In January 2017, 14 of us returned having spent two incredible weeks in Rwanda. This was the third visit for many of the group and, we thought, the last one! But the ‘pull’ of Rwanda is a strong one and here we are thinking about another trip out there. We feel we have energy and motivation to organise one, and the majority of group want to go again! We shall probably leave here in the middle of January 2019.
We will be in Rwanda as guests of Christian communities who are actively engaged in a range of practical projects, helping people affected by the genocide. Where we can, we shall try to help practically, but what Rwandans appreciate most is that we are there, getting alongside them, sharing their stories and showing love, compassion and understanding.
One of the most effective ways of helping them is to provide village communities with water filters. Thanks to the generous support of so many people, we have been able to provide water filters both for communities in Rwanda and also in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2015 we shipped out over 200 filters to support the poorest people of Nkombo island, which, itself, is one of the poorest parts of Rwanda. We revisited the island in 2017 to see the families who received the filters. It was encouraging to see how they were being used. They were all so very appreciative and told us that since drinking filtered water their village was free of cholera and diarrhoea. We expect to take out a dozen or more boxes in 2019, enough to provide safe drinking water to 6000 people.
In the past two visits, we have been able to support genocide widows and their families by paying for, and helping to build them a house. These have been life-changing experiences for them, and very affirming hands-on experiences for us. They enable us genuinely to ‘get alongside’, and get to know Rwandan people at a personal level. Whilst some of the team work on the house, others get involved with activities for the families, particularly children, who live close by. We plan to build another house (possibly two?) in 2019, and we hope to raise enough money to do this.
The Glaven Valley now has a strong link with Rwanda and we are looking forward to strengthening it through this next visit.
If you are interested in joining us and would like to know more, you are very welcome to contact us (see details below). BUT, don’t expect to be the same person when you return. In the best way possible, Rwanda will have a lasting effect on you.
You can learn more about our project by visiting our website www.africaglavenvalley.wordpress.com or by Googling Africa Glaven Mission.
Claude and Ethne Scott
Email: [email protected]