Our 25 Year Partnership with Rwanda, Africa
For more than 25 years, we, the St. George Girl Guides (PSG), Germany, have had a partnership with the Association of Guides in Rwanda (AGR).
The capital of Rwanda (Africa) – the land of a thousand hills – is Kigali. This is a land that borders on Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Zaire, and which is inhabited by the Tutsi and Hutu tribes. It is a land that is trying to come to peace more once in the wake of many wars and massacres.
Guides in Rwanda
The AGR is a Catholic Girls’ and Women’s association, which, like us, belongs to the World Association of Guides (WAGGGS). For the AGR it is simply taken for granted that the different ethnic groups of the Huts and Tutsi will come together in the clans. What matters, is that they are all Guides. In Rwanda, just as in Germany, there are both urban and rural Guiding clans. The national centre of the AGR is located in the capital city of Kigali.
For many girls and women the AGR is not only a free time activity. In addition to providing opportunities for fun, music and culture, the AGR also runs projects for and with girls. The every-day work of the group involves animal husbandry, agriculture, needlework and handicrafts, as well as education for health and hygiene. Moreover, there are special projects for girls in need. The motto of the AGR is: “Whoever encourages women helps to develop the nation”.
The Partnership of the AGR and the PSG
We learn about similarities and differences through personal encounters. Our foreignness is overcome, trust develops and we learn to live internationally. As a girls’ and women’s association we learn from one another how to work against racism.
Personal contact is important for the furtherance of the partnership between German and Rwandan Guides. The cheerful, open and courageous manner of the Rwandans draws us to them. Friendships are formed as a result of personal encounters. Many women in the PSG have been to Rwanda in recent years and many Rwandian Guides have come to Germany. Visits to the clans of the relative associations strengthen trust and deepen friendships.
Muraho – Hello!
The PSG supports the AGR morally and financially through events and projects in the clans and dioceses. In group meetings by means of a variety of events, clan contacts, solidarity projects, our girls and young women learn about the way of life of Rwandian Guides. Games, recipes, stories, and last but not least, the products of Rwanda which are sold here, further this learning process.
The AGR decides on its own which projects they will support with the money which has been collected in Germany, for instance, support of solitary children, women’s projects, Guide groups, etc.
.... our partnership continues!