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Highlights from the 2014 Rwanda Volunteer Trip May 23 to June 7, 2014

This year’s trip was another incredible success. Many new and exciting experiences were had and there was a feeling that everyone returned as a slightly changed person. Several trip volunteers used Facebook to document their time away and we would encourage you to join our Facebook group to get more details and photos from our time away: https://www.facebook.com/groups/111283675568571/.

Volunteers who went on this year’s trip include: Joy Reneker, Sarah Hill, Merrill Genereux, Laurie Buckland, Pat and Roy Christie, Eveline Goodall, Ivy Fraser, Carol Daw and her sister Marian Eagen, Margaret McQuiston and Diane Altwasser.

Pat with children at ASPIRE!Rwanda daycare (photo credits: Laurie Buckland)“Thank you so much for organizing such a wonderful trip to Rwanda.  I enjoyed it immensely and found it to be a very humbling experience. The love that I received from the Orphans, widows and people in general in Rwanda was life changing.  So genuine and heartfelt. I shall remember them forever”. Quote from trip volunteer Sarah Hill

Your Donations Put To Good Use!

Before our team of volunteers left Calgary we had put out a call for donations and WOW was that call ever answered! The volunteers received an incredible outpouring of generous donations that triggered the need for a larger sorting venue. The volunteers convened in the Hillhurst United Church basement where they were able to spread out and sort the items.

The generosity was overwhelming! Each volunteer packed their two allowed suitcases to the brim, maximizing the 50 lbs. weight restriction.

And then we were off on our Rwandan adventure!!

Your donations were much appreciated.

The list below outlines the many groups that benefitted from the much needed items:

  • Medical Supplies: were deliver to a maternity clinic operated by SURF http://survivors-fund.org.uk/ and a medical clinic operated by Solace Ministries

  • Tooth brushes: were much appreciated by students at the Rwanda Multi learning Centre http://rwandamlc.org/, women and children in the day care at Aspire Rwanda

  • Toys: were joyfully received by Aspire Rwanda preschool children as well as by children living at the Fair Children Centre for the deaf in Rhengheri.

  • The many men’s, women’s and children’s clothes and shoes were most appreciated by Mama Lambert at Solace Ministries where she ensures the clothing and footwear reach individuals that are the most in need.

  • Baby clothes were gladly welcomed by the maternity clinic run by SURF.

  • School supplies were given to the Rwanda Multi Learning Centre as well as to the Fair Children Centre.

  • Soccer balls brought smiles to kids wherever we went, stopping along the road side and in the various communities we visited. The volley balls were a big hit at the Fair Children Centre.

Monetary Donations

In addition to the many items donated, INSPIRE!africa also received over $4,000 from generous donors prior to the trip. The monetary donations are going towards purchasing and raising pigs and chickens as well as to continue supporting the ongoing work of the Learning Centre, the helpline run by SURF and the Entrepreneurship Program. 

A very big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to our trip!!

We saw first-hand how grateful the recipients of the items and our supported services are as well as just how great the need for INSPIRE!africa’s support really is.

INSPIRE!africa Sponsored Students

The group of volunteers also had the great pleasure of meeting all of the students sponsored by INSPIRE!africa donors. Over the years they have grown in numbers and have come together to support each other. They have formed the Rwanda Family Welfare group to help one another and to build a business plan for a chicken farm  and a hair salon.  They are a group of industrious and ambitious young adults and we couldn’t be more proud of them!!

“A Morale Lifting Visit”

Gilbert Sibomana, a former Learning Centre student, has done an incredible job of putting together a video that gives you a glimpse of this year’s volunteer trip, showing casing the work being done at the Rwanda Multi Learning Centre and our volunteer teachers in action! Please take a 20 minute break out of your busy day to enjoy it. Great work Gilbert!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLexi4icTMM&feature=youtu.be

Welcome Monica!

We are excited to introduce our new treasurer, Monica Ha. Monica is a  a chartered accountant.. Apart from her new role on the INSPIRE!africa team, Monica also serves on the Board of Directors for EcoVillage of Hope, a non-profit that provides resources and support to orphans in China and leprosy recovery villages. Monica also loves to learn languages, travel, cook, run, play floor hockey, climb and snowboard.

SAVE THE DATE - 8th Annual Fundraising Gala – November 20th, 2014

Did you miss out on last year’s fundraiser? Or did last year’s event leave you wanting more?! Please mark your calendars for the 2014 annual fundraiser! The lovely Webster Galleries has once again agreed to host this year’s event on Thursday, November 20th, 2014. We hope that you can join us for another fun and exciting evening raising funds for the resilient people of Rwanda! If you would like to volunteer on the big night please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

INSPIRE!africa now accepting online donations at CanadaHelps.org!

Please visit our website or https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/8512 if you wish to donate online. Although we are excited to make donating even easier for you with this online option, mail-in donations (sent to 2330 3rd Ave NW Calgary T2N 0K8) are still preferred to reduce administrative costs.

Please follow INSPIRE!africa on Facebook

Search “INSPIRE!africa”- https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/111283675568571/