In the remote South West of Rwanda there is widespread poverty and suffering with only limited NGO support. Rwanda Aid works here to bring hope and opportunity.
working with the community to find new and effective solutions
supporting education, training and enterprise
leading to self-sufficiency and independence
‘Too many NGOs manage to do little in a big way. Rwanda Aid manages to do much in a small way. Its entire commitment is to the people of Rwanda, who recognise this, and now do the great bulk of the work themselves. Its approach is personal, direct and consistent over a long period. This is inspiring.’ Charles Moore, The Telegraph
De La Rue has been pleased to support the work of Rwanda Aid, helping with the construction and equipping of classrooms and the support of vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Rwanda Aid provides us with detailed feedback of the work being carried out and offers the opportunity for our staff to become involved with the work in Rwanda. Tony Mullen, Key Accounts Diretor, De La Rue
Beazley has been a supporter of Rwanda Aid for 5 years now, and over this time we have had the enormous pleasure of seeing our donations being used in a meaningful and practical way. As a donor, you get real ‘bang for your buck’ in the sense that you can actually see your contributions making a great difference in people’s lives. Jonathon Gray, Director, Beazley’
News from the Rwanda Managers
Deborah and Paul visiting some of Rwanda Aid projects in Nyabitekeri Sector - 7 February 2014
This month we were delighted to welcome Paul and Deborah Hatfield from UK to see some of the projects which they have supported generously. First we visited Nyabitekeri Sector and Nkombo VTC.
Under enterprise development project, it was a time to deliver a milling machine to the Abakundana cooperative of the people with Aids. The people received the machine dancing for joy. The executive secretary from this sector promised that in each year they will have another group of needy families born from this milling project contribution. The visitors were able to climb up the hill and see other cooperative’s activities like where they are growing eggplants and cassava. They harvested maize and they are doing well. All the surrounding people were very pleased to see the machine coming.
Rwanda Aid buys new base as a Community Care and Training Centre (read more)
Rwanda Aid has reached an exciting stage in its development in that we are setting up our very own community care and training centre. Up till now we have rented a property in Kamembe, but the Trustees have great confidence in the Rwandan team that has been established and they feel that this move will secure the longer term future of the organization and its work. The purchase has been made possible through the amazing generosity of two particular families, and we are very, very grateful.
The new house is not far from our present one and as well as providing good accommodation for our team and for visitors, it has a pleasant garden and a distant view of the lake. There are still a few details to be finalized, but all being well we shall move in May.
In many respects our work is burgeoning under the expert and enthusiastic leadership of our Rwandan team.
Felicien’s agricultural programme continues to have huge impact (read more)
It is surely only a matter of time before Felicien, our farm training manager, becomes the Minister of Agriculture. His organic farm and livestock training programme continues to have a huge impact in our rural region and we are now talking with the Rwanda Agricultural Board about the possibility of spreading the programme to other districts. We are also excited to be talking with a forestry company called New Forests about the possibility of entering a partnership.
Rwandan Education Board visit Karen and John (read more)
Alex, out Minister of Education elect, has been doing sterling work organizing the girls’ sponsorship scheme funded by the Commonwealth Countries League of Education Fund, and we are now delighted to be launching a complementary boys’ scholarship which Margie Redstone has generously agreed to mastermind. This will include a mentorship plan so that each Rwandan “scholar” will have a UK mentor to encourage and support him.
Alex and I were also delighted to be able to visit John and Karen in Bweyeye, and to welcome a representative from the Rwandan Education Board to review their work there. He arrived looking very travel weary and in his professional capacity had clearly not visited such places before: “the back of beyond” as he put it! Gradually, however, he seemed to rather like being away from Kigali and seeing the problems at the coal face, and he was certainly very impressed.
It is hard not to be. Knowing that only a few months ago all teachers were teaching in a very formal, didactic way, with pupils copying reams of notes that they scarcely understood, it was so exciting to whole classes actively involved in the learning process, understanding what they were doing and excited by it.
John and Karen have encouraged active learning with lots of pupil involvement and some of the Rwandan teachers have adopted this with remarkable speed and success.
2014 has got off to a flying start at our vocational training centres (read more)
The Rwandan Education Board would now like us to work up our experiences and ideas into a practical mentors’ guide and we shall be looking into ways of promulgating this good practice.
The two vocational centres which we support have made a storming start to the year, and there are 80 students studying at Ntendezi and no fewer than 110 at Nkombo. For the most part these students are following conventional courses (in Rwandan terms) and some of these, especially bricklaying, are leading nicely on to employment.
In other areas it is not so easy, and this is especially true for girls, and we shall need to use our imagination and resources not only to support the youngsters once they have been trained, but also to ensure that we are developing courses at the centres which are sensitive to market demands. So we are exploring areas such as electricity, plumbing and catering.
Rwanda Aid welcomes Jo Doyne, VSO Disability Adviser (read more)
We have been delighted to welcome Jo Doyne to the team this year. Jo is a VSO Disability Adviser with wide ranging experience and expertise, and her task will be to help us develop a holistic scheme for the care and education of children with disability in our two districts. As part of this she will be supporting our two centres at Nkanka and Ngwino Nawe, but she will also be looking to develop inclusion training in mainstream schools, as well as facilitating access to schooling for children whose needs will require some degree of specialist support. It is a big challenge but we feel we have a wonderful person to lead it.
The Abakundana cooperative is delighted to receive a milling machine (read more)
Jonas has now taken on the role of Minister of Enterprise (amongst many other duties) and with some wonderful support from Patrick Henchoz he is beginning to plan some exciting projects. Wherever possible these are directed towards poor and needy people, but we are also taking care to ensure that there is a sound and sensible business plan in place and that recipients are well organized and committed to the hard work which will lead to success.
So it was very exciting that two loyal and long-time supporters of Rwanda Aid, Paul and Deborah Hatfield, were able to join the team delivering a milling machine to the Abakundana cooperative of the people living with Aids. The community sang and danced with delight and the executive secretary from this sector promised that in each year they will have another group of needy families born from this milling project contribution.
Great news from the street children centre, Baho Neza Mwana (read more)
Whilst welcoming the new children at BNM we have also been visiting the children who have been reintegrated in their homes, making sure that the families have the necessary support to provide longer term security for the children. There are often big challenges here, but there is one piece of lovely news that I would like to share with you.
Do you remember Zahabo? Her name means “gold” and we found her living on the street with her mother who was very sick and really unable to look after her.
You will be very pleased to learn that Claudette, the lovely lady who runs Baho Neza Mwana, has taken Zahabo into her family.
Finally our Minister of Works, Isaie has not been idle. The classrooms at Isha and Mwegera are almost complete and plans are well advanced for building a new classroom and craft room at Ngwino Nawe, with the possible addition of an all-purpose hall for training.
And all this activity has been co-ordinated with quiet authority by our Prime Minister elect, Peter, and his able assistant, Honnorette.
David discusses his OBE, 'retirement' and Rwanda Aid on BBC Radio Sussex with Danny Pike, January 2014
Listen to the interview here:
John and Karen’s Blog from Rwanda
Karen's video blog - 02 January 2014
Innocent is an 18 year old boy who lives in a small mud hut at the back of our house. He lives by himself, having to work in the fields to earn a small living to pay for his food and accommodation as well as his education. His life is typical of many young people in Bweyeye village and this short video highlights their daily struggle and our life with them.