Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Next Thursday I get to have my five minutes of fame by having the below article published in the Lincolnshire Echo, heres a sneak peek for everyone who follows my blog ....... let me know what you think !!
Hi, my name is Lynsey Collinson and l’ve worked as a Development Worker for developmentplus (formally LCDP) for 5½years. My post is currently funded through the Migration Impact Fund of which it’s main focus is to create opportunities for people from different backgrounds to meet and get to know each other though Community Events, I also support Community Groups within the Abbey Ward Area of Lincoln. It was through this work that l met Steve Robinson of the Aegis Trust who in turn introduced me to the work they do in re-educating the Rwandans following the Genocide of 1994.
In 1994, the genocide that devastated Rwanda claimed the lives of over 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a 100 day slaughter. Although it will take decades, the people of Rwanda are determined to rebuild their society.
Naively perhaps, I hadn’t realized that there had been a genocide of this size within my life time, I’d studied A-Level History which covered the Second World War, ironically at the time that the genocide was taking place in Rwanda and yet I had no recollection of it. The more I read about the atrocities that took place in 1994 and the remarkable re-education programme that is taking place now so that it never happens again the more interested I became in learning more.
In 2003, the Aegis Trust was invited to build the first national Rwanda Memorial and Education Centre in Kigali and to advise on rebuilding the community, specifically using commemoration. The Centre’s groundbreaking programmes challenge divisive ideology in schools and the Community, document the genocide and provide practical support for orphans and widows. Its programmes help to build community cohesion and encourage work experience and employment.
I have been given the opportunity to go on a one-week field trip to learn more about the genocide and its effects on Rwanda and its people. I will have the opportunity to engage with leading women in Rwanda, visit Memorial sites and hear from and share experiences with genocide survivors. Engage with Rwandan Educators and students, and discuss the role they are playing to help shape their Country, gain a deeper understanding about the Rwandan genocide and its relevance to community cohesion and integration in British Communities today. I will also have the opportunity of visiting Gisimba Orphanage, which sadly still homes some of those children orphaned during the genocide to see how their lives have changed since 1994. The field trip will fall between the 1st and 9th April, a period of which will includes 2 days of Rwanda’s national week of mourning,
On my return I want to be able to share the stories that I hear and the culture that I’ve experienced. To show what people can achieve, even after facing unimaginable horror and hatred. To show how people can learn to look beyond the past and move towards a better future together.
To enable me to go to Rwanda I have to fundraise much of the money myself. Amazingly I've already raised £700 but I still have a little way to go.
On the 3rd February I will be hosting a charity/fundraising Race Night and Auction in Lincoln. Tickets will be available during January at £5 each. If you would like to purchase a ticket you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also looking for raffle and auction prizes so if there are any organisations that would be willing to donate please get in touch.