make sure you book your permit in advance as there are a limited number issued each day. A gorilla visit can entail a 1 to 4-hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or close to the forest.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival into Kigali International Airport volunteers will be collected by a representative of the local project team and transported to their guesthouse accommodation where they will join a short welcome session. On Monday, volunteers attend the full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in Rwanda. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Kigali International Airport, Kigali, Rwanda (CODE: KGL)
Accommodation & Meals
Safe and comfortable accommodation will be provided during your stay in Rwanda. Volunteers have the unmissable experience of living within the community which is a great way to experience cultural immersion. Volunteers will be accommodated at the project operations base guesthouse or at a nearby independent guesthouse. It may be necessary for volunteers to share a twin room depending on how many people are participating at the same time. Linen is provided. The shared rooms are split by gender. If necessary it may be possible to secure a private room (additional fees apply).
There are internet cafes close by to the accommodation.
Breakfast and dinner will be provided at the guesthouse during your stay, and lunch can be bought cheaply at local markets, street stalls and cafes. Volunteers are welcome to buy bread and other snacks as required, and are required to buy their own drinking water. Your hosts will provide you with a selection of local Rwandan foods during your volunteer period, but you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. This might take some adjusting to but is part of life in Rwanda. If you have special eating needs, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Please keep in mind that living conditions are basic and it is not common to have hot running water in Rwanda, which is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
All travelers arriving in Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 certificate. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) performed within 120 hours of departure (meaning travelers must be tested and get results within 5 days of their first flight). Other tests, such as Rapid Diagnostics Test (RDTs), are not accepted.
All travelers arriving in Rwanda must complete the passenger locator form and upload the COVID-19 test certificate prior to arrival. Please see passenger locator form and list of designated transit hotels onwww.rbc.gov.rw.
All travelers arriving or transiting through Rwanda will be screened upon entry and take a second RT-PCR test (cost $50) to confirm the negative results of the test done prior to arrival
All travelers are required to wait 24 hours for the results of their COVID-19 test in a designated transit hotel. All COVID-19 prevention measures announced by the Ministry of Health must be respected during waiting period.
The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24 hour waiting period. Should a guest wish to remain in the hotel after receiving negative test results, they are welcome to extend their stay at the hotel’s applicable rates.
Full details on the Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Health website here.