Sleaford businesswoman Claire Darch inspired by trip to Rwanda
A SLEAFORD business woman who felt inspired after a trip to Rwanda has set up a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation to raise money to help people there start their own businesses.
Claire Darch, 37, went to Rwanda last April with Aegis Trust and after “falling in love with the place” decided she wanted to do something to help the people there create sustainable employment so set up the charity ‘Ishya International’ with a friend who lives there.
Miss Darch said: “The people who I work with are very proud and very keen to work. They are great people who have overcome some of the most horrendous experiences.
“The women I am currently working with are all survivors or orphans of the genocide and after speaking to and working with them I am amazed how they continue after their experiences. It makes me realise how small my problems are.”
The organisation provides education and work to set up sustainable businesses for widows and orphans in the Bugesera district and the aim is that of sustainability and not to rely solely on donations.
One of the projects organised by Ishya International was to provide some of the women with pineapple seeds and a plot of land to enable them to now grow pineapples to sell.
Claire has organised a charity craft fair in April which will take place in the church hall at Riverside Church to raise funds to purchase the equipment for a bakery in Rwanda.
The event will run from 10.30am until 3pm and there will be craft stalls, jewellery stands, face painting, a tombola, raffle and Rwandan crafts will be available to buy.
There will also be a chance to see some of the work Ishya has done in Rwanda so far and for people to discuss the work they do.
Miss Darch also goes into the Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy to talk to the girls there about the Rwandan Genocide and the progress which has been made since.
She said: “The pupils are very interested in it and ask some great questions. The head of geography is very supportive of educating the girls about Rwanda.”
To find out more about the work that Ishya does check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IshyaInternational .