On August 31, six WWU representatives landed in Kigali, Rwanda, to begin a two-week tour of refugee camps and Adventist academies throughout the country. Their mission was to get a firsthand look at the education system in the refugee camps in order to connect the 2016-17 ASWWU Global Service project to the people that it will be serving. The six representatives were Ivory Vogt, ASWWU Global Service department head, Hilary Catlett, ASWWU sponsor, Zack Brenes, ASWWU president, Peter Flores, ASWWU religious vice president, Tommy Moen, ASWWU photo head, and Clayton Kruse, ASWWU photo staff.
Every year, the ASWWU Global Service department chooses a humanitarian project for the WWU student body and the community surrounding WWU to devote their energies to. The department was created for the sole purpose of “providing WWU students with avenues to make a positive impact on communities around our globe.” Recent projects have included building an orphanage in Uganda and sponsoring WWU student missionaries to work at the orphanage, and building a school in Indonesia. The success of these projects doesn’t stop just at the completion of them but is also defined by the lifelong qualities and values instilled in students who help with these projects.
The ASWWU Global Service project for this year is focused on providing education to Congolese refugees living in Rwanda through individual sponsorships of refugees. ASWWU is working in conjunction with Impact Hope, a small nonprofit organization based in Portland, Ore., and cofounded by a WWU alumnus, and ADRA Rwanda. Impact Hope works to send high-school-aged refugees to Adventist boarding academies throughout Rwanda. The students receive education, a clean bed, three meals a day, and an Adventist community to connect with and draw support from. Impact Hope works through ADRA Rwanda, which is based in the capital of the country, Kigali. The 2016-17 ASWWU project is called “Hope in the Hills”—a reference to Rwanda’s nickname of “the land of a thousand hills.”
“We really hope that because of how unique this project is, how different it is from past projects Global Service has worked on, that it will really have an impact on people to motivate them to get involved. It’s something personal, something you can relate to, something we want to open up to the community to take part in. Those are really our hopes for the project,” says Vogt. “As students ourselves we know that education is the key to opportunity, and it is no different for these students in Rwanda.”
It costs $600 to sponsor a refugee for one year of high school. This amount funds room and board, personal toiletries, books for classes, and transportation. The ASWWU Global Service team hopes to raise a total of $45,000 to send 75 refugees to Adventist boarding academies over the course of this year.
To learn more about how to get involved, send an email to ASWWU.GlobalService@wallawalla.edu or watch ASWWU’s Hope in the Hills video. For instructions on how to donate, visit aswwu.com/globalservice.
Posted November 15, 2016