During the Rwandan genocide of 1994, over 800,000 people were killed. Since then, the country has undergone a period of reconstruction and reconciliation and there is a real role for sport to further build trust and foster shared experiences between Rwanda’s two main ethnic groups.
 
Friends of Rwandan Rugby (FoRR) was set up in 2004 by founding member - Emma Rees. Emma was working as a VSO volunteer, teaching English in the Rwandan village of Shyogwe, and realised that her students were unfamiliar with the game of rugby. As a consequence, Emma used a single ball, and a number of socks filled up with sand (for markers), in order to teach her pupils the fundamentals of the game. Thus FoRR began …
 
Since 2004, FoRR has concentrated its efforts on introducing rugby to boys and girls in both rural schools and youth groups. In collaboration with the Rwandan Rugby Federation (who have set up an adult Rwandan rugby programme), FoRR have established rugby communities in Kigali, as well as in the Northern, Eastern and Southern regions of Rwanda.
 
FoRR maintains the development of grassroots rugby in Rwanda through the employment of rugby development officers and by asking volunteers to head out to the country to provide voluntary coaching services …
 
In February 2014, Simon Gilbert is to head out to Rwanda to help to introduce TAG rugby to rural school children. Whilst Simon’s trip is voluntary, he’s in need of funding to help with his travel and subsistence and he would also be extremely grateful if any company or individual would like to donate any kit for him to take out. Therefore, if anyone would like to support Simon, please see his fundraising page or contact Support through Sport UK.
 
For more information on FoRR, check out their website.
 
Also check out a recent FoRR film: