Teaching Rugby in Rwanda

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One of the charities my husband and I support is Friends of Rwandan Rugby (FORR). FORR is a small innovative charity which teaches the joys of rugby to boys and girls in some of the most impoverished regions of Rwanda.  FoRR’s mission is to promote reconciliation through sport, using rugby to build trust, friendships and foster shared experiences on the rugby field.

BUT WHY RUGBY? WHY NOT FOOTBALL?

Rugby is a post genocide sport ( it wasn’t played in Rwanda before the genocide, whereas football was) which is why it has been hugely successful providing kids with new memories and new shared experiences. The friendships that are formed and the safety they provide at the bottom of a ‘ruck’ last a lifetime.

WHAT DO THEY DO?

FoRR focuses on teaching rugby to children and young adults in schools and communities across Rwanda and they develop this with Volunteer Coaching Trips to Rwanda.  They are currently seeking volunteers to travel out to Rwanda from the 11th to 21st August 2016 to spend ten days working with their rugby development officers to deliver coaching in primary and secondary schools. Please do contact FORR if you would like to be a part of this life changing opportunity.  My husband did this a couple of years ago and this is his account and his video:

  • Rwanda threw a surprise at us every single day.  In fact there were usually two or three incidents a day that stopped you in your tracks!
  • The man who stopped two of the team in the street to thank them for coming to Rwanda and telling them about his families experience of the genocide;
  • The 1,000 strong town meeting complete with choirs and voting officials dressed as Greek gods that turned up during one coaching session;
  • The evening at the secondary school coaching rugby while 4 choirs in class rooms surrounding the pitch sang their hearts out;
  • The impromptu visit to a church that ended in us staying for an hour and being asked to give a speech to the 400 strong congregation who were keen to know what we were doing;
  • The whole of one school being led out to the pitch we were playing on to serve a mass detention in silence for laughing at the head mistress while we were asked to play on.
  • I could go on . . . and on . . . and on.

 

I don’t think anything can demonstrate quite how life changing spending time out in Rwanda with these amazing kids could be, but this video provides a window into this amazing experience:

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