Mindleaps, Kigali, Rwanda, is the creation of a former New York City Ballet dancer.
This bridge program offers dance as a medium to engage at risk youth in Africa. Street kids, orphans, children with an unstable family environment. The children come in to take a fun dance class,two hours, twice a week. Instruction is giving by trained, professionals dancers.In addition, they are given a hot meal, access to wash and hygiene facilities plus an extra hour of tutoring in their school curriculum. It is required that they attend regular school.
Mindleaps helps them to improve in life skills in memorization, grit, teamwork, discipline, self esteem, creativity and language. 70% of Mindleaps students perform in the top 20% of their academic classes.
Mindleaps is using a system called Tracker that evaluates each child on different points as they go along.This data driven method can statistically show significant changes in cognitive development and emotional regulation within three months.
THE FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAM
The Family Strengthening Program worked directly with 100 parents, impacting 600 lives in their families. They are divided into five Self Help Groups. These groups were in the importance of training, business planning, positive parenting and gender-based violence. A percentage of the savings pool is given out as loans to the parents.
In 2020, they will conduct entrepreneurial training for 26 members;
Provide quarterly life skills training;
Invest seed funding in 20 solid business projects;
Invest funds to increase the five groups’ funds;
And create a pool of mentors among the parents who will be agents of change.
Students in Rwanda have been hit hard by COVID 19. Lockdown has affected many families and has taken their livelihoods away. It is difficult to bring the students back into the school environment. Many families are in need of food, supplies and safe places to stay. Their educational needs are overshadowed by their health needs. Mindleaps has come together to help families maintain themselves.