Project area - Community Project

In 2010, the Umubano Community Project team led by Christopher Shale developed a Leadership and Communications Programme. Working alongside our long term partner Survivors Fund (SURF), Umubano volunteers helped a group of survivors' charities address issues of how they reach and engage their stakeholders and, in particular donors.

Many of these partners have asked for more help to improve their fundraising performance. In particular, they want to master:

-          Understanding requests for applications
-          Developing successful written applications
-          Presenting to and engaging donors
-          Reporting back to donors

Strengthening the capacity of survivors' organisations to raise more direct funding is a critical priority for SURF.

This year the Umubano Community Project team will reproduce the Dragons' Den experience: working both collectively and in several joint   Umubano/survivor organisation teams - both in Kigali and out in the field - our project will culminate in a series of competitive pitches for charitable funding. Not a game: real money from and via SURF, for a variety of projects.

This will be a great experience: important and valuable for these  brilliant but not very sophisticated  survivor's organisations; stimulating, rewarding and fun for us.

We seek a similar size group to last year: 8-12 Umubano volunteers, particularly people with experience in fundraising, pitching for business and social enterprise, as well as people who can offer related creative and technical skills including photography, videography, design, and web development.

Over the years the Community Project has developed its own culture. We thrive on in-at-the-deep-end challenges, work hard, play hard, laugh a lot, get absolutely the most out of these two weeks - but try to give more than we take from it. This is all nigh impossible: however much you give it, it gives you more.

Project area - community projects

Project area - Health

Each year, a team of doctors and nurses travel out with Umubano to treat patients and train medical staff in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

To date, the work of the Project's health team has involved treating more than 700 patients - as well as beginning to set up a course to train the Rwanda's first generation of home-grown orthopaedic surgeons.

In 2010 a team specialising on women's health team helped to set up a family planning clinic, training two nurses to run the clinic and providing contraceptive advice and treatments. A small building in the market was rented by the government who also supply the contraceptives; the building was bare and empty so the Project arranged for it to be painted inside and provided basic furniture.

In Sierra Leone, our 2010 health project involved a small team working with the Well-Bodi Partnership, a UK-based charity which provides medication, equipment, and training to nursing staff at a Children's Hospital. This assistance covers the Emergency Ward, Premature Baby Unit and acutely ill under- fives and babies.

This summer teams of Project Umubano health volunteers will once again be based in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

In Sierra Leone, a small medical team will build on last year's programme by continuing their work with Children's Centres in Makeni. The team will also work in the rural area surrounding Kamalo Mission assisting with medical training.

In Rwanda, our team of medics will be led this year by Dr Daniel Poulter MP and will deliver training to doctors and nurses with specific emphasis once again on rural health services.

With quite modest funds this project is making a huge difference to local people and we are particularly looking for volunteers with medical experience who would be interested in joining our health teams this year in Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

Project area - health

Project area - Sport

As in previous years the Football component of Project Umubano aims to provide grassroots coaching clinics to boys and girls around Rwanda.

As we have seen from previous years Rwandans are fervent supporters of football and they hold the English game in high esteem. However, there are only approximately one hundred qualified coaches in Rwanda for population of ten million people. During the two weeks of the Project, Umubano aims to give as many children as possible some form of coaching and to assist with the development of a national coaching programme.

This summer the football project will once again be in the capable hands of Stephen Ogden who first joined Project Umubano in 2008. During the last two weeks of July, volunteers will visit villages and towns across Rwanda to run football coaching events for children between the ages of six and sixteen.

We also hope that the Project Umubano 2011 Education project will also include an aspect of football tuition. At three Teacher Training Collages (TTCs) around Rwanda where our Education volunteers are located one day of the two weeks will be dedicated to football. Half a day will be spent teaching how football can be used to support learning, and the other half of the day will be spent teaching basic football skills.

For cricket enthusiasts there will again be the annual match between Umubano volunteers and a side from the Rwanda Cricket Association and also the possibility of some 'Introduction to Cricket' classes with school children. Alan Sendorek (Press Officer at Number 10) will lead this project and is keen to hear from potential volunteers who can improve the batting average of our Umubano team!

We are in the process of collecting football and cricket equipment which will be distributed to the youngsters that our volunteers coach in Rwanda. Please do get in touch if you would be interested in donating new or second-hand kit to the Project.

Project area - sport

Project area - Business and Finance Skills Training

Last year saw the expansion of Project Umubano into working with people who run small businesses to teach basic business skills. There is a substantive need for this in Rwanda as there are thousands of micro businesses, providing a bare subsistence living for their owners and families, but just a handful of larger businesses, and a huge gap in between. Only the larger players can afford access to business management training.

Building up the capacity to do business well in Rwanda, with the jobs and taxes benefiting local communities which go with this, is very much needed. One of the businesses visited by Umubano volunteers last year was a small cafeteria which provided subsistence living for no less than 5 families in an underdeveloped and poor part of Rwanda.

This year volunteers with business and finance backgrounds will be working with Fiona Bruce MP, who started her own business and won the small business awards, Woman of the Year award in 2003, and Jeremy Lefroy MP who has several years experience in the coffee business in Africa, in finance and microfinance raising, will work with business owners for two week-long training sessions. The course will focus on business skills advice and training will be offered in areas such as how to write a mission statement and a business plan, setting a budget, raising capital and recruiting, developing and maintaining of staff.

Last year Fiona and Jeremy worked with 14 business owners with backgrounds as diverse as shoemaking, chicken farming, clothes retailing, graphic design, accountancy and even a would-be film producer. At the end of the week, the Director of the Private Sector Foundation asked if Umubano could come back and work with more businesspeople, who were also keen to learn. 'How many more?' the MPs asked. 'About 72,000!' was her answer.

This year the project is expanding and we expect to be able to offer business training sessions for a hundred businesses.

Project area - business

Project area - Private Sector

On the Private Sector Project during Project Umubano 2010 our volunteers also spent a week working with the Capital Markets Advisory Council (CMAC). The aim was to help CMAC make progress with their strategic initiative of developing the capital markets within Rwanda.

Workshops were hosted by our volunteer businesspeople, including information on the pricing, valuation and trading of bonds. Volunteers organised a trading game with teams buying and selling bonds, competing to win by making the most profit. In addition meetings were arranged with companies who intend to raise money on the capital markets via either a share offering or bond issue. The team also met with the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank to discuss challenges to economic and monetary stability, which are important to attract foreign investors into the capital markets.

Project Umubano were able to provide CMAC with financial calculators and text books, thanks to 7City and the CFA Institute respectively. The books have allowed CMAC to start their own business library for the benefit of their members.

Under the leadership of Fiona Bruce MP and Jeremy Lefroy MP, volunteers will continue this important work this summer.

Project area - private sector

Project area - Education

English language teaching continues to be a major component of Project Umubano in Rwanda following the decision by its government to make English the principal language of its education system. Every summer a large group of our volunteers deliver a spoken English language course in partnership with the Teaching Services Council.

In 2010 a group of Umubano volunteers from a wide range of ages and backgrounds taught spoken English to Rwandan teachers across the country. Working alongside Rwandan Trainers from the Ministry of Education, they used songs, games, debates in a learner-centred approach to teaching.

As part of the programme, Umubano volunteers also distributed English language dictionaries, which are donated to Rwandan teachers by Pearson Education. Last summer, A Longman Handy Learner's Dictionary was given to each of the 1,300 teachers taking part in four intensive English language courses in Kigali, and Southern, Eastern and Northern Provinces of the country. The dictionaries were used in the English lessons and were then taken back to the teachers' schools.

This summer volunteers taking part in the education project will once again have the opportunity to be located in three areas of Rwanda. As part of the programme, led this year by Wendy Morton who has participated in every Umubano since 2007, volunteers will be working in Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) assisting with the delivery of a pilot programme designed by the British Council.

In 2011, some of our volunteers will also deliver English language workshops to a group of young survivors of the 1994 genocide.

Project area - education

Project area - Justice

For the last two years the Project Umubano Justice team has been based in Sierra Leone. In a country where there are only 17 magistrates to serve a population of over six million our teams have been working with the Chief Justice and High Court on improving court processes.

Members of the Justice team have also given seminars to senior members of the judiciary, and with the addition of a former police trainer last year, we extended the work of the programme to include police officers.

We have also conducted sessions with over 500 police and prosecutors on evidence-gathering and preparing for prosecution. Building confidence in the police is essential to establishing law and order in Sierra Leone.

In 2010, the team also worked with Timap for Justice, an innovative non-profit organisation assisting with the training of paralegals.

Our team in Sierra Leone will be led again this year by David Mundell MP and will continue its important legal projects. The programme will involve an expanded team in Sierra Leone and will continue to build on the work Project Umubano 2009 and 2010.

Project area - justice

Project area - Street Child of Sierra Leone

This summer will see the start of an exciting partnership between Project Umubano and the excellent NGO Street Child of Sierra Leone led by Tom Dannatt (

Volunteers will be based in Makeni and will work on educational and entrepreneurship initiatives. The timing of the Project coincides with the busiest point in the Street Child of Sierra Leone cycle. Umubano volunteers will be based in summer schools and will be helping to prepare the children to return to full-time school in September.

There will also be an opportunity to become involved in recreational activities and assist with the development of business projects that have been established by the charity in Sierra Leone.

Project area - Street Child

Project Umubano

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An overview of Project Umubano from Stephen Crabb MP.