I am delighted to be writing my first newsletter as the new CEO. My journey with Rwanda Aid started in August 2013 when I moved to Bweyeye Sector with my husband John to pilot the teacher training programme.
We lived and worked in an extremely remote village with no electricity or running water. Since leaving, the project has been scaled-up and thanks to Debbie Sellers and Sarah O’Grady, it now operates in 28 sectors across Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts. Our year in Bweyeye has given me a passion for the country and I feel privileged to return as CEO.
I have just returned from my first visit to Rwanda in my new role and what a fantastic 6 weeks it was. It was wonderful being back and I loved visiting so many of our inspiring projects, including far-flung places that can only be accessed by motorbike. It really did bring home to me just how important Rwanda Aid’s work is in this part of the world.
Ngwino Nawe, our centre for children with disability, was recently used to help train six teachers from other local centres in music therapy. Alphonsine, pictured below with her class, is an incredibly gifted teacher and we are delighted that her talents are being shared to improve the quality of education for children with disability.
Ngwino Nawe also paid thanks to David for all his incredible hard work and commitment to them. The President of the Ngwino Nawe Association, Julienne, presented David with a traditional Rwandan gift as a token of their gratitude.
Baho Neza Mwana, our Street Children’s Village, saw another successful graduation of 13 girls and 2 boys in sewing. They were each awarded with a certificate and a sewing machine so that they can start-up their own business with immediate effect.
On a visit to Nkombo Island, I was recruited to help hand out mugs of sorghum, similar to porridge, to the nursery students. Tightly packed into this classroom with 145 young children, it is no wonder that I left covered in the sticky goo!
Rwanda Aid is hoping to build classrooms here so that the children can learn in a less crowded environment.
A Rwanda Aid staff social took place at Munezero House to give thanks to Jo Doyne and Debbie Sellers who are returning to the UK in December.
Jo, our Disability Advisor, joined us in February 2014 and has done fantastic work developing a disability programme that we are hoping to see rolled out nationally. Debbie joined our teacher mentoring programme in August 2014 and has been incredibly dedicated in making this project work across all 18 sectors in Rusizi District. Rwanda Aid is immensely grateful for their hard work and commitment and we wish them the best of luck for their futures.
It remains for me to thank you for all the wonderful support that you give to Rwanda Aid, and to wish you and your families a very peaceful and Merry Christmas.
Karen, David and the Rwanda Aid team