Calling prospective volunteers…



Aims:    To help complete, with local people, the construction of a new classroom block for

                                   Mihabura Primary School

          To provide additional sports facilities through group fundraising

Dates: The project will last up for just over 3 weeks in November/December 2015. Precise dates will be agreed once the volunteer team has been formed.

Mihabura School, Bugarama

Near the stunningly beautiful Lake Kivu and close to the borders with DR Congo and Burundi lies the village of Bugarama in Cyangugu District, South West Rwanda. Mihabura School is a large primary school of more than a thousand pupils. It’s a thriving school achieving excellent results putting it at the forefront of schools in the region but it is desperately in need of new classrooms. There are only 12 classrooms in the school so, like many children in Africa, pupils attend school in two shifts per day. Our plan is to replace 5 old, crumbling mud brick classrooms with a larger, modern block.

Mihab 1a

These pictures show the block we will be replacing and a view of a recently constructed new block at the school.

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The Story So Far

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD has been working in Bugarama since 2010 when a team of volunteers from Jersey assisted with the construction of new classrooms at Muko School which was developing the first senior secondary classes in the town. Since then a team from Jersey has visited each year to assist with maintenance projects, the establishment of a nursery school and the development of an English language teaching programme.

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In 2015 we are moving across town to work with Mihabura primary school in partnership with RSVP (Rwandan School Village Project A Scottish registered charity founded in 2009 by Simon, a Rwandan doctor currently living in Aberdeen, RSVP supports education in Bugarama, Simon’s home town.

The project

We will be working as a mixed RSVP/Jersey team, alongside local Rwandan volunteers, while leaving plenty of time to get involved in the school and meet people in the community. Following our experience in other projects, it is planned that to engage a local team of builders who will complete the most of the construction work before the RSVP/Jersey volunteers arrive. The RSVP/Jersey team will then help with finishing the interior of the building and refurbishing other facilities.

The project also aims to provide improve sports facilities for the school, through additional fundraising carried out by the volunteer team. Our target will be to raise £1,000 each through group fundraising efforts before we go to Rwanda.

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Funding: A grant of £25,000 has been provided by the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission. The local community is providing land and hard core and additional volunteers.

Volunteer costs (including flights, visa, insurance, food and internal travel) amount to £1,500 per person. Accommodation will be provided near the school. Volunteers are asked to pay a commitment fee of £300 on acceptance of a place on the project. The balance may be met either by a personal contribution or by further fundraising or seeking personal sponsorship. Assistance will be given to volunteers.

Preparations Regular meetings are held to discuss fundraising, understanding the country, preparation for the project, security, child protection, travel and health. Muck and Mayhem weekend as a group bonding exercise will be arranged.

The Future After this project, HATW hopes to continue contact with the community, to help them to continue developing their school, including sending further volunteers in 2016. There is also the possibility of expanding our child sponsorship scheme.


  • Will probably sleep on mattresses on the floor, possibly in beds

  • Need to take a mosquito net (provided by HATW)

  • Long-drop toilets, hole-in-the-floor style

  • Electricity on sometimes; mobile phones usually work (once charged!)

  • Weather hot, nights a little cooler, some heavy periods of rain during the day

We are looking for:

  • Enthusiasm and commitment

  • Previous building experience is not necessary

  • A willingness to work alongside local people on a project owned by them

  • A willingness to spend time preparing for the project

  • A team of volunteers that will work well together

Mihab 5a     Mihab 6a

Rwanda became infamous in 1994 for its genocide, the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two in which a million people were killed and 3 million fled the country. Since that time Rwandans have rebuilt their country. The country is trying hard to rise from the tragedy of its past and is keen to show the world a new face. It has recently become Anglophone and joined the Commonwealth.

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD (HATW), Registered UK Charity No. 1097626, helps needy children around the world, sending volunteers to offer practical help, skill-sharing and friendship at our partner centres. More than 2500 children benefit every day

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD was founded in 1994 and has sent over 400 volunteers on short-term building and skill-sharing projects in Africa, Brazil and India. We believe in ‘giving a hand, not a hand out’ and working alongside local people

Dr David Steiner, who set up HATW, was born and brought up in Jersey and worked for many years with Jersey Overseas Aid before moving to the UK in 1993.

Mike Haden, who will lead this group, has led HATW teams to Brazil, Uganda and Rwanda and is a trustee of both HATW in the UK and Chairman of the Jersey branch, established in 2007.

Here is a link to the charity website and its Facebook page where you can find out more about HATW’s activities.

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Joining hands around the world


If you are interested in this project please contact Mike Haden on 01534 861796 or 07797 787149 or email and come along to an information evening at St Lawrence Parish Hall, Jersey on Monday 9th March 2015 at 8pm.

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