Linking Lives wrote -
We are 46 students from Virginia Tech, University of Maryland and University of Florida with a shared passion for creating social change. We are embarking on a semester long endeavor across two continents to apply the concepts of social change and sustainability through international service learning projects in Ethiopia and Rwanda. The culmination of our study abroad experience will take place in Africa, where we will partner with various non-profit organizations in both urban and rural areas. In Rwanda, students will be working with the non-profit organization OPDE.
OPDE stands for: Oeuvre Humanitaire pour la Protection et Développement de l’enfant en Difficulté (Humanitarian work for the protection and development of children in difficulty)
The OPDE is a regional organization promoting child rights and welfare first begun in Burundi in 1997 which now has centers in Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo. The center in Huye provides a range of services to children with a variety of difficulties: providing residential space for 70 children who have no family to support them, seeking to reintegrate street children back into their families whenever possible and helping children enter the primary or secondary education system.
For those individuals for whom this is not possible, the OPDE runs a specially-constructed vocational education complex, which provides classes in welding and metalwork, building, plumbing, electrical engineering and hospitality. A pilot program has also been established to provide training for young mothers to enable them to enter the workforce.
The money we raise will go towards scholarship funds for students to attend the vocational school.
The Taaluma Project is a 501c3 nonprofit organization started by fellow Virginia Tech students. Any donations on this page will be used for Linking Lives' for OPDE by way of the Taaluma Project.
Our program website: http://www.linkinglives.org/