March 2009

March and I am back in the UK after what has felt like endless hours in offices waiting for papers and getting all the things prepared so that we are properly regulated. However, all papers are in order now and we are registered in the appropriate places. Being busy with administration has meant that I have not spent enough time with the children, but they are doing well, are happy at school and things continue to progress.

The adult programmes are also doing well. The tailoring course for the second group of people has started. The students have to earn
money through the sale of bags they make to pay the salary of the teacher. We have found an outlet in Kigali and friends and visitors
take some away for sale in the UK and elsewhere. The basic literacy group is making progress and the students have set up a small selfhelp finance scheme to help each other when they are in need. The jewellery group is beginning to earn an income as they find more outlets, thank you to Julie for the kilos of beads from China!! A small group is learning to make dolls, tutored by one of the tailoring students and we are experimenting with other things to sell, made by the first qualified tailors who are now registering as a co-operative. So, we are beginning to make a real difference to the live of people here. In the school we have had a few changes of staff, details will be on the website shortly so you can meet the people who are doing the work and see more about the programmes. We have done a small amount of training, the teachers and assistants are very enthusiastic about active learning and are becoming more familiar with using materials to help with their teaching.

We welcome 2 new volunteers, both from Canada and both helping enormously with a number of tasks related to the school and the adult programmes. I am very grateful to Brittney and Kathleen for their very timely arrival. You will be able to read more, in a few days’ time, about volunteer opportunities and other news of our activities on our website.

The major works on the wall and a system for catching the water from the roof are now almost complete. The next stage is to install toilets and build a kitchen so that we can feed more children. We are very grateful for your continued support with your generous donations from individuals, schools, colleges and other organisations all over the world. We cannot do anything without
the support and on behalf of the people of the project I thank you most warmly for all you do for us. We have been hit very hard with
an enormous fall in the value of the pound. We are naturally preoccupied with what that means for us here at home and I know the
situation at home is difficult, but it is infinitely more difficult in Rwanda where prices have increased enormously while the value of aid has dropped. A tricky time for us all.

My thoughts are with you all at this time. I wish you a Happy Easter break and all good things for you and your families.

With very grateful thanks and best wishes, Meg