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This newsletter is not about events in Rwanda but in the UK for a change.

I was very surprised and pleased to receive a letter out of the blue from the British Prime Minister with a certificate for the Points of Light Award which is given to recognise the work of volunteers who make a difference in the communities in which they serve.

I am very proud to accept this on behalf of all the people around the world who help me make this happen.

In attempting to name everyone I know I shall make the inevitable mistake of missing someone out but you all know who you are and you know that you are very important in the complex web which is the Kinamba Community Project.

I am constantly buoyed up and inspired to redouble efforts to make this work as so much has been achieved so far and can be achieved in the future.

I must however give my grateful thanks first of all to my sister who has given me so much support in so many ways – not least keeping things going in the UK when I am away.

Secondly I say a big thank you to the Trustees of the charity who are always ready with support and advice, their time given freely. The people in Rwanda have some difficulty in understanding that all the people running the charity in the UK are volunteers with no salary!

All our funds are raised privately, either from individual sponsors or from the growing number of people who organise events to raise funds for different initiatives.

I wish to recognise the fundamental importance of sponsorship in what we do and for our future security. A commitment to regular donations to support a child on from the nursery into secondary school is absolutely vital for us and I express here my heartfelt thanks to those who have made that commitment and continue to support us. The first students who attended the nursery will graduate from secondary school this year which is remarkable and beyond anything I imagined when we started. We now have 74 students in secondary school and 144 in Primary/Nursery who have
individual sponsors – this is truly amazing and I thank you all for trusting me on this journey. We may not see what this truly means for many years to come but I am optimistic that many of our students will themselves make a difference in their communities in the future. Time will tell how this investment is working.

We have and continue to have generous support from several Rotary Clubs in the North of Britain after I have visited and talked about our work and the impact it has on some of the most vulnerable and impoverished children in the city of Kigali.

While I am in the UK I spend a lot of time visiting schools and talking to groups about the project. This generates financial support and also individual sponsors. I particularly wish to thank Ambleside Church of England Primary School who have been very successful in the Rotary annual schools quiz for three years running and who have nominated us for the prize money – enough to pay the food programme cost for one month each time.

I also wish to thank the members of several Women’s Institute groups who are very active in supporting the project, either through organising events to raise funds or individual members who are sponsors.

I also wish to thank friends in Kigali who are ready with a listening ear, coffee and sometimes a bed when things get a bit too much!

We have benefited from the support of several organisations for example :

We love receiving visitors!

Finally, our staff in Kigali do a great job, sometimes I ask them to do something which puts them out of their comfort zone but when they see the reason for it then then take it on. KCP is a happy place, where the children want to be – it is safe, secure and welcoming.

I repeat, none of this happens without you all out there so I say again a huge thank you.

Wishing you love, peace and happiness in your lives,