Rwanda Inspire Educate and Empower Emmanuel Murenzi and Racheal Owomugisha educators are observing the American education system at Stanwich. By Emilie Munson

Director Emmanuel Murenzi and Teacher Trainer Racheal Owomugisha pose after observing classes at Stanwich School in Greenwich, Conn. Photo: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Stanwich School hosted two educators from Rwanda this week to trade ideas on best teaching practices.
Emmanuel Murenzi and Rachael Owomugisha visited Stanwich on Monday and Tuesday to look at classroom techniques and talk to students, teachers and administrators in hope of bringing home new ideas for improving schools in their country.
“These exchange visits, we get to benefit from both ends,” said Murenzi, executive director of Inspire, Educate and Empower Rwanda, a nonprofit that trains teachers and provides other resources to 170 public schools in Rwanda.
In addition to the lessons he learned from Stanwich, “We get to talk to (Stanwich) teachers, explain to them our situation, they get to understand,” he said. “We are all residents of this planet. What takes place here, if I am in Rwanda, it should be of my interest because at the end of the day, we are neighbors and it will affect me.”
IEE Rwanda partners with Project Blessing, a nonprofit founded by Stanwich School teacher Shaun Fletcher which is building a school in Rwanda with the help of Stanwich students. IEE Rwanda helps train Project Blessing teachers and advises on curriculum.

He and Owomugisha, a teacher trainer with IEE Rwanda, also visited Greens Farms Academy in Westport last week as part of their two-week trip to the U.S.
Trudi Davis, head of the Stanwich Lower School, said the Rwandan educators’ stay was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each country’s strengths in education.
In an interview Tuesday, they painted a picture of a Rwandan education system that is improving but has strides still to make.