The Kinamba Community Project is registered both in Rwanda as a local NGO and as a UK charity. It provides educational opportunities for the people of the Urugero and Umutaka communities in the Kinamba area of Kigali, Rwanda. The genocide of 1994 had a devastating effect on the lives and futures of a large proportion of the community. This project offers hope to war widows, genocide orphans, the marginalised and vulnerable people of Kinamba.
The project was established originally by local people in response to a local need for the poorest children to go to school. In the beginning in 2005, there were 28 children attending a small nursery class. Now there are 140 children in 4 nursery classes and we sponsor 70 primary school children to go to local primary schools. We also provide a growing number of educational opportunities for the youth and adults in the community. The adult project provides skills training and support for the people to find income-generating activities to enable them to feed their children, live with dignity and take control over their own lives. Over time we have offered training and advice on HIV/Aids, basic literacy and numeracy, classes for tailoring, to learn to make traditional baskets and jewellery for sale. Increasing number of volunteers from many parts of the world work with us to offer training and ideas for development. I became interested in this project when I was working with VSO in Rwanda after retiring from my job as a Primary Headteacher in the UK. I decided to support it because it was an idea generated by local people in response to a local need. I visit the project and work with them for about 6 months each year and plan to continue to do so until the project is self-sustaining.
In 2008 we bought a house and additional buildings and we are gradually renovating it and converting it to provide teaching spaces, kitchen, staff room, toilets and play area sufficient for our needs. We have made good progress with the building and in 2009 the police gave us an area behind our property which we use as a play/sports area.
We are now in the final stages of the conversion which, with luck and given the funds, will be completed by early 2012.
Meg Fletcher Kinamba Community Project. UK charity registration no. 1126601