We have arrived at the end of our second year at Virunga Valley Academy (VVA). As we look back at the 2015-16 school year, it is amazing to think of all that has happened! Our school has grown to an enrollment of 42 students after beginning with 17 in 2014. We have added Kindergarten and First Grade classes, a lunch program, and now we have our first two High School Graduates—Stephen Crowson and Abby Miller! We are so thankful for all of you parents who have entrusted your children to us, and we look forward to many more milestones together in the future.
We are also in a period in Rwanda where we all look back and remember the horrible events that occurred 22 years ago during the genocide against the Tutsi. We look back and remember in order to ensure that these things will never happen again. This year, VVA was able to organize our first “Walk to Remember” in which our primary and secondary students walked to the Musanze Genocide Memorial for a program to honor those lost during the genocide and learn about fighting genocide ideology. We also had the privilege of helping a genocide widow in our community with rice, beans, corn flour, salt, sugar, soap, oil, and charcoal. I am so proud of the way our VVA family came together to donate more than 75,000 RWF to help a woman who has experienced great suffering. She asked me to share with you her appreciation for the help she received.
As we remember the past, we also work together to build a better future for Rwanda. I believe this future is a bright one because of the amazing children we privileged to serve at VVA who we believe will someday be leaders of this beautiful nation. The excellence, service, and character they are displaying show that there are great things ahead!
~ Mr. Matthew Miller