Here is a vlog from my time in Rwanda, discovering the inspiring work Women for Women International do, and meeting some incredible women.
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hi everyone welcome back to another video today's video is really really special I am in Rwanda with a nonprofit charity called women for women international I have been supporting this charity for a while now because I have so much respect for what they do as an organization and last month they invited me to become an ambassador which I was just absolutely over the moon about and it's a role that I am carrying with so much pride and part of this role is that they have invited me to come to Rwanda where they do a lot of their work so as you can imagine I just could not wait to get out here and it's just so so special to be here so a little bit of background on what women's women international do they basically support female survivors of war and conflict in countries around the world one being Rwanda obviously they help these women that are marginalized they don't have access and resources to learn new skills and they are put on this one-year program to help with all of that they are taught skills in terms of work and business that also their health and social care so you have this direct connection to this lady who needs your support and you are helping her cover access to all of these incredible incredible skills and you can communicate via writing letters and your called her sister and you can communicate with her which I just think is a brilliant brilliant idea not only for you but mainly for a sister because she feels like she's being thought of and care and is actually being assisted with her whole future and a lot of these women have children and look at them of widows and I think it's just totally invaluable this support that they are provided by this charity so I'm here in Rwanda to meet my sister Patrice II and I just can't even explain how excited I am to meet her she is my sister that I have been sponsoring and I'm finally going to be able to meet her and honestly I would get on a plane and fly straight to Rwanda just to meet her we're here all together for about four or five days so we do have an action-packed itinerary so we are going to be seeing a lot of Rwanda and a lot of what women Furman international do here we're going to be actually seeing the program that they've put together and that yeah most importantly I'm here to meet Patrice E and this whole idea of sisterhood isn't just about you and your sister that you are supporting it's actually mainly about the sisterhood within the women in those communities because it really pulls them all together I'm sure we're going to be finding out a lot more about that because we're going to be going to these communities between these villages where women often feel marginalized and say yeah this whole sisterhood is a part of them being together learning together supporting each other as well as us and them as well what a greeting this is incredible after that incredible welcome from the women we have to follow to you a lesson that women and women are held at holding for them and today it's all about reproduction and family planning so I better get back to the lesson just so interesting I control that was really really interesting to sit in in a class we've just left and we are on our way to the next class because they have different classrooms and with different classes going on at the same time so just heading over to the next group I know they do a lot of business subjects as well so they obviously need to learn about their health and well-being and how to look after themselves but also how to create their own businesses I don't know if you can see through the camera but parts the ground of sparkling it's amazing in the sunlight there kind of it like shell fragments but they can't be they must just be a type of stone can you see it well she's asking if the group members have some other ideas or points this is a not a business class this one is [Applause] to meet my sister and he has welcomed us into her house hoping to see how ironic are they studying as well thank you for welcoming us into your home today has been the most unbelievable day I can't believe what we have done and I'm just absolutely over the moon to have met my sister Patricia she was so so lovely welcomed us into her home I met her children and it was just so great to see all of the women together part of this program I just can't believe I'm actually seeing it firsthand what this program is all about about the sisterhood educating these women in terms of health and their well-being and business it's just helping them so so much I'm as I heard from Patrice II her self she was just saying it's absolutely changed her life and she's finally got a network women around her but most importantly she's learning about business and also about her well-being so yeah it's been absolutely brilliant and to actually see the lessons in action was great as well so we obviously we've saw more classes than I thought we would actually I thought we would just kind of pop in and see one class going on but we saw I think for in the end that were all happening at once 25 women in each class so the first one was about family planning so that's obviously hugely hugely important and these women seemed so interested in it we're asking so many questions to the trainer about ways that they can discuss with their partner waste family plan and contraception and everything that I think will be hugely beneficial to them and then obviously after that we saw the business classes so the business program for two of those classes we saw were very similar in terms of the actual format they were very similar but the context was slightly different so one of them was on fruit production and then the other one was on leather production and they get to choose which ones and they want to be enrolled on so it was really great to kind of sit back and listen to both of those and I'm just so so happy that I'm here to see it this is a charity that I have respected for such a long time so to be out here more a wonder to actually experience it myself and see firsthand how these women are benefiting from these programs is just I can't even describe it it's just amazing I'm so so happy to be here so we have come to visit the farm where graduates of the women women international program have come together collectively to come up with this cooperative so they have learnt from the program that they were on for a year to create this business so I'm so excited to actually see this because yesterday we obviously saw the women are halfway through the program and now we're about to visit some graduates from the program so these are the women that graduated from the program last year in about August and they chose the agribusiness vocation so they have come together and they've decided to work really really hard in producing these vegetables they are growing we are currently in an onion field but in another field that also growing sweet potatoes and tomatoes and this morning they've been working since the light came up so since about 6:00 a.m. and while it's not too hot and they're just D weeding they'll have a break from about 11 o'clock onwards when it gets a bit too hot and then I'll start again later this afternoon so about to meet these women as my relatives Angela's Ashes marinovitch we have a goal in their cooperative and that is to empower the members of that cooperative economically especially and so they also have saving and lending group that continues and they save enough and they borrow for their own individual projects from those savings that they make their goal actually is to what had make enough money so that they can progress and they can develop not only themselves but also their families and their communities that a neighboring them and she's saying we hope that this cooperative will continue and our children will also be become members of this cooperative and Tiny's avocado I've ever seen I've actually never seen avocados gray before this is the avocado tree up here and it's about season now for avocados they're growing we're just arriving at the memorial I think it's gonna be a pretty eye opening I've already watched documentaries and read about the genocide obviously but I think this is going to be totally totally different I'm not sure how much I can actually film or different me and talk about it once I've gone through no I think it's it's good to to learn as much as I can about the genocide so this is one of 200 memorials in Rwanda and there are 250,000 graves in this one memorial over a million people did die in the genocide I literally don't even know how to put into words that experience it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before and I've watched so many documentaries and read about the genocide I felt like I knew a lot about it but as soon as you go there to the memorial site it's today I was just I feel like I know as much as I can about what these people have gone through in Rwanda and just can't get over it I'd really really highly recommend you reading up on the Rwanda genocide if you don't know much about it already and because I just feel like it's something everyone should know about and obviously before that we were in the fields and we met with the graduates of the program and saw the cooperative that they are part of so that was really really lovely to see because it's all time in time to say well because first day we obviously saw the students that I halfway through the program and then today we see the graduates that have already done the program and seeing actually how it has benefited them and changed their lives and they're creating their own businesses so yeah it's been absolutely brilliant and now we are at the Women's Opportunity Center still in Rwanda it's about an hour out of Kigali and I don't know too much about the center yet but that is why I'm here I'm here to learn about it but I know and there's a lot of graduates here that has again got their own businesses and they know they sell a lot of their own products and that they have created here and but that's all I know at the moment so I'm looking forward to you finding out more oh I also just want to take this opportunity to say that if you two want to sponsor a sister I am going to leave all of the details in the description box down below you can just click the link go on to women for women dot org dot uk' and it's 22 pounds a month to sponsor assist 8 you can communicate with her everything that I've said throughout this video you can do yourself as well so I've been sponsoring patru see through her year-long program and it's just being unbelievable so I'd highly highly recommend them so tonight we are staying at the Women's Opportunity Center in eco lodges and they are so so cool are you ready to check out mine so like these turns how amazing is this I've never ever stayed in an eco lodge before they're almost like were they are tents but actual furniture in the tent and they're huge as well I'm looking forward to waking up in the morning as well and actually seeing this because I think it's going to be amazing we can't really see like that much at the moment cuz it is getting dark and but yeah I'm looking forward to going on a little adventure around here in the morning good morning from the Women's Center it's a beautiful day it is another gorgeous morning in Rwanda I did not pack for this kind of weather because we looked at the forecast notes that it was going to be stormy and rainy every day all day and that has not been the case it's just been perfect so yeah we're at the Women's Opportunity Center I've learnt a little bit more about it now this is where there are training fields so we're just hiking down to the bottom now to see some women that are training doing their agricultural businesses and it's Pol Pot the women for women international program all the greats are psyche with baby ones the mango tree notes of carrot stoning I'm candy the mini echo all of the fruit and vegetables head looks so much bigger and juicier and tastier yeah we now in the fields we're just looking at all of the amazing vegetables that are growing they look so fresh and juicy and just colorful it's amazing like so much better than the ones that we grow in England but I guess that's just the climate right and they're all organic here and so they don't use any fertilizers at all gonna literally jump over a stream right now and apparently the women's of change center don't actually own these fields they have been donated by the government to the women and they are graduates from the program and what they do is they are growing all of their own organic vegetables they sell them to local markets and then the women's Opportunity Center also buy the vegetables off for the women in to sell and also for their kitchens for the restaurant and I'm hoping we're going to able to taste some for lunch this afternoon you may have noticed that there weren't actually that many women in the fields and that's because they start really really early in the farms before the Sun comes up and then when it gets to about 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. they've already had a few hours in the fields their husbands take over so they start working in the fields while the women go and sell the produce to local markets or they go home look after the kids stop cooking and then they'll come back into the fields later on when it's not as hot [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] four women decided to use the skill garden skill using a car hood so that they can use it as a Depot in people's homes so that the woman can sell an anime being from that a skill and the rain has begun thunder lightning rain so for lunch we're trying a variety of vegetables that are grown in the farm that we visited this morning so we have got some sweet potatoes I'm so excited to try these because they look really different to the sweet potatoes that we have at home and these are white potatoes and peas the avocado is unbelievable here it's just like no avocados ever tasted in my life and a banana steamed and then lots of green beans and carrots it just smells amazing so a very last stop of this trip is visiting the gift shop where everything in here is made by the female artisans there's a lot of craftsmanship that goes into this and most of the women that have created these items these gifts are graduates of the program I found some really pretty things that this bowl has been hand-woven we saw the women making it earlier so I'm going to take this home and use it as a fruit bowl the little elephant I thought was so sweet I'm going to get that for Daisy Mae and what have we got there like earrings these circular wave and ones so I think they look really lovely in the summer and then a couple of bracelets just for my other managers back home sadly it is time to leave Rwanda and go home I can't even begin to put into words how incredible this trip has been I think it's honestly been the best thing I have ever done just the most incredible experience and that's all down to you women for women international I think they are a brilliant brilliant organization a charity that I have been in or of for a very very long time and I'm going to hold this role as an ambassador with great pride and it's a really serious thing I'm gonna do as much as I can to support them and this trip is just the beginning so yeah I really hope you've enjoyed watching this video and I have introduced you to the organization or if you already knew about them just showing you exactly what it is that they do because I've respected this nonprofit organization for such a long time and I had actually no idea exactly what it was that they were doing in Rwanda and you just can't even begin to explain it back home to someone that you know hasn't been here so yeah I'm just I'm so happy that I've been able to bring you along on this journey and I think the highlight of the whole trip was meeting Patrice II just having that communication with her and sponsoring her throughout her program and not even meeting her was so so special but to actually be here and see her in real life with her family her five amazing children and the success story it's just really really heartwarming and inspiring I mean what these women are doing is just unbelievable and the way that the program has helped them in so many ways it's just amazing so yeah I really hope you have enjoyed this video please leave comments down below I ask any questions you want I am more than happy to get back to you with whatever it is that you'd like to know and like I said earlier on I'm going to leave a link in the description box down below so go and check it out for you guys to sponsor a sister yourself thanks so much and I will see seen face you