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Sacramento Country Day School

The Rulindo Project

In 2006, Lower School French teacher Gerlinde Klauser befriended Rulindo parish’s head administrator, Fr. Bernardin Banituze, when he visited Sacramento. As she learned about the desperate aftermath of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, her students became pen pals with EP Rulindo (primary school), trying to provide moral support for Rwanda’s children and global education for ours. In 2009 senior Miles Bennett-Smith organized Country Day’s first Play-a-Thon, which raised $5,000 in one day.

When Mdme. Klauser died in 2010,  music teacher Elena Bennett and former Lower School head Christy Vail began coordinating Country Day’s relationship with Rulindo, expanding it to encompass eight schools. Those include six primary and secondary day schools, and two secondary boarding schools for girls. The Country Day/Rulindo service learning partnership continues today— driven largely by Country Day’s elementary students,  but also supported by generous older students, families, friends, and faculty/staff across the campus.

Donate online through Rwandan Educational Enrichment.

Country Day Support Activities & Events
  • Country Day has donated more than $200,000 to Rulindo

  • Annual Gerlinde Klauser Play-a-thon for Rulindo, a day of nonstop musical performance and fundraising

  • Rulindo Craft Sales throughout the year

  • Lower School Book Bonanza

Country Day Contributions in Rulindo
  • Many hundreds of rabbits, hogs, chickens, goats, plus about 10 cows, have been distributed to students and to school campuses

  • Water tanks and outdoor taps for washing 

  • Concrete flooring, window glass for 8 classrooms

  • Roof and other structural repairs

  • School and lunch fees for many hundreds of students 

  • New latrines

  • SCDS student team worked at Gasiza Secondary in 2012, future trips are possible, and Mrs. Bennett visits often

  • School office built at Gasiza Secondary

  • Basketball uniforms, shoes and supplies

  • Lots of PE, music, and art supplies

  • “Ukulele Clubs” begun in three schools

  • Document camera and projectors

  • 3 school kitchens have been built

  • 5 outdoor basketball courts have been built so far

  • 2 Pre-K classrooms have been built and Pre-K playground is being planned

  • Professional Development support for Rulindo teachers

  • With Country Day help, Rwandan Educational Enrichment is building a rural health center, including maternity suite, at the GS Gitabage school.

How You Can Help

Discover the current wish list and ongoing needs in Rulindo today or donate online through Rwandan Educational Enrichment.