Following the 2018-2019 academic year FOV were delighted to send over £3000 to Rwanda Aid as our chosen international charity. This is money raised from the various events that have taken place at Vinehall over the year, including the Secrets Room and Summer Fete.
We have received this response from David Chaplin, a former Headmaster and CEO of Rwanda Aid.
We are planning to put this towards our latest project concerning children with disability and I thought you might be interested to have a little more detail. At present in Rwanda many youngsters with disability have a raw deal; the problems are not well understood and parents often blame themselves for the disability and consider that their child is possessed by the devil. Many children are hidden away, some even abandoned. Very few are able to access schooling or employment.
Our project is founded on the conviction that every young person is special and precious and we aim to promote the care and inclusion of these children in their homes, in school, in the community and workplace.
We have created a centre which is providing training for parents, teachers and carers, whether it be in the form of signing for deaf children, physiotherapy for the physically disabled or learning support for those with mental disabilities. I have attached one sample of the many heartening stories we have to tell.
One further problem that we want to address is the fact that even when these children manage to complete schooling or training they find it impossible to find employment. So we are going to build a little village which will provide sheltered accommodation and the opportunity for apprenticeships in workshops, including shoe-making, farming, hairdressing and craft making. We also plan to have a cafe and a shop, staffed in the main by young people with disability.
After two years we shall support the apprentices in finding employment near their homes or in setting up their own small businesses. We want everyone to see that with the right kind of support these youngsters can lead rich and useful lives.
The district is hugely supportive of this project and has given us the land and signed an agreement gradually to assume responsibility for the running of the centre. We plan for this project to be so effective that it will not only be adopted by our district but also replicated throughout Rwanda. We think this is a smart way of ensuring scale and sustainability.
Our two London architects (both working for us on a pro bono basis) have travelled out to Rwanda to survey the site and draw up more detailed plans. In the meantime I have attached their early, draft lay-out plan.
Thank you to all who have helped support us.