Former Miss France, Sonia Rolland has said that she will ensure the funding of the construction of a new vocational training school for the orphans of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Speaking to The New Times, Rolland said her charity organisation, Maisha projects will look for sponsors in France to bankroll the school thanks to the improvement in relations between Rwanda and France.
Rolland said that she has had the dream for some time, but the past sour diplomatic ties between Rwanda and France brought the project to a halt.
“I have sponsors in France, but since they had no embassy in Rwanda which could safe guard their interests, it was quite difficult for them to endorse my projects in Rwanda.”
“Since the relations have been restored, I’m going to bring back the deal on table for discussion and hope it will not be long before the project is executed.”
“We are planning to build a vocational school for orphans to help them get hands on career for the betterment of their lives.”
According to Rolland, many people don’t take these vocational courses serious and yet they are paramount for national development.
“Every body in Rwanda aspires to go to university which is good, but vocational professions are also vital in a growing economy like this one,”
Sonia’s Maisha project has constructed 12 houses in Kimironko for orphans whose parents were killed in 1994.
The beauty queen also flew in a medical team to study the country’s health situation and see how they can help in treating some diseases and train Rwandan surgeons.
Rolland also said that she had come with a team of journalists to cover her projects in Rwanda and to also take a message back to France of a rapidly developing Rwanda.
“In France we lack enough information on what is going on in this country, all they have is a bad image of the country and yet there have been tremendous achievements in the last fifteen years since the Genocide against the Tutsi took place,” she said.
“I hope the journalists are going to take back with them a positive image of Rwanda for people of France to know.”
Rolland born in Kigali, is the first African-born Miss France pageant winner.
Born to a Rwandan mother and a French father, the family fled the civil unrest in Rwanda in 1990 to Burundi. With the growing unrest that led to the Burundi civil war, they moved to France in 1994.