Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Closing of TechKobwa 2014

The Closing Ceremony on Friday signaled the end of TechKobwa 2014.   Scheduled for 10:00 am to give time for visitors coming from Kigali to arrive, some campers had to miss it in order to arrive home before nightfall.  But the majority were able to be there to celebrate their accomplishments over the course of the last week.  

In addition to the camp organizers, teachers and campers, the Closing Ceremony was attended by Kalema Gordon from the Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT; Father Alphonse Twizerimana, the Director of Groupe Scholaire de Janja;  Jen Hedrick, Peace Corps Rwanda Country Director;  Michael Amerson, Peace Corps Volunteer;  Jacqui Bah, Peace  Corps Response Volunteer; and Rhoda Kayisenge, Peace Corps Grants Coordinator; and Hyo Jung Yoon, KOICA Volunteer Program Manager.

The Salle was decked out for the ceremony, which began with a  heartfelt rendition of the TechKobwa '14 cheer.    

We were then treated to two videos:  The first  was produced by PCV Lauren Wright and showed highlights from the week, and the second was produced by Amber Lucero-Dwyer from the work campers did during their photography lessons.  (Both videos are posted at

Campers and visitors watch the TechKobwa '14 photography video at the Closing Ceremony

A teacher and a camper delivered testimonials of what the week meant to them and how they would share what they learned at TechKobwa with friends and students back home.  Two very proud sets of campers demonstrated tasks that their robots performed.  Each family of six campers had assembled and programmed a robot from lego pieces in eight hours of robotics training. The visitors were suitably impressed with all the campers accomplished.

Teachers and girls beamed going through the line to receive their certificates of achievement.

Camper receiving her certificate.  Receiving line from the left: Kalema Gordon, Hyo Jung Yoon, Alphonse Twiaerimana,  Celestine Metuassalol, Jen Hedrick, Louise Hemond-Wilson, Laura Dillon, Elisabeth Turner, Ryan Steffani, Aimee.

Afterwards all shared refreshments, more congratulations, hugs, and best wishes.  

Most had long journeys ahead of them.  Leaving the gorgeous Janja area, campers, teachers, and organizers felt blessed to have achieved and experienced so much.   A tremendous debt of gratitude is owed to those who made Camp TechKobwa '14 possible, some by their financial support, but many more by generously giving their time and energy to organize this tremendous undertaking.

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