Patron: The Rt. Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool.
From time-to-time we organise visits to Rwanda. These visits generally have one of two main purposes:
Something we never do is work that can be carried out by the people of Shyira. To do that would be taking work away from some of the most needy people on earth and we feel that our calling is to help them, improving their living standards.
Through visiting Rwanda we have developed many friendships with people in Rwanda, and these friendships are important to us.
What happens on a visit to Rwanda?
That varies from visit-to-visit and will depend on the purpose of the visit. Typically a visit will be led by one or two trustees who will be going to assess projects and may be joined by up to ten other people - accommodation in Shyira limits the group size. Everyone in the group will be expected to provide the cost of their travel and accommodation.
An itinerary for a recent visit is below. The group included two school students, teachers from two other schools, a college student, a vicar and his wife, two guests from Eastern England and trust supporters making 14 in all. The visit extended beyond Shyira to give people a wider view of Rwanda and its people.
Thursday. Daytime flights, Manchester to Kigali via Amsterdam. Overnight stay in Kigali.
Friday. Change money. Visit National Genocide Memorial. Buy water and travel to Musanze for overnight stay.
Saturday. Some of group went on a Mountain Gorilla Trek. Others visited an infant/primary school. Travel to Shyira for a 9 night stay.
Sunday. Church service, all or part, for those wishing to attend. Explore village. Meeting people.
Monday - Friday. Various programmes for different people. Attending school, taking part in sport. Assessing projects for example.
Saturday. Go to Vunga market with staff member from CEFOPS school. Buy cloth for making of African clothes. Attend a wedding. Meet with child headed families
Sunday. Church for those who want. Meet with children at Sunday School. Fittings for clothes made in CEFOPS
Monday. Travel to Gisenyi, crossing the Nile-Congo divide as we go. Two nights in Lakeside hotel.
Tuesday. Boat trip on lake. Visit to Gisenyi
Wednesday. Return to Kigali for one night.
Thursday. Shopping, Coffee at Hotel Mille Collines, Overnight flight to Manchester via Amsterdam.
Each evening after dinner we met together to to share experiences from the day. That was followed, for those who wanted to take part, by a short time of Bible study and prayer.
Travel is not all one way. We have, whenever possible, entertained visitors from Rwanda in Formby. The most recent occasion was as part of a project funded through Global Community Links from UKaid and DFID. That was in 2011 and involved seven people from Rwanda.
There are two significant obstacles to us bringing people from Rwanda.