My brother recently brought to my attention a small educational ministry prepared to make a big splash and lasting ripple-effect in Rwanda. The Wellspring Foundation exists “to establish high quality Christian education in Rwanda that will produce creative, principled and capable future leaders to serve within all sectors of society.” Wellspring was created by two of my brother’s classmates from Trinity Western University as a response to the cry of the Rwandan people to rebuild their nation after the dehabilitating effects of the 1994 genocide.
The Wellspring Foundation is involved in training and mobilizing Rwandan teachers to bring a distinctively Christian philosophy of education to bear on the curriculum taught in the classroom. Building upon the ideas of men like Gavin Brettenny, headmaster of the Harvest Christian School and Institute in South Africa and Henry Toews, educational advisor to the Association of Christian Schools International, Wellspring seeks to educate the minds and hearts of teachers and students, enabling them to view the world as a unified whole that is best made sense of through Christianity.
Recognizing the tragedy of treating indoctrination as a viable educational method, the Wellspring Foundation seeks to use Biblical principles to open the minds of teachers and students to the world. Instead of cramming the Bible down the throats of students, it is presented as a plausible and reasonable foundation upon which one might build an understanding of the world. The goal is that the results of approaching the world and education from Biblical principles will speak for themselves. Government officials are recongizing the possible benefits of Christian education as they seek to rebuild a nation brought low by its self-destructive past.
Like all worthwhile philosophies, the Wellspring Foundation practices what it preaches. Besides providing instruction and resources for Rwandan teachers, the Foundation also is in the process of beginning a school that will implement the ideas being taught. The Wellspring Academy is still in its infancy, but it will be the proving grounds for the philsophy of education proposed by the Foundation itself. It will be keenly interesting to watch and see how this approach to Christianity and education will affect the Rwandan people as they put their country together again.