In October 2017, VVOB and the Environment Management Authority (REMA) initiated Greening Schools project which was first implemented in TTC Mururu as a pilot school, in an effort to protect and conserve our environment.
This project is part of VVOB’s multi-year programme Leading Teaching and Learning Together (LTLT) for 2017-2021, which is co-funded by the Belgian government. One of the components of LTLT programme is to equip school subject leaders and school-based mentors in Educational Coaching and Mentoring to support the induction of new primary school teachers. As a teacher training college, TTC Mururu, located in Rusizi district in western Rwanda, was also chosen as a pilot school to implement Greening Schools project to raise awareness about environment and prepare the next generation of teachers to be environmental leaders.
Rwandan and Belgian students together for environment
In 2018, one year after the launch of the Greening School project at TTC Mururu, a team of motivated Rwandan and Belgian student teachers worked together to make things happen. For a period of three months, two Belgian students shared experiences with their counterparts at TTC Mururu towards transforming the college into a green school. As a result, the school environment club was revived and has played a key role in the journey of making their school green.
What has changed at TTC Mururu?
Environmntal changes can be observed at TTC Mururu since Greening School project was introduced, as shown on the photos above. All students are aware about environment conservation. Signposts about environment protection can be seen everywhere in the school. Rainwater harvest and management has also been revised. While the school had five plastic water tanks of 5m3 installed at three classroom blocks out of eight blocks, today, it has five more bigger water tanks to harvest rainwater from classrooms’ roofs. These water tanks were a result of collective efforts from parents, Rusizi district, VVOB as well as Belgian students who visited the school and raised some funds from their friends and family members.
According to Claudine Berabose, the school environment club advisor, they turned problems into opportunities. “There used to be water shortage especially during dry season. Neighbours would also complain due to erosion caused by rainwater from our school. With Greening School project, rainwater is no longer a problem, rather a solution to our problems,” she said.
In addition, the school had dug solid waste pits in the school compound, but this has changed thanks to Greening School project. Today, waste bins can be found in a every classroom, and most of the waste such as papers, water bottles are used in a Teacher Resource Centre to make teaching aids.
“It was great to see TTC Mururu on the right track for becoming our first green TTC,” said Jean Luc Rukwaya, Environmental Education Officer at REMA.
Initially, it was planned to scale the Greening School project to five more TTCs that also benefit from VVOB’s LTLT programme but this was interrupted by Covid-19—the plan will continue next year.