Speaker meeting 8th June 2015

The Rotary Club of Church Wilne welcomed Emily Groome, to its Speaker Evening, the members had made a donation to support her recent 10 week trip to Rwanda organised through ICS, a UK government development programme and   Tearfund a charity helping people lift themselves out of poverty and rebuild their communities. (http://www.tearfund.org/en/about_us#whatwecareabout). Emily spent the two and a half months working with the local Rwandan community in Nyagisozi Village, she was one of 8 volunteers, 4 from the UK and 4, from Rwanda, ranging in age from 18 to 25 years. The villagers were very friendly and welcoming and worked hard with Emily and the other volunteers to take full advantage of the help they were being offered. The people had worked incredibly hard to rebuild their shattered communities after the conflict in 1994.

There are some 150 households in the village, the main activity is subsistence farming, and some work all day collecting and selling sand for £3 per day. Emily and the team taught the locals to build energy efficient stoves, to reduce the use of scarse firewood, heat the food and water more quickly and create less smoke and pollution in their huts. It was hard work but 22 stoves were made during the visit. Children were no longer late for school since they did not have to wait for the heating of food and water in the morning.

They also built 7 kitchen gardens which will enable the community to have a more varied and nutritious diet. Emily taught English at the local school "Zion Hill School" set up by the charity RDIS. They were also taught about HIV & Aids which is still a big issue in Rwanda, especially as it is a rather taboo subject.

Emily learnt about the incredible spirit of the Rwandan people to help themselves build a brighter future for themselves. They had learnt to forgive and be forgiven. She had also learnt that we can all in the developed world help by trying to have less effect on the environment and to shop responsibly. One way we can all help is through buying fair trade products (http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/what-is-fairtrade)

For more information on Rotary and our speaker evenings, please contact Rotarian John Astell at: rccw1220@gmail.com

Rotarian Dr John A Cook


1st June 2015

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