Pre-school refugee children face enormous difficulty in paying fees and acquiring school materials. Pre-school education in urban areas is not supported by organizations assisting refugees.
The lack of access to pre-school education is not only a major obstacle to the development of refugee children, but also a handicap to the survival of refugee families living in urban areas. Parents cannot take preschool children with them when they attend to their small occupations or income-generating activities - IGAs - in order to earn a living. However, giving up these small occupations or AGR is a threat to the survival of families in exile.
As pre-school children are the most vulnerable to malnutrition, Maison Shalom's support allows them not only to study but also to be fed at school. Those in Kigali attend preschool education at Maison Shalom Oasis of Peace Community Center. Children from the countryside - Nyamata in the East, Butare and Muhanga in the South - are enrolled and supported in schools close to their homes.
Support for pre-school education for refugee children also helps to solve the problem of mothers with children under 5 years of age who cannot engage in income-generating activities through forced childcare all day long. Since 2016, every year, an average of 120 children are cared for.