Tuesday 14 January 2014

Team Kigali 

From Left to Right 
Theo, Sadie, Ed, Jon, Angie, Kat, Catherine and Tirion 

Muraho! It has been a busy and exciting week so far for all, arriving safely in Rwanda from the UK. We have met our team leader Tirion and our two in-country volunteers Theo and Catherine who will be joining us for the 10 weeks.  

During week one, our in-country Orientation week, we have been trying to learn ‘Kinyarwandan’ with help from Theo and Catherine with many laughs along the way as well as going on team visits and training sessions has all helped everyone settle into our new environment.
Leaving our extended ICS family was sad but finally arriving at our new home for the next 8 weeks here in Kabeza in Kigali is very exciting. We are staying in the Havugimana Israel Guest Centre named after the first team leader who set up AEE (African Evangelical Enterprise), our Tearfund partner here in Rwanda.  Havugimana Israel, along with two other AEE team members, was killed in the 1994 genocide.

Our first weekly meeting was held today with Phanuel, co-ordinator for the AEE Kigali field office.  Together with the other staff for AEE Kigali we started planning the projects that we hope to be involved with.   So it is here at the Guest House and AEE H.Q. that we will be based for the coming 9 weeks.

Meet The Team 


Introducing one of our National Volunteers, Rwandan born Theo is 23 years old and has recently graduated with a degree in accounting. He was keen to volunteer with ICS Tearfund in order to work alongside British volunteers; both to help relieve poverty in his home country, and to have a chance to improve his English skills. Theo is also an aspiring musician – he is hoping to learn the guitar in the next 10 weeks and to surprise his brother with it when the placement ends! His pet peeves are lies and slander.


Hailing from the south coast of England, Sadie has just finished her A-levels and is hoping to study International Relations at University in September – and what better way of preparing than a 3 month tour of Rwanda! Currently funding her year out by working in a pharmacy, her job left her wanting to explore different cultures, get out of her comfort zone and help volunteer overseas. As such, she applied for ICS with the aim learn more about development across the world; the perfect practical preparation for her course in September.  Her pet peeves include people being unclean/messy. 


Team win's resident guitarist, Ed was born in Surrey just outside from London, although he has made his home in Chester for the last 15 years. After an unsuccessful application to various universities last year, a year out seemed the obvious next step. Ed worked as a gardener and in retail at Fat Face, before making the trek to Rwanda. Having secured a place at Durham University second time around, ICS struck him as an excellent placement, due to its ideal length and practical structure. Ed also knew Tearfund’s reputation as a brilliant Christian charity, and one he knew the two were linked, he was sold. Pet peeves include mosquito bites and people being too uptight.


Jon made the wise move to take a year out of his University studies of Occupational Therapy, to ensure that his degree would lead him to the career he wanted to commit his energies to. As part of his year out, he worked in a care home to get a broader sense of what his work would entail, but also wanted to volunteer abroad to make a difference there as well.  ICS seemed like the perfect solution; allowing him to be on placement for long enough to make a significant difference, whilst leaving enough of the year when he comes back to address the issue of returning to university or pursuing another career. His pet peeves are people who constantly complain.


Graduating from the proud University of Portsmouth, Angie represents all the best that the south coast has to offer – wit, charm, charisma and finesse. After finishing University, Angie sought a new challenge, and so started working as an administrator for a local Nursery. However, after being seized by a desire that could only be described as wanderlust, she became desperate to escape the confines of Post-grad life. While looking around for an overseas experience, ICS caught her eye as she was keen to volunteer abroad and immerse herself in a completely different culture. 3 months later, and she loving every second of Rwanda. Her pet peeves include people using her personal sponge. Seriously. Don’t.


Youth-worker by day – Animal (retail assistant) by night; Kat Lewis forms the spiritual core of Team Win. Kat is passionate about all things Theological and Biblical, and if volunteering as a Youth Worker with South West Youth Work taught her anything, it’s that God always sees the bigger picture. Wanting to have an experience of something totally different and outside her comfort zone, ICS struck her as the perfect opportunity to help people by using her existing skills, whilst still developing new ones. Hoping to study Theology at KCL next year, Kat has said her pet peeves involve rudeness and others being impolite.


Our second National Volunteer, Catherine is originally from Uganda but moved to Rwanda when she was 9. She is currently studying a degree in Public Health, involving the role of the local environment and personal hygiene among other factors. Catherine is hoping to help community development and improve child care in the projects we visit with her knowledge from her University Studies. She is hoping to become more confident from her interactions with the U.K. volunteers, coming from a completely different culture and background. Another keen musician, Catherine loves to sing as well. Her pet peeves are people against God.


A champion of all things educational, Tirion Awel is our Team Leader. Tirion was a secondary school teacher in Swansea, teaching Drama, English and Welsh, before coming out to Rwanda 3 months ago. Having already led a previous team of ICS volunteers, Team Win feels in especially capable hands. She was attracted to ICS by both the need for a career break and a desire to experience other careers in a more Christian setting. Her pet peeves involve bad manners, and people insisting that Welsh is a dead language.


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