Christmas Greetings from Rwanda Action's CEO, Robbie Macmillan

This Christmas period, Rwanda Action has a wonderful donor who has offered to match all donations up to £10,000!

For those I have not yet had the chance to meet, my name is Robbie Macmillan and I have recently had the immense pleasure of joining Rwanda Action as CEO. After 14 years of incredible work, David Chaplin is stepping back from his role and I am incredibly thrilled to inherit the amazingly impactful projects that are currently being delivered in Western Rwanda by Rwanda Action and to lead the organisation into an exciting new chapter.

This Christmas period, we are incredibly lucky to have a wonderful donor who has offered to match all donations up to £10,000! With this amazing opportunity to double the impact of donations, we are asking for your help to support our work with children with disabilities.

As part of our disabilities programme, Rwanda Action runs The Alivera Centre which supports 47 children with special needs. In this centre, we provide specialised care to the children, including sign language training, physiotherapy and counselling to the children, and facilitate their integration into mainstream schooling.

We have found that most children do well in mainstream schooling if the school has the right facilities and the teachers the right training. However, for children who are unable to follow regular classes, we have developed the Semi Inclusive Learning Unit. This innovative initiative allows the children to attend school, receive tailored lessons within a school environment and, most importantly, it provides them with a chance to interact with other children as they participate in recreational activities with all other pupils. Crucially, we also deliver outreach work with the children’s families so that they can return home when the time is right.

The best way to understand the impact of The Alivera Centre is to hear directly from one of the children. Here are some words from Belyse about their time with us:

My name is Belyse, I am the first born in my family where I live with both parents and two brothers who do not have disability. When my parents knew that I was born with hearing disability, they became hopeless and worried about my future as they considered me unable to go to school or communicate with the family. At the schooling age, I became very sad and felt unprotected as I wanted to go to school but I was forced to stay at home, and I could not know why as communication was not possible.

I remember that it was marvel in our family when my parents knew about the Alivera Centre for people with disability and I was admitted to the Centre which was the start of my happiness. It is not easy to describe all the supports I got at Alivera Centre but indeed the Alivera Centre treated us fairly, even better they taught my parents sign language so I could communicate with them when at home. I was taken to school where I learnt in the same class with other children who do not have disabilities and I even performed much better than many of them.”

This Christmas, we are asking for your help to support many more children like Belyse by helping us fund their place at The Alivera Centre. The funds raised will directly contribute to their accommodation, food, schooling and all the specialised care that allows them to do so well in school. Additionally, it will fund the important outreach work that we do with their families and community.

With donations being matched up to £10,000 during this appeal, this is a wonderful opportunity to provide life-changing support to some of the most vulnerable children in Rwanda. As ever, we are incredibly grateful for your support that empowers us to deliver these much needed projects.

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all of us at Rwanda Action.

Warm wishes,

Robbie Macmillan

Rwanda Action CEO

Formerly Rwanda Aid, we are a charity that is empowering communities to reduce poverty in Rwanda

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