RUBAVU (International Basketball Foundation) - FIBA’s foundation, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF) has spread its wings to Rwanda to promote and develop the game of basketball in the country.
As one of several countries selected on the African continent as pilot projects along with Madagascar, the project befits Rwanda which has made long strides in promoting youth basketball.
The project financed and governed by the IBF has three key pillars including the basketball education, the support in basketball equipment as well as school materials and insurance for the children of primary schools in the most impoverished neighbourhoods.
A total of 200 students from two primary schools located in Muhanga and Rubavu districts have been selected to benefit from the project. The students, who are between 10 and 12 years of age, were selected from the Primary school of GACUBA II/A from Muhanga district and Ecole Primaire Saint André from Rubavu district by Rwanda Basketball Federation - each school providing 100 students (50 boys and 50 girls).
The selected students will be equipped with basic skills by three trained coaches from their respective schools in a period of three years (2016-2019).
"This partnership between IBF and Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) is very important as it focuses on the development of youth basketball practice across the country. It has a social and humanitarian support component and will empower the national federation management," explained FERWABA Secretary General Richard Mutabazi.
"It is a symbol of trust from FIBA’s high body towards Rwanda as we were selected among only few African countries based on the ability to receive and use funds effectively."
"The challenge ahead is to make it a success first and ensure its sustainability after the three years. We are committed."
Jean Michel Ramaroson, President of the National Federations Commission of FIBA Africa and IBF member, said: "The project is used as a lever for development of the game and strengthening the administrative structure of the Rwandan Basketball Federation.
"The project also include a socio-educational component which consists of providing school kits, teaching and paying for health insurance for the students and their families. Local coaches and basketball stakeholders will receive basketball training."
All this will emphasize the originality of an initiative that fully answers the real needs of a lack of resources in schools and for parents who are no longer able to ensure their children have access to the minimum level of education.
"The IBF will conduct periodic evaluations to ensure the proper use of all the provided support," Ramaroson added.
"We are very happy that the project in Rwanda has taken shape," said IBF President Yvan Mainini. "Following in the footsteps of Madagascar, Rwanda may develop into another good example of the implementation of the foundation’s strategy to use basketball as a vector for change."