THE WOMEN’S GROUP LEARNS ABOUT RWANDA
Heather Thomas from Bakewell came to talk to our group on October 4th about the charity she founded following a visit to Rwanda in 2008 when she had an opportunity to travel to the country as one of four leaders accompanying a group of 15-19 year olds. It was a life-changing trip for her and upon her return she decided to raise funds for the people of Rwanda and she set up the Goboka Rwanda Trust with a few friends who are trustees to this day. In 2011 UK Charity status was obtained. Each year she takes small groups of interested people to see for themselves and to become involved with the projects the Trust has supported. Heather began her presentation by giving us a brief history of Rwanda which of course included the massacre in 1994 when over 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. The aim of the trust is to ask villagers what they would most like to have so that they could be more self-supporting. The list of projects supported was quite varied and included buying cows for one village and setting up a breeding scheme, supplying sewing machines for young girls to make items to sell, teaching people how to build beehives to produce honey as well as helping with establishing schools and health clinics. We all felt very humbled at seeing the photos of the different projects that she and her very small charity have achieved in just a few years. Heather, who is involved with Bakewell Methodist church raised £15000 from fundraising locally last year alone and 100% goes to the projects. It was obvious from the photographs we saw how thrilled these very poor people are with the projects that have materialised. The evening concluded with several members buying from a selection of very colourful items made by local women. Next month we are having a meal out at The Peacock at Cuttthorpe on Wednesday 1st November.