Rwanda Reflections

David Gough, Fields of Life International Development Manager, recently travelled to Rwanda to meet with some of our partners on the ground there. It’s great to be able to share some of his thoughts following the trip…

“With a population of 11 million people, the small landlocked country of Rwanda in east-central Africa is known as the ‘country of a thousand hills’. Unfortunately it’s more notorious for the ethnic strife that culminated in genocide during 1994 when an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were brutally killed in 100 days by Hutu forces.

Having personally witnessed the horrors of 1994, working in a refugee camp on the Burundi Rwanda border, it was very encouraging to see how a once devastated country has been transformed into what must be one of the most progressive countries in Africa. Even the World Bank has praised Rwanda’s recent “remarkable development successes.”

I made my third visit to Rwanda recently to visit Fields of Life partners and was taken aback by the beauty of the green rolling landscape, its development, the friendliness of its people, the cleanliness and tidiness of the streets of the capital Kigali and the skills of its footballers! But that’s another story.

Fields of Life has built six schools in Rwanda and, as part of its new strategic plan 2016-20, aims to develop its work there as well as open a small office to service projects in both Rwanda and Burundi. During my short visit Richard Spratt CEO, Ednar Nyakaisiki, Executive Director Uganda and I met with various existing and potential new partners including the Executive Committee of the two million strong Pentecostal Church ADEPR and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and Bishop of Gasabo, the Most Revd Dr Onesphore Rwaj.

We also met Canon Jerome Munjyangaju and his wife Mary who operate Birds of Paradise, a mission caring for three older women, one of which was 97 years, in their own home. We were greatly humbled and blessed by this small yet vital ministry and their big vision.”

Thanks for sharing David!