August 2019 saw the first Batwa Motivational Day, with 53 school-age young people (20 girls and 33 boys), along with 4 parents, 4 Batwa community representatives, a local teacher, the pastor of Mutaho church and our 2 Batwa university students.
We had planned to finish with a foootball match but the teaching and sharing took up the whole day!
We also awarded a medal to the pupil present who had scored the highest marks in the top class - he was very glad and said that he was not expecting that. Other pupils were both happy and jealous. The parents present however, were happy and we were able to emphasize that it is worth working hard to achieve and receive a reward.
The main teaching had the theme of "The importance of studying with a purpose".
Many of the young people present shared that they had ambitions to become a doctor, a judge, an army officer... it was emphasized that these goals can only be realised with hard work over a long period.
Jean-Baptiste and Marc also did some drama with the young people, acting out scenarios that worked through potential negative attitudes towards continuing education both from kids themselves or from parents.
These 2 young men have overcome many obstacles but are now successfully studying alongside the children of ministers and MPs in Bujumbura. They very much wish for children and young people from the Batwa community to catch that vision and achieve.
Everyone was asked to share with the whole group, what they had gained from the day.
Overall it was a great success and we would definitely like to run a similar programme next year - although we realised that one day was too short to fit everything in!
Next time we would plan a day for parents, with a second day for school-age children, and definitely make time for the football match at the end, even if it took us into a third day...