Recently, the ASYV students competed against one of the best schools in Rwanda, Cornerstone Leadership Academy in our first ever, inter-school spelling competition. Two students, who coordinated and led this initiative, wrote the following about their experiences:

Sunday’s Spelling Bee competition: Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village vs. Cornerstone Leadership Academy

This article was contributed by Blaise Karangwa, an Enrichment Year (9th grade, 1st-year ASYV) student who, only a few months ago, competed in the first Spelling Bee of his life. He successfully tied with a Senior 6 (12th grade) student in the most recent Agahozo-Shalom spelling competition and was selected as one of the individuals to represent the Village in the inter-school competition. The following are his words:

The recent inter-school competition was very good because it was the first time that Agahozo-Shalom kids competed against another school in a Spelling Bee. 

Prior to the event, most of us were feeling afraid (but not much), because we were thinking that the other school might be stronger than us. On the other hand, we were full of hope and confidence because we had memorized over one hundred written words that were given to all the competitors before the competition. Those of us who competed for ASYV were this season’s winners in our own Spelling Bee competitions. We were a strong team.

As the competition finished, the audience was quiet, waiting to see who the winner would be. Most of the words were easy, although there were a few that were difficult. Agahozo-Shalom came out as the victor with 101 marks over 100. Cornerstone only earned 89/100. 

I was happy, and I am still happy because there were many words that I knew and spelled successfully in our competition. I love spelling and will never miss any Spelling Bee because the experience adds to my vocabulary.

The following was contributed by M. Fred Mutangana, a Senior 4 (10th grade) student at ASYV. 

Self Confidence is the Secret to Success

My name is M. Fred Mutangana and I am a Math, Physics and Computer Science concentration student at Liquidnet Family High School at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.

I recently coordinated a Spelling Bee competition between ASYV and Cornerstone Leadership Academy. Actually, my school got a chance to host the competition, but it was not easy. The event required a lot of concentration, complicated because we were also in middle of our Midterm Exams. This was a barrier because to do different things while taking exams is not easy for many people. I tried, and I managed.  As the proverb says, “He who wants a cow must lay like one.” 

I went to the competition with a lot of confidence because I spend all of my spare time reading and learning words, and I had studied the papers that the Language Development Club gave everyone who was competing. I read a lot of books because the questions that we were going to be asked in the competition were not only from the words we studied, but also from outside sources.

The Spelling Bee ended with a victory for ASYV. As a wise man said, “What you do is what awards you.” The representatives from Agahozo-Shalom who competed worked hard to get the award.