Transforming Lives and Fostering Growth through School Meals,One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is committed to being part of the global movement to eradicate hunger. As part of this commitment, the resort is helping to provide nutritious meals to local schools in Rwanda, with the aim of investing in the next generation and putting an end to hunger and malnutrition. One&Only inherently believes that no child’s education should be affected by a lack of adequate nutrition.
Initiated in 2015 by H.E President Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s School Meals Programme has been a lifeline for underprivileged children, assisting them in making the most of their educational opportunities. One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is supporting this important cause through a partnership with Groupe Scolaire Kampanga, a school located just a few kilometres from the resort. Through this partnership, which began in 2022, the school provides nutritious meals to 2,300 students from nursery to secondary school.
In just a short time the benefits can already be seen – from improved academic performance to enhanced mental and physical wellbeing. Jean De Dieu Twagirimana, Headmaster of Groupe Scolaire Kampanga, says the partnership with One&Only Gorilla’s Nest has had a tremendous impact. He notes that children in vulnerable communities now have access to nutritious meals – contributing to their ability to concentrate and learn, as well as their overall health and happiness.
“The School Meals Programme operates on a cost sharing basis, with parents paying a small fee and the government covering the remaining cost. However, some families still cannot afford this amount. Thanks to the support from One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, parents are now covered. This has allowed students to not only improve their academic performance but also learn different values and disciplines by sharing meals and other interactive activities,” says Jean De Dieu.
Bertin Niyikiza is a Senior Six student and Head Boy at Groupe Scolaire Kampanga. He affirms that the initiative has helped him and his peers academically.
“Before the programme, me and other students struggled to concentrate in class because we were worried about having nothing to eat for lunch. However, since One&Only Gorilla’s Nest stepped in, our stress has turned into success. Our ability to focus in classes has improved, resulting in a better academic performance,” says Bertin.
Going Above and Beyond
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is having a profound impact on the surrounding communities. The resort’s dedication to transforming lives has resulted in significant positive changes for many.
“As a parent, your first priority is your child and ensuring that they grow to their full potential. As a community, we are deeply grateful for the partnership with the resort because it has shown us that our families are not alone, and we have the support we need,” says Job Nsengiyumva, Vice President of the Parents’ Committee at Groupe Scolaire Kampanga.
According to Joseph Iyamuremye, Education Inspector in Kinigi Sector, the number of school drop-outs has almost halved – from 3% to 1.9% – since the resort’s intervention. He says that such partnerships help address nutrition issues and improve access to quality education for school children from vulnerable families.
Empowering a child is not only important for their individual success, but for the success and well-being of the community and the future of a nation. By investing in and supporting the growth of children, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is creating a brighter and more promising future for all.