It has been just over one year since the INSPIRE!africa Foundation was created, and what a year it has been! As the busy holiday season approaches, we wanted to quickly update you on some of our current projects. We thank you for support throughout the year. All of your 2007 donations will be totaled and INSPIRE!africa will be sending out Charitable Donation Receipts early in the New Year.
The best of the season to you and your families from all of us at INSPIRE!africa.
Status of Projects
The Rwanda Girls School:
As most of you know, INSPIRE!africa chose the Rwanda Girls School as our main focus project for 2007, and we received enormous support from all of you. Although NSPIRE!africa was continuing to gain momentum, unfortunately the Rwanda Girls School project was losing ground. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to reconsider our immediate and direct support of the School.
Please be assured, this was done before any monies were transferred to the School project. Understandably, this was a very difficult decision since we knew that our supporters were very enthusiastic about the idea of a school. However, we felt it was more important to be accountable for every penny in which our donors had entrusted to us. We therefore reassessed and considered other options which were in keeping with our goals and which would capitalize upon your enthusiasm for delivering education and health to the most vulnerable people in need.
We at INSPIRE!africa are very excited to announce our new primary focus project: the Ntarama Community Centre/Medical Clinic and Child-Headed Households. This Centre will serve a community of genocide survivors including a complex of child-headed households. The Centre will include a meeting place for everyone in this isolated community; 6 class rooms for vocational training and classes in English, computers and health promotion; and a much needed medical clinic to serve the community which is currently many kilometres from any health care. To build this centre and these households we are advancing our partnership with SURF (www.survivors-fund.org.uk), an organization with a proven track record for meeting the needs of genocide survivors and making the best use of donor monies.
Update on the Ntarama Centre and Medical Clinic: August 2007
Construction has begun on the community centre and medical clinic. Local orphans have been helping to clear the ground for the building site, as well as cooking food and collecting water for the construction workers. It is estimated the building will be complete by November and the facility will be functioning in January 2008. A local facilities manager will be hired and the search for doctors, nurses and teachers will begin soon.
Fanshawe College School of Contemporary Media Rwanda Film Project
This August, INSPIRE!africa was fortunate to partner with a team of students from Fanshawe College in Ontario who traveled to Rwanda to produce a documentary film about the work which INSPIRE!africa is supporting through SURF and Solace Ministries.
The students’ role in Rwanda was to work with a non-governmental organization (NGO) to explore the work of that NGO as it relates to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. The team has recently returned with 125 hours of film and 2,500 photographs. They have begun their work of editing all this footage into their final product which will be completed in November. Check out the following link to personal blogs and photos of the trip. www.canada.com
Summer 2007 Volunteer Work
In June and July, Alix MacDonald and INSPIRE!africa volunteer Colleen Fleming created and authored a beginner’s English as a Second Language teaching curriculum that was sent to Rwanda and put into action by volunteers from the UK and Canada this August.
The intent of the curriculum was for English speaking volunteers to train Rwandan teachers so they could use the materials to teach their own students throughout the year. Colleen, who is a language teacher in Calgary, provided creative resources and best practice strategies that any teacher would benefit from in their classroom.
In August, INSPIRE!africa volunteer Judy Archer took part in the delivery of English lessons at Solace Ministries in Kigali, Rwanda. Judy taught 3 classes per day for a week and witnessed, first hand, the thirst for knowledge as 150 students showed up each day for these free classes. We will have some stories and photos on our website from Judy’s trip soon.
Volunteer Opportunities in Rwanda
If you are interested in volunteering at the Ntarama Centre and Medical Clinic next year, please let us know. We will be looking for volunteers to teach English and computer classes. Also, as the local community identifies additional training needs, we will be looking for volunteers with skills to help meet those needs.
Mothers and Daughters Trip, July 13-29, 2008:
For a small group of mothers and daughters INSPIRE!africa has organized a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in Rwanda. The focus of the trip will be to understand the impact of the genocide, visit projects which are supporting widows and orphans and to spend some time teaching English and computer skills at the Ntarama Centre. We have also organized a visit to the famous Mountain gorillas and will end the trip with a wildlife safari in Kenya. For more information, contact us.
Rebecca Tinsley Tour to Rwanda, November 2007:
How you can Help - Create your own Fundraiser:
A number of people have taken the initiate to create their own fundraiser on behalf of INSPIRE!africa. Please see our website and read about Ivy Fraser, a grade 12 student who raised $5,500 in one evening. Also read about a birthday party where the 11 year- old girls donated their gift money to INSPIRE!africa and a couple who hosted a martini party in their home where guests donated to INSPIRE!africa. If you have your own idea for a fundraiser, we would be happy to support you.
Don’t forget our gift cards which can be purchased for any denomination and are a great idea for any occasion such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and Christmas.
Chestermere High School Students 4 Change
Canadian High School Students Raise Funds for the Ntarama Community Centre.
YOUNG PEOPLE SUPPORT INSPIRE!africa
June 8, 2007 - Ivy Fraser, a grade 12 student at Ernest Manning High School in Calgary organized a very entertaining and successful fundraiser at the Wildwood Community Centre on Friday June 8, 2007.
Over 100 people attended and enjoyed singing by the Hot Timalis, African dancing by students of the University of Calgary dance program, and lots of yummy snacks. Ivy assembled 45 valuable items for the silent auction and raised $5,600. How impressive!
At the event, Griffin, aged 9, made a donation of $27 from his ‘sharing account’ to support 1 year of literacy training for an orphan in Rwanda. He was very excited to be sharing a bit of what he has to make life a little better for someone so far away.
Thank you to everyone who attended and also to Ivy for her initiative and success.
On May 6, 2007 friends of Rae gathered at Om Sweet Om Yoga Studio in Calgary to celebrate her 11th birthday. Instead of gifts, Rae had each of her friends donate to INSPIRE!africa.
Margaret McQuiston talked to the girls about what life is like for many African children their age and how the $130 they donated would be used to support children in Rwanda. They thought this was ‘very cool’.
OTHER FUNDRAISERS FOR INSPIRE!africa
We are thankful to the generosity of Suzette Allan and Ken Toews who hosted an INSPIRE!africa fundraising Martini Party in May and raised over $530. Guests were invited to donate to INSPIRE!africa and treated to various types of delicious martinis donated by Suzette and Ken and to a lovely evening of socializing in their beautiful home.