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Volunteer Opportunities

In our March newsletter we made a request for volunteers to fill three positions and you responded. Heather Christie has joined our team as our Volunteer Coordinator and Sarah Wiley has started work on an INSPIRE!africa marketing plan. We would also like to thank Carol Daw, who is coordinating our student sponsorship program (see below). A big thank you to you three! The work you are doing is very important to the continued success of INSPIRE!africa.

Current Opportunities:

Research and Proposal Writing: We are looking for someone with research and writing skills to seek out grant opportunities and prepare funding applications for INSPIRE!africa.

INSPIRE!africa Fundraiser:

We will be looking for volunteers to assist at our November 19th Gala with various activities including collecting silent auction donations, selling tickets, advertising and assisting during the event.

INSPIRE!africa Event Booths:

We are planning to have an INSPIRE!africa booth at one or two events this coming year so we will need people to man our booth for a couple of hours at a time talking about INSPIRE!africa and selling the book The Presents’ Presents. Training will be provided.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Rwanda Volunteer Trip 2010

Are you interested in sharing in a unique experience - one that will make a difference in your life as well as the lives of many widows and orphans of the Rwanda genocide? Then consider joining us for the 2010 INSPIRE!africa volunteer trip to Rwanda.

The trip will run for 2 weeks in 2010 and will be similar to the 2008 trip which you can read about on our website under News and Events - Rwanda Trip 2008. You will have the opportunity to teach English to orphan students at the Learning Centre in Kigali and visit the other projects we are supporting as well as places of interest in Rwanda including the genocide memorials and mountain gorillas. The cost will be approximately $5,000 and includes airfare from Calgary, all accommodations and meals, transportation in Rwanda and guides.

Departure date will depend on preferences of participants. If you are interested, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Sponsoring Students - A Gratifying Experience

Would you, your family, office, book club or group of friends be interested in making a real difference in a genocide survivor’s life?

By sponsoring a student through INSPIRE!africa, you will give that student the opportunity to go to school and open up a multitude of opportunities in their life. Both high school and university students are in need of sponsorship. Cost is approximately $2,000/year and a minimum 2 year commitment is requested. You will receive reports on your student’s progress and will have the opportunity to correspond with them by e-mail. You could even meet your student one day by going on an INSPIRE!africa trip to Rwanda! You can be assured that by sponsoring a student you will be making a significant impact on a young survivor’s life.

Contact Carol Daw at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about details and make a difference today!

Update on Projects

Livestock for Widows:

We are pleased to announce that we have raised enough money for 267 goats. This surpasses our goal of providing each of the 170 widows in the town of Kabuga with a goat.

This means that 267 widows now have the opportunity for a small income to provide for their families. At our November 2009 fundraiser, we received donations for 2 cows. We are in the process of arranging for 2 widows to receive training and have the necessary pens built so they are ready to receive these cows this summer.

Learning Centre:

dSC03511110 students have been attending the Learning Centre (LC) on a regular basis since January 2009, enrolled in English classes in the morning and some are taking computer classes in the afternoon. There are now three Rwandan teachers, two of which are graduates from the LC program and are teaching beginner English. With thanks to the support of INSPIRE!africa donors, the LC now has two permanent classrooms, some desks and chairs, a growing resource library and increased number of computers.

INSPIRE!africa also supports the LC through the development of an English as a second language curriculum geared toward maximum success using minimal resources. A big thank you to Diane Jankowski who almost single handedly created the scope and sequence of the program that the LC teachers are using right now! If you are interested in helping develop activities and lesson plans to compliment the curriculum, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Ntarama Community Centre and Medical Clinic:

All being well, the clinic will be fully operational by the end-of-July. The spectrophotometer and haematology apparatus that was donated by an INSPIRE!africa donor was recently purchased in the UK and it is being shipped to Rwanda.

This equipment is critical to the operation of the medical clinic as it is used to test blood for a variety of pathogens on-site resulting in quicker diagnosis and treatment. Recruitment of staff is progressing well and efforts are in place to secure and transport computers for the Centre.

Fundraising Events:

INSPIRE!africa Creating Awareness to Schools

During the winter of 2009, participants from our Rwanda 2009 Volunteer Trip have been sharing their stories of the Rwandans they met and how INSPIRE!africa is making a difference.

For example in May, Chadwick Dawes and Alix Macdonald were invited to Muriel Clayton Middle School in Airdrie, AB and spoke with over 100 students in their grade 8 classes and then had a more intimate meeting with their “I Can” student leadership group.

The ‘I Can’ group set their sights on raising money for goats, but how they did it was unique and extremely successful! Using PhotoShop, they turned each teacher into a goat with some resemblance of that teacher. They posted the pictures (see photo), collected money toward the purchase of each goat and managed to ‘sell out’ raising enough money for 18 goats!

Alix was also invited to speak at the Olds Junior and Senior High Diversity Day, where she facilitated three sessions about the Rwandan genocide and how survivors have begun to rebuild their lives.

INSPIRE!africa was very excited to receive a donation from the host school as a thank-you for attending their conference. Edwin Lim and Alix presented their insights on Rwanda and the genocide to all the Calgary Academy grade 10 classes, as a compliment to the new social studies curriculum. Alix also spoke to students at the Springbank Middle School Globalfest, Whitney Public School in Toronto, and at the reunion of the Connections Multicultural Leadership Program that included high school students from all over southern Alberta.

After attending the Connections session, author and professional speaker Cory Johnson (www.coryjohnson.ca) was inspired and donated the proceeds of his book sales from that weekend to INSPIRE!africa.

Save the Date:

The annual INSPIRE!africa fundraiser will be on Thursday November 19 at Webster Galleries in Calgary. Mark your calendars.

Buying or Selling a Home in Calgary?

If so please consider using ReMax agent Paula Leemans. Whenever Paula receives a referral or makes a sale to an existing client who mentions INSPIRE!africa, Paula will made a donation to INSPIRE!africa.

Paula can be contacted at 403.259.4141 or www.paulasneighbourhood.com.

Thanks for your continued interest in INSPIRE!africa,

Alix, Margaret and Craig