Prayer and Care

Others, Education , Stories

Contributed by: Wellspring Foundation for Education


“I support all my students with what I have because I believe that children are smart and they can be something in life. Their circumstances don’t define them”, says Bibiane.

During our first Gender Responsive Formative Assessment (GRFA) training session, we were so impressed by one particular teacher who already models what it means to be an inclusive educator. At the end of a day filled with lessons on including every child in the classroom and tactics to help teachers respond to each child’s specific needs, one teacher humbly shared her experience of leading and supporting her class, including one particularly vulnerable student.

Meet Bibiane, an inspiring teacher from Gatsata Primary School. Bibiane started a daily class tradition that has opened the door to greater trust between her and her students and greater inclusion for those facing challenges at home that may otherwise go unnoticed.

A Morning Tradition

Every morning, Bibiane starts the day in prayer with her class, asking for God’s provision over each student and their day of learning together. As she began to invite the class to share their praise items and prayer requests, students started to open up to their teacher as they watched her boldly pray for their academic success and their health, homes, and hearts.

“We like to share our dreams, concerns, and challenges in our lives as part of engaging with one another and praying together. This is a practice that we do as a class each morning. Every child in my class is free to express their individual needs and they know that I see and value them.”

Bibiane is attentive to each student and has gained their trust; tracking along with their academic progress and paying attention to their wellbeing. As a result,  it didn’t take long for her to notice something was off with one of her students. He started missing days of school, and when he was in class, he wasn’t engaging in the lessons. This was when Bibiane began to lean in.

Meeting Every Child

“As a teacher, I sat down with him and listened to his challenges both at home and school. Children at my school love me and I think that’s why he felt safe to tell me what was going on in his life.”

The child shared that he came from a broken family and that his parents were not able to provide school materials. They couldn’t always afford to eat at home, and he often came to school hungry and unable to focus. Through their conversation, Bibiane learned that the student was eager to learn and wanted to continue his studies. He asked his teacher to pray with him—that God would meet his daily needs, and that he would be able to keep learning despite his obstacles. It wasn’t long before his prayer was answered! 

“I looked at this child the way I see every child in my classroom—they can learn. Whatever I had to do to support this child, I did. I was able to buy him school materials that would be helpful for him at school. I also provided him with some snacks to eat, and whatever I had to eat, I shared it with him. Because I got close to him and cared for him, he was excited about learning and staying in school. I also noticed in the classroom that he is happy and always takes care of his school materials. The transformation that I have seen in him is incredible!”, says Bibiane.

Now, this student actively participates in lessons, engages with his classmates, and shows up for school and prayer each morning. He loves school! He feels safe at school knowing that if he lacks anything, he can go to God for prayer and comfort and that he has a teacher who will do anything to see him included and successful in class.

“I support all my students with what I have because I believe that children are smart and they can be something in life. Their circumstances don’t define them”, says Bibiane.

Bibiane sees all children as champions in the classroom. She sees potential in every child and helps students see it too. She has worked to ensure that every child is seen and known in her classroom— beyond grades and class performance—knowing that quality education cares for the heart just as much as the mind.

It’s Only Just the Beginning

Wellspring has been walking with Gatsata School since our School Development Program launched in the Gasabo district in 2011. We are so encouraged to see the ways in which the lessons on inclusion that teachers like Bibiane have been learning—through our GRFA training and our wider “Learning and Leading for All” program—are already making a difference in Gatsata’s classrooms. We can’t wait to see every child experience the level of care and inclusion that Bibiane’s students now enjoy as our training continues rolling out in Gasabo District.

Our vision is to see schools across Rwanda become places of hope, inclusion, and true learning for every child…and we need your help to see this happen! Will you join us as we develop and launch this brand new program across Gasabo?

Partner with Wellspring


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