This unique program, Drama-Based Education: Training Teachers in Rwanda, focuses on conflict resolution, community building and identity exploration through drama-based education. Students will learn: communication, collaboration, compromise (choosing a theme), information and technology literacy (researching a theme), creativity and innovation (composing scenes), social, cultural, historical context (choosing performance style), productivity, accountability and self-direction (rehearsing and performing).
The Drama-Based Education: Training Teachers in Rwanda experience is offered through a partnership with the Buffalo State Anne Frank Project and the Global Engagement Institute (GEI). GEI provides high-impact, short-term, transformative programs in developing countries, which are meant to encourage global citizenship and "contribute to the personal and professional development of both international participants and their local counterparts."
Kigali, Rwanda (view map) is the capital and largest city in the Republic of Rwanda. Just a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is an East Africa country bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is highly elevated, with its geography dominated by mountains in the west and savannas to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. Average daytime temperatures in June are 80F. Christianity is the largest religion in the country, and the principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with English and French as additional official languages.
The overall cost of the program includes in-country arrangements made by GEI:
- All accommodation in youth hostels and guesthouses (dorm or sharing)
- All in-country transportation for the delegation
- All meals, as specified in the itinerary, inclusive of one locally produced soda or mineral water per meal
- Admission to all activities, as specified in the itinerary
- Mineral water on the vehicle
- Full-time local delegation management and guiding
- 24/7 emergency support from our local program office
Also included: international transport (flights, airport taxes etc), visas, travel and medical insurance, alcoholic and additional non-alcoholic drinks, personal expenses and other extras.
The current estimate of the trip is $4000. Not included are certification costs at SUNY-Buffalo State ($5,000 organizational certification fee or $500 individual certification fee).
Travel: June (2+ weeks) - dates TBD
Study: THA 470: Ensemble Theater (Fall Semester)
Accepting Applications: TBD
Application Deadline: TBD
Buffalo State Leaders
Buffalo State Partners
Storytelling is the universal vocabulary of the human race. The creation of drama uses the same process and skillset necessary to address conflict resolution, community building and the exploration of identity. While current education trends may provide knowledge of how systems operate, they do not teach tangible tools for navigating the complexities of students’ lives. Our drama-based curriculum offers students the vocabulary to tell their stories; thus they become advocates instead of bystanders in their lives and communities. We use a certified, proven and multi-disciplinary model that provides teachers with the necessary skills to improve their professional performance and enhance their students’ comprehension.
An important part of the Rwanda program is to share the lessons learned with the local Buffalo community. Every year, students who go on the Rwanda trip enroll in an Ensemble Theater course (THA 470) in the Fall semester post-travel to develop a play that they present to Buffalo Public School students.
Applications for our next delegation (June 2020) is now open.
Applicants must fill out this online application from SUNY Buffalo State's International Education Office. Interviews will take place after the application process.
- Educators, students, administrators and professionals also from related disciplines (e.g. social work or conflict mediation) may be eligible to participate. In particular, faculty members interested in leading their own Rwanda delegation are encouraged to apply.
- University students of all disciplines are welcome to apply. Previous delegations included: Education, Sociology, Women and Gender Studies, Theatre, Philosophy, and Art Education.
Check out the participant blogs to learn more about this experience.
- Gifts Bestowed on Mayors of Sister Cities (Buffalo State News & Events)
- Teaching trip to Rwanda provides many lessons for Buffalo State students (WKBW News)
AFP Dear Me Process - YouTube video describing Buffalo State's engagement in Rwanda
The New Times - Rwanda newspaper
Ghosts of Rwanda (full film) - documentary about the Rwanda genocide
Portraits of Reconciliation (NY Times) - photographs of Hutu perpetrators with the Tutsi survivor of his crime who granted him pardon
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