In Kigali, Rwanda and Conakry, Guinea, MindLeaps operates permanent centers that serve local at-risk youth year round. These centers also function as hubs for the expansion of activities reaching out into broader communities, and provide an ongoing opportunity for MindLeaps to further develop and refine the dance methodology and curriculum that are at the core of its activity.
The MindLeaps centers, staffed by local teachers, are safe and welcoming spaces for students, where academic preparation becomes the path to breaking the poverty cycle as these young people acquire the knowledge and skills to become self-sufficient.
At its permanent centers, MindLeaps uses a three-phase approach to prepare vulnerable youth to reintegrate into society and succeed in a formal education setting.
In Phase 1, children are attracted to MindLeaps’ safe spaces through free, positive, high-energy dance classes. Dance is a magnet drawing kids to the centers – consistently and for long periods of time – where they have fun while being involved in a carefully crafted dance curriculum focusing on cognitive and social-emotional skills development.
In Phase 2, as kids catch up in their learning development and start to gain command over their emotions, they begin more formal academic classes in addition to their dance classes. These include academic acceleration courses in the humanities and sciences, IT training and English language classes – all taught at the MindLeaps centers.
In Phase 3, those children who have adapted to this more structured framework, and have grown and developed across key cognitive skills areas, are sponsored to attend school or vocational training programs in their own country.
The holistic approach is rounded out with counseling support, family strengthening, a sanitation program, sexual and reproductive health workshops, and daily meals.
Learn more about our programs at our centers, our partnerships, and the Virtual Academy.