Research and experience has shown that when parents and the community are engaged and active in the education of their children educational quality can improve and thus greater learning outcomes can be achieved. Wellspring fundamentally believes that the empowering of parent communities is crucial for the educational success of Rwandan schools. We have a vision for ‘Vibrant School Communities’ which demonstrate health and vitality.
Wellspring’s School Development Program (SDP) has been using two approaches to Community Involvement among its partner school communities.
1.Training of School General Assembly Committees (SGAC) also known as ‘Parent Teacher Committee (PTC)’ – This training involves supporting PTCs in their roles and responsibilities.
The additional training conducted by Wellspring facilitates SGACs to teach and encourage their communities towards health and vitality. These have included training units in:
Parent – Teacher Relationships: why & how parents should be engaged in their child’s educational progress and development?
Foundation for Good Parenting: how to have healthy and constructive home environments that encourage children to thrive and grow?
Family Relationships & Sexual Violence: how to ensure the family relationships are healthy and strong so that children have a positive environment for growth and development?
Additionally, this unit teaches parent communities about sexual violence and creates a safe forum for the challenges surrounding this area in the different communities to be discussed.
Worldview and Values: Our perception of the World affects how we raise our children and this can have positive or negative consequences. This module encourages parents to have a more positive, value based view of the world and to teach their children those positive values.
Positive Behavior Management: how we can discipline children in a positive and constructive manner. Finding proactive ways of developing and encouraging positive behavior in our children as well as appropriate consequences for the behavior they choose.
2. ‘Asset Based Community Development’ (ABDC) – This approach, started in September 2013. The community development and mobilization seeks to support a community through the process of recognizing their assets and gifts, connecting them, and then finding their own solutions to the challenges they care about using these connected assets. In pioneering this approach in school communities, we hope to witness transformational communities that are moving towards vibrancy.