Save the date: November 15, 2012 Inspire!africa's Annual Fundraiser
Volunteer Trip: May 2012
Teaching Experience: In May 2012 a group of 11 eager volunteers traveled to Rwanda to visit the projects INSPIRE!africa has been supporting and to meet the people whose lives these projects have changed.
The volunteers were also put to work at the Rwanda Multi Learning Center where they taught English classes. Teaching for the first time can be quite a nerve-wracking and exhilarating experience! Below is an excerpt from Pamela Romanchuk’s reflection on her teaching experience:
We finished our last day of classes with the word game. The first word was “success” and we wished our students much success with their studies and their future. The second word was “opportunity” – we thanked the class for the opportunity of getting to know them a little bit better and explained how doing well in their classes would provide opportunities for their future. Finally the phrase, “We will never forget you!” Smiles and applause erupted along with a few tears.
Please go to the website to read the rest of Pamela’s reflection.
Reflective Testimonials from the Volunteer Trip
Once we had returned from our Rwandan adventure we asked our trip volunteers to share what they had learned or what the trip experiences had meant to them. Here are several testimonials from the members of the 2012 volunteer trip to whet your appetite for the next volunteer trip!
It was an incredible experience that I would do again in a heartbeat and that I would recommend to all. We were given such amazing opportunities to meet locals, genocide survivors, beneficiaries of INSPIRE!africa’s work
The volunteer trip to Rwanda was an incredible experience. It really opened my eyes to how much of a difference a simple, ordinary person can make. The people in Rwanda are very endearing and loving; you can’t help but fall in love with them and with the country. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. I can’t wait to go back.”
It was amazing and uplifting to see the people who had benefited from the grass roots programs that INSPIRE!africa has supported and see the immense change and opportunity that it could create in the lives of those who had been so broken by their past
The volunteer trip to Rwanda was an incredible experience. It really opened my eyes to how much of a difference a simple, ordinary person can make. The people in Rwanda are very endearing and loving; you can’t help but fall in love with them and with the country. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. I can’t wait to go back.
The work that INSPIRE!africa has done, gives me hope for the developing world and for development work. There is such controversy that can be had about how development work is approached but INSPIRE!africa has certainly found an approach to their work that helps to create positive, life changing results.
Kudos INSPIRE!africa - I always felt safe and extremely well taken care of.
While in Rwanda we visited several of INSPIRE!africa’s sponsor projects. Two of these projects include the work being done through the wellness center in Cyangugu and livestock donations to survivors and their families. Below you can read about our visits to the Wellness Center and to Alphonsine, a widow who received a cow from INSPIRE!africa.
The Cyangugu Wellness Centre
We visited the Cyangugu Wellness Centre on southern Lake Kivu. INSPIRE!africa has been supporting this Centre for widows since it began 2 years ago. The goals of the Wellness Centre are to change the lives of widows and their children by building capacity for income generation as well as providing trauma counseling and other basics of life.
We visited a group who were receiving sewing lessons with the machines INSPIRE!africa donated 2 years ago. With this skill the students will be able to form a cooperative, receive a loan for a sewing machine to share and build a small business. This will change their lives forever.
We also visited a cooperative of 12 survivors who met through the Wellness Centre. With the training, trauma counseling and hygiene kits donated by INSPIRE!africa, they now have a very successful business buying and selling cows. They thanked INSPIRE!africa for all we had done to give them the strength and confidence to be successful.
Livestock for widows: A Very Special Cow Donation
One rainy day we had the pleasure of meeting Alphonsine, a widow who had received a cow last year from INSPIRE!africa. All 6 of her children and her husband were killed at the Nyamata church during the genocide. She survived, only because she was taken from the church by Interhamwe soldiers and gang raped every day for a number of days. As a result, she is now HIV+.
She told us how the cow provides her companionship and keeps her busy so she doesn't think about the family she lost. She doesn't cry anymore and that is why she named the cow Comfort.
Her crops are now doing much better because she can use the manure for fertilizer. She uses the profits from the sale of the milk to feed herself and buy grain for Comfort.
Comfort recently produced a bull calf, which will be sold in the market.
Some of the profit will go to Alphonsine and the rest will go to Solace, one of our Rwandan partners to put into their Community Lending Program.
Student Sponsorship Success
This past June Eric Habinshuti received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Marketing from a Kigali university making him the first INSPIRE!africa sponsored student to successfully complete his post-secondary education.
Eric had been taking classes at the Rwanda Multi Learning Center when he first learned of the sponsorship program and was overjoyed when he found out he would be sponsored to complete his education. Eric comes from a very large family, with three brothers and two sisters, and it was not possible for Eric’s parents to support any further education.
Over the past three years, as Eric has been working on his degree, he has been teaching English and helping out with the accounting at the Rwanda Multi Learning Center. Through Eric we are seeing the direct benefit of the sponsorship program as he imparts his knowledge on to others and has been able to pay for all of his siblings to attend primary and secondary school. Below are several heartfelt words of thanks from Eric. If you would like to read the rest of his thank you letter please visit the website.
I therefore take this opportunity, to say thank you to all sponsors and Inspire!africa for your sustainable contribution to Rwandan future generation capacity building, your support means good education, Rwandan welfare, means capacity building for Rwandan youth and all in all means a bright future.
On my behalf, I am grateful for everything you have done to support me, you are blessed gift to me and my family as a whole, I know that it is through your tireless kindness, generosity and support that I am who I am today and will be in future.
An Event Not to Miss November 15th
Our 6th Annual Fundraising Gala will be on Thursday November 15 at Webster Galleries from 4:30 - 7:30pm. Details will be available in September.
Call For Volunteers
INSPIRE!africa is looking for volunteers to fill the following positions:
Website Coordinator- working directly with the webmaster, this volunteer should have some experience working with program applications, but does not need to be a web designer.
Donor Appreciation & Recognition- our donors are why the projects in Rwanda have experienced such success, and we would like to recognize contributions big and small. We are looking for a creative individual to coordinate these efforts.
Volunteer in Rwanda: Fair Children /Youth Foundation (FCYF)
On every trip to Rwanda, INSPIRE!africa volunteers have visited this wonderful project located in northern Rwanda. FCYF runs and supports many initiatives including a school for the deaf and a primary school.
They welcome committed volunteers with practical skills and work experience to contribute to the success of their programs. They ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of 3 months and prefer stays of 6 months.