The school project started at the request of the then mayor of Nyagatare, a schoolmate of Fr. Jean’s from Uganda. He asked Fr. Jean, who has been in charge of church schools in southern Uganda for nine years, to build a school in Rwanda where the need is great and there is only one secondary school in the district which is an all girls school. The mayor asked for a school for boys. The request was seconded by the Bishop of the diocese of Byumba. Then, the voices of parents in the area became insistent that the school be for girls also, and so it will be. Local politicians promised to help, and the government gave title to the first parcel of land for a nominal fee. A second parcel, adjacent to the original parcel, became available and was purchased at fair market price. Both parcels have water and electricity, a particular blessing in this area.
The school will be a three-story building, rather than two story, because that will cut down on the cost and save construction time. In addition, we will be able to use more of the land for trees and green areas.
Phase I, as described above, will cost $1,040,000 US dollars. It includes classrooms which will double as dormitories until Phase II is completed. The cost of Phase II will be affected by length of time it takes to raise the funds as well as the impact of the ever-changing exchange rate.
Five months, but the government will not grant the permits until the school is completely finished. In other schools I have built in Peru and Ecuador and Uganda, I have been able to open the school without installing the doors and windows. In Rwanda, that is not possible. The inspectors want things done properly.