Thursday, 15 November 2012

Liverpool Santa Dash 2012

There are Santa Dashes, and there is the Santa Dash - the Liverpool Santa Dash, the biggest and best in the UK, and probably the world.

And for 2012, the biggest and best has just got bigger and better - the Liverpool Santa Dash 2012 has teamed up with ITV's Text Santa appeal, aiming to bring over 10000 Santas to the centre of Liverpool raising funds for charity.

Once again, I will be running for Shyira Trust, raising funds for Maternal Health, Midwifery Training and Safe Motherhood projects in Rwanda. In previous years we have had a team, as many as 15, but this year there may be just me. However many we have running, we will have fun, while Running for Rwanda.

If you would like to help, you can, and you have two choices - you can join me, get sponsorship, and we can all run for Rwanda. Alternatively, to help me raise much-needed funds for Maternal Health in Rwanda, you can sponsor me at www.bmycharity.com and every penny raised by Shyira Trust, plus Gift Aid, will be used to support maternal health projects in Rwanda

Whatever you decide, please support me as I make my comeback at Liverpool Santa Dash 2012

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Almost a year goes by ...

It's almost a year since the last 'running' post, but don't worry - things are still happening. Maybe not much running, but things are still happening for Rwanda.

I stopped running after falling during a run on March 12th - the second time this had happened - so decided to quit before anything serious happened. Since then, I have heart surgery to cure a long-standing heart problem, and hopefully allow me to run without feeling faint, and keeling over.

So far, so good. I had my first run on October 27th, and have done a couple of runs since. Not far, and not fast, but at least I'm running again.

Join us at Liverpool Santa Dash 2012
My last 'race' was last year's Liverpool Santa Dash. All being well, my next race will be the Liverpool Santa Dash 2012! As always, anything I do will be targetted to help the aims of Shyira Trust - Poverty Relief, Child Education, and Midwifery Training and Safe Motherhood in Rwanda - our very own Millennium Development Goals for Rwanda!

With that in mind, I've set up a fund-raising website at www.bmycharity.com/santa2012, so please support me as I make my long-awaited comeback at Liverpool Santa Dash 2012.

Watch out for a flurry of activity over the next few weeks .... I'm back!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Maternal Health in Rwanda

The welfare of mothers and children is at the heart of the Millennium Development Goals. And mothers and children are at the heart of the projects Shyira Trust supports.

Our first project, in 2001, was the rebuilding of the maternity hospital, providing safe motherhood and supporting maternal health in the area around Shyira. But a maternity hospital without midwives is not much good, so we supported the training of a local nurse to become a midwife.

That nurse, Robinah, qualified in 2009, and since then, there have been no maternal deaths in Shyira – over 3 years without a death in a country with one of the poorest maternal health records in the world – truly a remarkable achievement. We have subsequently funded the training of a second midwife, Fidele, who qualified in 2011. Both are working in Shyira, supporting each other, but more importantly supporting the women around Shyira.

With our help, they continue to improve standards of maternal health in Rwanda, providing safe motherhood to thousands of women in the surrounding region. With your help, we will continue to provide midwifery training, and support for the existing midwives, in Shyira and beyond.

It doesn’t cost a lot to save a life - £3 will pay for a normal delivery, and £30 will pay for a Caesarean section. Not a lot by our standards, but out of the reach of many women in Rwanda.

So please make a donation, big or small, to Shyira Trust, to enable us to continue supporting maternal health and safe motherhood projects in Rwanda.

You can donate at bmycharity.com, and you can be assured that every penny received by Shyira Trust, plus Gift Aid, will go to these essential services for the women of Rwanda.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Poverty Relief in Rwanda

Poverty is part of a vicious circle, also including health and education – without education, people cannot find work. Without work, they cannot afford healthcare. Without health, they cannot hold down a job. And so the cycle goes on.

The relief of poverty is a way of breaking the vicious circle. Directly or indirectly, all the projects we fund are aimed at poverty relief in Rwanda. We do not give handouts to individuals, but support projects to achieve sustainable development.

We have funded coffee growing, a long-term project to lift the whole community out of poverty.
We have rebuilt or refurbished the homes of child-headed families, so they can afford education and healthcare costs.
Over 100 children from the poorest families have had their school fees paid, relieving their families of the expense of education.

All these projects, and the many others we support, are in keeping with the Millennium Development Goals and are having a noticeable effect on the area around Shyira, and the wider community in Rwanda.

A little goes a long way in Rwanda, and can make a lifetime of difference. So please make a donation, big or small, to Shyira Trust, to enable us to continue supporting poverty relief projects in Rwanda.

You can donate at bmycharity.com, and you can be assured that every penny received by Shyira Trust, plus Gift Aid, will go to projects in and around Shyira, providing poverty relief in Rwanda.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Child Education in Rwanda

Children in Rwanda have a thirst for knowledge, and a hunger for education - education is a route out of poverty, both on an individual basis, and for society in general.

Primary education is free in Rwanda, but conditions are not always in place to provide the service.
Secondary education has to be paid for, and although it is subsidised, it sometimes involves boarding, adding to the cost.

Add to that the fact that some children are heads of families, and have to provide for younger siblings, it is easy to see that universal child education is still a long way off.

Shyira Trust has supported projects to help enable child education in Rwanda, specifically in Shyira in North-West Rwanda.

In the primary school we have provided funds for rebuilding and improvements. But our main achievement is providing opportunities for secondary education for children from the poorest families who would otherwise not be able to afford school fees.

Although Rwanda is moving away from boarding schools towards day-schools, there are still fees involved, and children from the poorest families struggle to pay for education.

To help us continue this work, please make a donation to Shyira Trust, and do your bit for Child Education, one of the Millennium Development Goals, in Rwanda.

You can make your donation, big or small, at bmycharity.com, and every penny received will be used to fund the Child Education projects we support

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Millennium Development Goals in Rwanda

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.
The goals are:
  • Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieving universal primary education
  • Promoting gender equality and empowering women
  • Reducing child mortality rates
  • Improving maternal health
  • Combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability
  • Developing a global partnership for development
These aims, especially the first six, are the same aims that Shyira Trust has been working to achieve in Rwanda, since forming in 2006. Its objectives are:
  • The relief of poverty
  • The advancement of education
  • The preservation and protection of good health in Rwanda
In particular, Shyira Trust has provided funds to renovate the primary and secondary schools, and sponsored over 100 children through secondary education.

It raised funds to rebuild the maternity hospital and provide midwifery training for two midwives, and funds maternal health and safe motherhood projects.

It also operates an Alternative Gift scheme to provide items to relieve poverty, fund education and provide healthcare combatting HIV/AIDS and malaria.

The number of families in extreme poverty has been reduced, and the number of children in primary and secondary education has been increased. The incidence of maternal deaths has reduced, and maternal health has improved. As a consequence, child mortality rates have reduced.

As an example, since the first sponsored midwife qualified in 2009 there have been no maternal deaths in Shyira maternity hospital, despite the increased number of births attended, and the number of safe deliveries has increased.

To help us continue this work, please make a donation to Shyira Trust, and do your bit for Millennium Development Goals in Rwanda.

You can make your donation, big or small, at bmycharity.com, and every penny received will be used to fund the projects we support