November 22, 2017

Elaine Lowe (Canada, 2009)

In 2009, I went to Rwanda to work there for three months, from September through November, when Tubahumurize was still a relatively unknown NGO. I lived at the centre and offered weekly workshops to the women and girls receiving trauma counselling.

I focused on health issues – sexual reproduction, hygiene, nutrition and first aid. The women and girls were very receptive to these, especially how our female reproductive cycles work! I also helped with other lessons being offered, such as teaching English.

You cannot imagine what might come of your actions! The seeds of the quilting collective inadvertently began when the sewing students found me working on a quilt made from old fabric they had discarded. They were amazed at how these faded fabrics became vibrant again juxtaposed with other colours and patterns. In short, a quilting program was born and now enjoys great success.

My time in Rwanda was the experience of a lifetime. I made many friends and learned so much. I will go back to see my friends and learn more. All of Africa is real to me now, especially Kigali. To learn more about my thoughts and experiences in Rwanda, visit my blog(Please note, the blog posts are in reverse order.)

Volunteer Elaine Lowe, who previously worked as a nurse, leading a first aid workshop for Tubahumurize beneficiaries at the Association’s headquarters (with volunteer Simone Hanchet assisting)

Volunteer Elaine Lowe demonstrates the proper way to disinfect a cut (while Simone Hanchet pretends she has a cut)