18 September 2017
They were able to see for themselves how the money raised through initiatives including iPledge 130 and Run for Rwanda has been put to good use to benefit children in this small African country, 6000 miles away from Dorset…
‘The two water tanks funded by Talbot Heath were our first port of call; carefully connected to the roof to collect water during the rainy season, then draining through a filtering system, prior to distribution throughout the school. Everything appeared to be in full working order! Next stop was the girls’ dormitory complete with new roof and ceiling; inside, workmen were busy assembling metal bunk bed frames, ready for imminent occupation. On the way to visit the girls in their existing accommodation, Mrs Moran could not resist a little peek into the kitchen, where daily meals are prepared for over 700 students; what an amazing job these lovely ladies do! Everywhere we journeyed about the campus, we were greeted with joyous smiles, African a capella singing, dancing and general celebration.
‘It was the girls we were particularly keen to meet; there are 140 at the school, many training with the hope of becoming accountants, but one or two also studying for the construction industry. They welcomed us into their rooms with enthusiasm, keen to engage us in conversation about their lives and to learn about our own students back home. We were delighted to have the opportunity to ask them personally for ideas on how we could support them in the future. Initially they were a little reluctant to make any requests, but after some coaxing they revealed that amongst them was the number one girls’ Handball team in Rwanda – what an achievement, they were so proud – but admitted the need for more balls and kits for their teams. The accounts students disclosed they were desperate for more library books and all the girls admitted that their access to computers was very limited and more equipment was needed.
‘The Vice Principal, Mr Marcel, stated that the whole school was very moved by our visit and thanked the whole Talbot Heath community for their support over the years and the special gifts we distributed, including letters from our girls to their students in Hanika.’