May is a significant month of change for us all at Rwanda Action. After 14 years at the helm of Rwanda Action, David Chaplin, our Founder, is stepping down from his role as Chief Executive.
It is hard to overstate the extraordinary vision that David had back in 2008 when he founded the charity – then known as Rwanda Aid. From small beginnings, the charity has grown into an organisation of over 50 employees in Rwanda, ably supported by David and the Operations Director, Janyis Watson. Of course there have been many challenges along the way, but David has been the architect of the Rwanda Action model– listening to the needs of the community and creating projects which can be scaled up through pilot projects then subsequently adopted by the local districts.
Rwanda Action made an impact from the beginning: from rebuilding houses after the 2008 earthquake, to introducing farming training and planting over 350 tree nurseries, to our acclaimed Education programme (over 72 classrooms built, training 250 school based mentors benefitting 750 teachers and over 35,000 school children), to helping those at the margins of society under the Street Children project and the support of those living with disability under our umbrella Alivera project. These achievements all bear testament to David’s vision, his tireless optimism and his belief in the Rwandan people.
Whilst David is stepping down as Chief Executive, he remains our Founder and I know that he and Sally will continue to support the charity. Over the years, Sally has strongly supported David both from the UK and on the ground in Rwanda, where she has overseen the craft production and distribution.
It is however my great pleasure to announce that Robbie Macmillan joins us at the beginning of May as our new Chief Executive. Robbie has extensive experience working across Africa in international development and, in particular, Rwanda, where Robbie himself founded a charity, Children of Rwanda. Robbie brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm to the role and I know that he will, together with Janyis, the Rwandan team and the board of Trustees, commit to carry on the work of David and Sally and ensure Rwanda Action goes from strength to strength.
With best wishes and our thanks for your support
Chair, Rwanda Action