Rwanda July 2019
We began our visit to Nyamata in Rwanda with a reunion – a two day facilitation workshop for some old friends and new faces as we prepared ourselves for the Inspire programmes. It was great to reconnect with Wivine, who has not only dealing with all the programme logistics but also meeting with the project teams that were formed last year. As well as Eric and Baptiste, our cricket and rugby coaches from last year, we were honoured to have Margaret, a Rwandan international cricketer, joining the team.
It was disappointing not to see Nyamata High School participating this year. The children were very disappointed with the decision but more of that later. The children who did come on the programme, a total of 24 girls and 24 boys from Montfort School and Eska School, thoroughly enjoyed their introduction to cricket and rugby – and the leadership sessions where, once again, we encouraged them to plan projects in their schools or communities.
At the end of the Inspire programmes we took all the newly formed teams to the international stadium on the outskirts of Kigali to finish with a tournament. Then, on the final day we invited 36 children from the Root Foundation, an NGO working with street children. To help us run the day we were delighted to see the young students from Nyamata High School whom we had worked with last year. They had managed to persuade their Headmaster to let them come for the day. We heard of their fantastic work over the year as Youth for Change, the group they established last year. It was heart-warming to hear how, without any support from the school, they had kept their commitment to make a difference.
During the trip, we also made some new connections. We discovered that the stadium was funded and built by a NGO called Cricket Builds Hope and that they also use cricket as a way of developing life skills in children. We have already met with the director in Rwanda and trustees in London to talk about how we can expand the Inspire programme in the country. So, from a disappointing beginning to the trip with far less schools involved than we had planned, we finished with a great sense of excitement and potential.
Get a feel for the programme with this short video.