WhiteChurch Parish

Parish Rwanda Link


Our “Mission Link” is with the Anglican Diocese of Shyogwe, Rwanda. It was germinated when one of the clergy of Shyogwe Diocese, Rev. John Wesley Kabango, came some years ago to undertake Developmental Studies here in Kimmage Manor, Dublin. During that time, friendships developed between our parishioners and John Wesley. This created the conditions whereby a parishioner Ken Rue (now Rev. Ken Rue, Rector of Narraghmore, Timolin, Castledermot and Kinneagh) subsequently visited Shyogwe and where the first seeds in a now very well developed partnership were sown.

The Bishop of Shyogwe, Bishop Jered Kalimba, has been a most welcome visitor to our parish on three occasions and teams of parishioners have also visited Shyogwe Diocese, most recently in December 2010. Projects already either initiated or supported through our three year partnership include the upgrading of a Health Centre, a ‘Youth At Risk’ Scheme, various rural and farming developmental programmes, augmenting a Pineapple Factory’s production capacity and the installation of a major new water system for the local community in Gitarama. This last project received significant funding from the Y.M.C.A. and the Irish Government, through ‘Ireland Aid’. Other projects referred to here have also received generous funding support from R.T.E.’s ‘One World’ Fund and the ‘Bishops’ Appeal’.

A “forward plan” has been mutually worked through and we look forward very much to further positive developments with both of our “Mission Links”.

Update July 2023

Our team of 7 travellers have just returned exhilarated from their most recent visit to our projects in Shyogwe, because fantastic progress is underway both with regards to these, and indeed in Rwanda as a whole.

As regular followers and supporters will know, our involvement there goes back to 2002 when early leaders such as Arthur Milligan and Robbie Syme first visited and established contact with our local people on the ground. Since then, we have been involved in many projects including a water distribution system, pineapple juicing and canning, sewing machine supply and training, and motor bikes for midwives to rescue mothers in difficult delivery situations.

We typically send a small (self-funded) team every 2 or 3 years to monitor progress on the current projects, to ensure that monies have been carefully and prudently spent as agreed. In addition, our team would discuss with the local organization the next steps to be taken, and then review quotes and costings, before returning home to fund raise for these. We know for sure that every cent of money we raise goes directly to these projects, with absolutely no administration costs.

However, our biggest financial commitment to date has been the construction of a local health centre in a village area at Nyamagana. This has taken many years to complete, having required at first, water and electric supply connections, followed by phased construction as funds allowed. And on our June visit we were able to attend the formal inauguration of the completed premises, to great local joy and relief, as this centre is so badly needed.

The Chairperson of our Parish Mission Link Committee is Arthur Milligan, who can be contacted on milligan.arthur@gmail.com

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