“You cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good you can do.” Mother Teresa.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of Rotary Club of Kigali known as “Rotary Club de Kigali-Doyen”.
Established in 1966, the Rotary movement in Rwanda has been growing and presently there are 7 Rotary Clubs(RC) in different parts of the country including RC Musanze, RC Butare, RC Kibungo, RC Kigali-Gasabo, RC Kigali-Mont Jali, RC Kigali-Virunga and RC Kigali-Doyen – which is the first Rotary Club in Rwanda. Rotary consists of individuals with a passion to positively transform the lives and livelihoods of the poor and underprivileged in the society.
The 50th anniversary coincided with the completion of the Medicare project which has been on-going since 2012.
The Medicare project has been facilitating international medical missions to Rwanda. The missions consist of medical professionals and volunteers from India and other countries. This year’s medical mission took place from February 25 to March 6 at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) and Kanombe Military Hospital.
Professionals and Volunteers who participated in the mission included orthopedics, urologists, ENT specialists, pathologists, plastic surgeons, anesthesia specialists.
The medical missions in Rwanda have been unique in Rotary history as no country has ever held more than one medical mission. Rwanda has been privileged to host four medical missions. This year’s medical mission was special as it involved the participation of Rotary International President. This was also the first time that a sitting Rotary International President visited Rwanda. K.R. Ravindran, the Rotary International President 2015-2016 was one of the volunteers in the medical mission. He volunteered at the CHUK alongside visiting medical professionals and local doctors and nurses.
Ravindran had the opportunity to visit with H.E. Paul Kagame who also addressed the medical mission team alongside a Gala Dinner on the last day of the mission.
The first lady, Madam Jaenette Kagame attended the Opening Gala Dinner. Also present was the Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho.
Rotarians in Rwanda in their different clubs have been involved in many projects including health, water sanitation, education and environment among others. Some past projects include operation smile that has seen more than 400 patients undergo treatment to correct cleft lips and palates, the breath life project that provided improved anesthesia system to Rulindo District Hospital, construction of latrines and books donation in Burera District, support to children living with HIV, orphanages for street children and refugees and planting of over 1,000 trees with the support of the police and local communities.
The children heart surgeries project is also a key project that has transformed the lives of children living with heart diseases. In 2012 Rotary committed to sponsoring Rwandan children with congenital or rheumatic heart ailments to receive treatment in India in one of the leading hospitals, Fortis Hospital in Chandigarh. So far 36 children underwent successful surgeries and the last group of six girls arrived from India in May 2016.
Rotary Rwanda is grateful for the support of the Government of Rwanda, corporate and private sponsors of their various projects.