Genocide survivor launches campaign to support orphans in Rwanda
Press release issued: 14 April 2015
Books, musical instruments and sports equipment will be winging their way from Bristol to Rwanda thanks to a new campaign being launched by a genocide survivor studying in the city.
Hyppolite Ntiguriwa, 27, lost his father and dozens of his relatives during the brutal Rwandan genocide and is now hoping to give a helping hand to orphans in his home country.
The University of Bristol student was just seven-years-old when the genocide began in April 1994. In just 100 days, some 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists.
Now, Hyppolite is calling on the public to donate books, musical instruments and sports equipment to the One Dollar Campaign complex – a hostel built to house 200 young people left orphaned by the brutal conflict.
The campaign will be launched at an evening to commemorate the genocide on Wednesday 22 April, supported by the Rwandan High Commission in the UK with a speech from the High Commissioner William Nkurunziza.
Hyppolite came to study a Masters in Sociology at the University of Bristol in September, keen to further his education to help solve some of the social and ethnic divides which still exist in the African country.
He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to come and study in Bristol and wanted to use my time here to help others who haven’t had such opportunities. Through the donation of books and equipment, we’ll be enhancing the orphan’s education and encouraging them to learn new skills, improve their wellbeing and have some fun.
“With the public’s help, we can drastically change the lives of these young adults and give them hope for a better future.”
The complex, in Kagugu, Gasabo District, was opened last year to support youngsters in their early 20s who had no stable home. In addition to offering a roof over their heads, the complex also teaches life skills and encourages residents to further their education.
Fidele Bugingo, Coordinator of the One Dollar Campaign Complex, explained: “Many of the orphans at the hostel are now students studying at high school and university, meaning they need a wide range of books and dictionaries. Sports and art are very important for their healing, hope and storytelling, yet they don’t have any musical instruments or sports equipment.”
Anyone keen to make a donation should email Hyppolite on firstname.lastname@example.org or drop donations off at the University of Bristol’s Students’ Union on Queens Road.
An evening to commemorate Rwanda’s 1994 genocide against the Tutsi is being held in The Richmond Building, home to the University of Bristol’s Students’ Union on Queen’s Road, from 5.30pm until 8.15pm in room AR6 on 22 April. Everyone’s welcome to attend. More information is available on the Bristol SU website.