On Wednesday 15 February 2023 Jesuit Urumuri Centre assistant director Mr Pierre Nyandwi, SJ, stopped at Groupe Scolaire Kagugu Catholique to evaluate the club activities of the AHAPPY generation program at the school. Also present during this club meeting were mentors Mr Theogene Ruberanzira and Mrs Evelyne Mukandanga as well as members of the AHAPPY club.
As has become the norm whenever JUC visits partner schools of the AHAPPY generation program, students were anxious to display the levels at which they have incorporated lessons of the program’s manual into their daily lives. They did this by exhibiting a skit on the module A of the manual; Awakening to myself. This skit was about students that previously were victims of peer pressure, where they engaged in sexual activities and drug abuse, but upon joining the AHAPPY club discovered that they were beloved creatures of God and must protect their temples from harm that is bound to endanger their bright futures.
Mr Pierre took some time to chat to the youth. He begun by quizzing them to establish how much self-awareness they have gained after learning the module awakening to myself; “I hope you realize that the concept is similar to physically waking from a deep slumber. Where you begin to understand yourself, your value to God, to your family, to the society. Where you discover your strengths and weaknesses, such that you begin shaping the direction your life will take, for bright and successful futures”.
Towards the end of the meeting students were keen to share personal stories on what they have benefited from having joined the club;
“Through the program I am learning to differentiate good from bad. We are taught through real life examples of children who did well in school and are now successful adults compared to those who succumbed to peer pressure and distractions are now have very poor lives”
“I have been a naughty child most of my childhood, I disrespected my parents, often arrived late at school. The club is helping me to change my ways. I believe it is because the program uses wisdom derived from Christian tradition”
~Jean de la Croix Kubwimana
“I personally have gained confidence, before joining the club I couldn’t speak in front of people. I have also learnt that even though I am a girl I am equally intelligent to a boy. No boy must trick me into bad behaviors and I have had the privilege of teaching my peers this same message”
“At this school I am a member of the discipline committee. I took advantage of this and would miss many classes and claim to be monitoring students on school grounds. The AHAPPY club has taught me that even though I like leadership, if I fail my classes I will not be able to use the excuse of being in charge of discipline”
The club started with 16 members and now has 109 members. Club mentors at this school have decided to assign skits to students for every unit of 23 found in the program’s manual. This strategy has helped students to internalize lessons quicker. Once students complete a unit, the club performs the skit at assembly for the whole school so as to share these lessons with all.
JUC Communication Officer