Earlier this year, Fred learned that he won the prestigious Chevening Scholarship that is given out by the UK government to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world for postgraduate study in UK universities. He also won and accepted Manchester University’s Equity and Merit Scholarship to pursue a Masters Degree. While we are sad to see him go, we couldn’t be more excited about the incredible journey he has ahead.
We sat down with Fred on his last day with Laterite to reflect on his time here and chat about what’s next.
You’ve worked on a number of projects during your time at Laterite. What was your most memorable?
Mencare+ Bandebereho Baseline Evaluation was the most memorable of all projects simply because it was successfully conducted with possibly the lowest attrition rate (less than 1%) of all past Laterite projects. I was so happy about the work done and mostly the outcomes at the end of the project.
What are some of the most valuable lessons about collecting data that you have learned from your time at Laterite? What lessons would you share with some interested in getting into field research?
During my spell at Laterite, I have learnt many lessons mainly working under tight deadlines, managing big teams, administering and programming electronic assisted surveys among others. For those interested in getting into field research, I would encourage them to find passion for research and travelling as both of them are instrumental to generating one’s inner motivation and love for this kind of work. Besides this, I would encourage them to open up their minds and never set any limits for themselves and let universe teach them. This way field research will be an incredible work experience and a valuable learning opportunity.
Do you have any funny stories to share from your fieldwork?
I remember one day when I was working on 12+ year 1 baseline project and I was leading a sub-team of field staff undertaking field preparation across 214 sectors in the country. It was in the last week of the exercise when I fell off the motorcycle twice in just one week. During this project motorcycles were used as means of transport as interview sites were spread all over the country. It was my most horrible experience with field work.
While you were at Laterite, you were also teaching classes at the university of Rwanda, can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Yes, I have been teaching at the College of Science and Technology (University of Rwanda) for almost 2 years. It is the same college where I went to for my undergraduate program. I taught a number of modules including: real estate valuation, land policy, real estate business ethics, corporate real estate management among others and also I have assisted senior lecturers on a number of research projects.
In a few weeks you will be moving to Manchester, tell us a little bit more about what you will be doing there?
I am preparing to leave for Manchester to pursue graduate studies following my qualification for a scholarship provided by the University of Manchester. I will do a masters course in Global Urban Development and Planning at the same university.
What will you miss most about Rwanda?
I will miss “motorbikes” of course! Despite having had a terrible experience with them a month ago. I know that I can’t avoid them. I still take them whenever I want to get somewhere fast. However, now I am very selective when I choose a motorcyclist. I only take those who seem old and more careful.