“I have a dream that one day I will be able to speak English, dance like a professional and read books written in any foreign language,” said Felix Ndayisenga, a street boy in the RDDC-Rwanda program.
Felix Ndayisenga is one of our top students. He is the first kid with a very flexible body. This kid of 14 years is amazing and magical at the sometime. When you work with him, you realize that he is very committed and he has a desire to go forward. He is distracted sometimes, but he has a willingness to learn and improve. His strong commitments drive him to keep asking questions for the things that he doesn’t understand, especially some technical dance questions and new English vocabulary words.
I was surprised to realize that after each dance class, before he leaves the dance space, Felix takes time to lie on the floor for a few minutes. It seems like he is meditating about something, but he looks like a very sad person lost in his thoughts.
Last week I approached him and asked if he can allow me to talk to him for a second. He smiled and nodded his head. Then I sat down and started our conversation by asking him how he feels.
“Meze neza Monsieur,” he said in Kinyarwanda, which means “I am feeling good, Sir.” Then he added, “but I am always ashamed that I cannot speak any foreign language. I can’t read and write. I am trying hard in dance, but I am still far behind compared to Mugisha or Zidane’s level, which means that my chance to be selected for boarding school is equal to zero.”
After a silence of about two minutes, Felix stood up and he fixed his eyes in the sky. Then, he said: “You know, Sir…” Then I said, “What?” With a big smile, like someone’s face illuminated by sunshine after the rain in the morning, he confessed, “I have a dream that one day I will be able to speak English, dance like a professional, and read books written in any foreign language.” I spontaneously clasped his hands and encouraged him to keep his dreams alive and work hard every day in order to achieve it. “Keep pushing. The universe will guide you if you really keep it up,” I said to the boy. Then we separated.
Eugene Dushime is the Country Director for RDDC Rwanda. He is a former contemporary dancer and assists with the RDDC program in Guinea as well.