Kinamba Community Project
1186. Meg Fletcher
Meg Fletcher, from Cumbria, is a former head teacher who has been dedicated for the past 10 years to improving education for school children in Rwanda through the ‘Kinamba Community Trust’.
Meg first visited Rwanda in 2006 as part of volunteering experience with the ‘Voluntary Service Overseas’ organisation. From her experience as a teacher and meeting disadvantaged children in rural communities badly affected by the 1994 genocide, she was inspired to work towards changing their lives through education, setting up the ‘Kinamba Community Project’ to provide nursery education and schooling for 330 children of all ages a year. Meg has also developed an adult project to improve access to education, particularly those who lacked opportunities due to the impact of the genocide. The trust provides skills training, such as basic literacy and numeracy, and classes for tailoring and making traditional baskets and jewellery, for war widows and other marginalised members of the community to help them develop income-generating activities and enable their children to fully attend school.
In a personal letter to Meg, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your dedication to improving education opportunities for children and adults in Rwanda is truly remarkable. By drawing on your experience as a teacher, your inspirational work providing free schooling and skills training is helping to transform the lives of hundreds of people, many of whom have been affected by the abhorrent events of the genocide 25 years ago.”
“The driving aim behind my work is to give people the chance to be able to take control of their lives through access to education and hopefully gainful employment or through the acquisition of new skills for income generation, thereby enabling them to live with greater dignity and self respect.
“I am very grateful to the Points of Light Awards for the recognition of our work and I will share the good news throughout our wider community, recognising that we can do nothing without the volunteer backup teams in the UK the staff in Rwanda and the numerous interested groups of supporters around the world.”