top of page

Cathy Emmerson, a Canadian, has chosen to make Rwanda her home since 2003.  After years of working in an Orphanage she realized that the key to bringing the community out of poverty was education. PREFER Society was born in northern Rwanda on the outskirts Musanze, where it stands to this day.  We were granted charity status in 2012.  All donations are deductible

WHAT WE DO:

School:

PREFER school employs:

  • 12 teachers, 9 assistants and a baker. 

  • Classes run daily from 8:00am - 4:30pm from Nursery through to grade 6 with a total of 227 students to date.

  • A nutrition break is served every day.  it is the quietest time of the day!

Preschool.jpg

Adult Education and Lifeskills:

 

Our goal is to support the whole family.  Towards this end, we have supported mothers through a 10 month seamstress course since 2006. The graduates received a free sewing machine along with 6 months rent in a retail a retail space to jump-start their enterprise.  In this way we are enabling families to become self-sufficient.

Building Houses:

                   Before                                            After

 

Cathy attended her first funeral in Rwanda for a 2 year old.  He had crawled toward a toilet, fell between the logs and drowned.  

PREFER began building community in 2006 shortly after this incident.  We realized that children sleeping on mud floors were constantly sick, and having a lock on your door meant that you could have belongings that were your own.  Having a place to cook without filling the house with smoke and toilet facilities with septic access kept everyone in the family safe and healthy.

Today we build safe homes:

  • 3 bedrooms and a living room

  • Kitchen right outside the front door allows the family to cook regardless of the weather.

  • Toilets at the side of the house with a cement floor and PVC piping draining into a septic system.

$3,500 BUYS A SAFE HOME AND CHANGES THE LIVES OF AN ENTIRE FAMILY!

first bed ever (1).jpg

Solar Project:

 

Cathy noticed that she was treating too many children with burns on their arms and legs from candles and kerosine lanterns. The children were busy doing their homework and candles and kerosine lamps were spilling onto them.  Darkness comes in Rwanda at 6:30pm.

PREFER began installing solar powered lights in 2010. At the time we had built 10 homes in a subdivision called an "Umudugudu".  Today we have built over 85 houses and we have installed solar lights in over 100 homes in our community.

We knew that having a safe lighting source would help, but had no idea how far-reaching the benefits would be for the entire family. Children's grades have improved by 10-20%.  One family in the community used their extended day by selling vegetables from their home and today their living room is a fully stocked grocery store.

$100 BUYS A SOLAR PANEL, 3 LIGHTS, A TELEPHONE CHARGER, THE NECESSARY WIRE AND CABLE AND PAYS FOR INSTALLATION.

Etienne was so excited.jpg

Feeding Children:

 

Bread and porridge are provided for every student, as a snack every day at 10am.  We feed 65 children and 4 teachers lunch every day which includes a variety of vegetables. Fridays are a special treat.  That's the days we serve macaroni.

In the beginning we served spaghetti on Fridays but Cathy noticed that the youngest students would not eat it.  After inquiring, she found out they were scared to eat it because, "It looks like worms".  From then on we switched to macaroni.

$5 PER DAY FEEDS THE CHILDREN.

Goals:

We are thrilled that we met our goal of 4 new classrooms and a block of 5 toilets by April 2022.

Our new goal is to build a library. Musanze district has a population of 400,000 people and no library.

The students of PREFER school will use the library (equipped with computers and internet connection) during the weekdays and we will open the library to the public, and students from other schools,  on weekends.

bottom of page