Friends of Rwandan Rugby charity is a small, innovative charity that teaches the joys of rugby to boys and girls throughout Rwanda promoting reconciliation, health and well-being through sport, using rugby to help build trust, friendships and foster shared experiences on the rugby field and have fun!
Some restrictions were lifted but schools remained closed. No sport was allowed so our RDOs found they were still unable to work either with schools or with their clubs.
The number of cases continued to stay low and there have been relatively few deaths. However, communities have been struggling because so many have lost their jobs. The daily wage that is used to buy food and essential items had disappeared. Just over £1500 was raised by a separate crowdfunder fundraiser which meant we could help more than 120 families within the rugby communities where our RDOs work in a total of 12 districts across Rwanda. Our RDOs couldn’t do their normal job but they were busy identifying some of the most vulnerable in their area and with the purchase and distribution of food.
In mid March the first case of coronavirus was reported in Rwanda and the response was swift. All schools, restaurants, hotels, non essential shops, offices, churches and other public buildings were closed. People were told to stay home. Public transport stopped and life ground to a halt. In April this continued while the government made great strides to control the virus.
Donatien, RDO in Rusizi district, distributes food to 5 families.
Laurien, RDO from Muhanga district distributes sacks of flour and beans to vulnerable families.
Our RDO from Ruhango district, Joseph, hands over a large sack of flour.
Jean de Dieu, our RDO from Nyamagabe district, distributes large sacks of flour and beans to families in his community.
Assinapold in Burera district delivers food to five vulnerable families
In Nyamasheke, Frederic provided large sacks of maize flour and other foodstuffs to children and their families.
In Gasabo district, RDO, Jean de Dieu, distributed flour to some families in his district.
Kamanda, our programme manager, presented a sack of maize flour to families that play for the Alfa rugby club in Kigali.
Martin is a vet by profession and plays rugby for the national team. He runs coaching sessions as a volunteer in Kayonza district where he helped to distribute food.
Jean Claude left the charity as an employee in January 2020 as he had a new job but he was happy to help out by organising for food to be distributed to the street kids’ project in Huye district.
Evarist is a volunteer coach in Rwamagana district who also helped distribute food to families.
Since May, the schools have remained closed and our RDOs have been unable to coach any rugby. They have stayed busy by completing online courses including training to be aware of how to be Covid safe when training can start again.
Our planned trip to Rwanda in May was to be the biggest yet with 2 tours planned and over 40 participants signed up. We are hoping we will be able to run it next May. We have hundreds of kg of kit stored ready to go!
Thanks to our generous donors we have been able to continue to pay our RDOs through this difficult time.
The RDOs are currently working on producing a handbook for RDOs which will be helpful to ensure good practice is shared and will be very useful to the new RDOs we are planning to employ next year. In November the secondary schools reopened. Primary schools have opened for the older children (P5 and P6). No outside agencies are allowed in so there is no rugby coaching allowed at the moment but we are hopeful we can get started again soon.
The Rwandan Education Board has promised commitment to ensure more sport is played in schools so when we get going again we should be able to deliver more sessions to more children.
#1f or1for1 – £1 pays for 1 child to have regular rugby coaching for 1 year. Help us reach more children by donating at https:// uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/friendsofrwandanrugby