The adult programme.
In January 2007 I was asked if I would meet with local women to discuss their situations, their needs and their aspirations. At the first
meeting I met with 83 women. They agreed to elect representatives and at a further meeting we discussed hopes and possibilities.
After discussing their suggestions, we planned a few activities to try to give them skills whereby they could earn enough to feed their families and live with dignity. With a small grant from the Charlotte Wilson Fund (visit them at http://cwmf.org.uk) we first began hairdressing classes. Some of the women who attended these classes now work in salons or from home. Others received a small loan to start small businesses selling vegetables, making local beer and one woman bought a goat which has now produced young which she can sell.
Another group formed to teach each other traditional basket-making and we are looking for markets to sell these locally and abroad.
We have been visited by American and Canadian delegates on the People to People Project who have both bought goods and taken things back to the USA to sell for us. Similarly, friends from the UK, Northern and Southern Ireland have taken bags and goods to
A further group formed to learn how to make jewellery. This group is now supported by Jules Langstaff and is gradually building up a market and developing their expertise. We have also run classes in English, run by UK volunteers who have visited the project, and
Tamarr, one of our nursery teachers, runs a basic literacy class for men and women of all ages in the afternoons.
Local trainers run seminars on HV/Aids awareness and prevention, which are very well attended. The success of these projects is testimony to the determination and tenacity of the people who are increasing in confidence as they learn new skills and develop their community. Their children are in school, all are learning together.
We have come a very long way in 12 months. We are enormously grateful for the support of people and organizations across the world. Without you we could not exist. I hope you all realise just what a huge difference you are making for us here in Kigali.
I wish you health, peace and laughter in your lives.