CMU PROJECT RWANDA

ABOUT US

Origins

Project Rwanda started in 2007, here, in Pittsburgh. Our goal was to connect our Pittsburgh campus with the campus located in Kigali, Rwanda. Why? Not many students were aware of the existance of CMU Africa campus. To address this issue, we came up with our own, self-driven, self-funded solution: to embark on a two-week summit in Kigali at the beginning of each summer.


Present Day

Since then, we have continued this tradition of travelling to Kigali and networking with the students attending CMU-Africa. Active support from CMU-Qatar members has enriched this program by diversifying our team and bringing in new ideas. Lastly, our mission has evolved to fit our goals as members of the CMU community:

  • Organize a sustainable, student-run service project focused on technology and education
  • Promote cross-cultural exchange of CMU’s campuses

OUR IMPACT

In past years we have:

  • Taught over 140 students in the 4th and 5th grade
  • Led 20 technology focused workshops on “Scratch” drag and drop programming

Last year we:

  • Switched our teaching model to focus primarily on teachers for sustainability; held technology-literacy workshops and taught teachers essential IT skills
  • Established a means of direct communication with the teachers we worked with
  • Met with key CMU-A faculty and many students to discuss how to raise cultural awareness in both campuses


Swag picture with one of the teachers

THE SQUAD



ANKITA JHA

Co-President
SCS, MCS 2019



ALICE DUAN

Co-President
SCS 2019



SHAHRIYAR HAIDER

Campus Relations
CIT 2019



NAMITA DONGRE

Communications
SCS 2020

APPLY

All of us love travelling, experiencing different cultures, meeting new people, and helping others in any way we can. We seek like-minded individuals to join our team. If you are interested in being a part of our Project Rwanda family, please fill out the interest form below by DATE. We will get back to everyone around a week after the interest form deadline.

FAQ

Click on the toggles below to learn more.

The trip happens after finals and graduation, typically from around the third week of May through the beginning of June. Last year it lasted from May 24th to June 9th (flight travel time included). Members usually do not have much trouble finding internships that accomodate this time window.
Rwanda overall is very safe (fun fact, it has actually been named one of the safest places to walk at night). In general, you're always traveling in groups when you're there, so safety isn't too much of an issue. In terms of health concerns, you're required to get a yellow fever vaccination before you go (around $100) and can optionally take malaria pills during your time there. Bug spray is highly recommended as well as full-sleeved shirts and long pants.
We are a self-funded organization! This means we usually raise the necessary amount of funds to cover flight travel and lodging in Rwanda. We do require members to give a security deposit near the beginning of the year to ensure that everyone is fully-committed to the trip.
Typically 8 or so people go each year from Pittsburgh and around 4-5 from Qatar. Last year we stayed in a hostel near the CMU-Africa campus. This year CMU-Africa is having a new campus built. Depending on the status of initiative, we will either stick with the same hostel as last year or find a new place closer to the new campus location. As for food, Rwanda has tons of safe, healthy, and tasty eateries. There are options for every type of diet.
For the past couple of years we have been working with SOS Primary School which was conveniently walking distance from our lodging. Depending on housing accomodations next year, we will decide where to work. This will also be heavily discussed during project planning meetings.
We have faculty advisers on CMU Pittsburgh campus, Shernell and Renee. During our time there, we work as an independent group alongside the CMU Africa students. Several faculty members and staff at the CMU Africa campus also helped us with logistical things during our time there.
"I really enjoyed my experience in Rwanda. It's really unique to be able to experience CMU in so many different contexts and interact with students from our sister campuses. That was definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of the trip. Working with the students and teachers in schools is also really interesting, challenging, and rewarding. Being in Project Rwanda, you're in a unique position where you have the resources and presence to make a sustainable, measurable impact. I stayed on this year because I want to continue to make this project better, and find new ways to make a meaningful impact. You get great experience with planning/leadership because there are so many aspects of this org to consider (lesson planning, fundraising, development of new projects, event planning) so, depending on how involved you want to be, you can definitely do a lot of different things and have a big role in the org. You make great connections with fellow students, get to experience a unique culture, and develop your leadership skills." ~Maegha Singh, MCS 2016

CONTACT US

Have any other questions? Shoot us a message on our Facebook page!