Dedicated to Joel Fort
September 30, 1929 ~ August 23, 2015
“The greatest power we have is the power to do good (and do no harm).”
Joel Fort – Sponsor of the Veterinary Training
“So many thanks to the Fort Fund and World Dance for Humanity for bringing such huge transformation to community members through the improvement of their knowledge and skills.” – Justin Bisengimana, Rwanda Program Director
During the first week of August, 2015, World Dance for Humanity hosted a pilot Veterinary Training for six of the Cooperatives we work with in Rwanda. The training was funded by World Dance class fees and by Joel Fort of the Fort Foundation. Very sadly, Joel passed away just a few days after receiving our report about the Training he sponsored. The video, above, is an expression of gratitude from the Rwandans who benefited so much from the Training. Inspired by the success of this training, a San Francisco family is helping to fund a Training for our remaining 14 cooperatives.
It took some time to organize this because I was looking for the right trainer who has a real love for the communities and a desire to take people to a different new knowledge level. Luckily enough we found an expert called Joseph who teaches in a government institution. He is not just a trainer but also a community member devoted to uplifting the Rwandan people.
We three members from each of six cooperatives: Murindi, Komera, Joy, Tubeho, Cokawi and Abadacogora. They all stayed in the hotel in Kigali where the training took place.
They learned about chickens on the first day, cows on the second, and goats on the third. The training focused on livestock feeding practices, preventing animal diseases, caring for sick animals, and breeding. They enjoyed it so much, as everybody wants to run their livestock farming in a professional way. They were so interested in what they were learning and asked so many questions – they didn’t even want to take time for breaks. They worked very hard without wasting any of their minutes of training time.
During lunch they had time to share their experiences in smaller groups. In the evenings we watched videos of WD4H’s work in Rwanda. This gave the members a sense of what other cooperatives are doing and this was another way of learning. They went to bed very late, as we spent much time talking together about the development of their cooperatives, the blessings and challenges everyone is experiencing.
On the second day, the participants had a Skype call with Janet, Jackie, and Genevieve from WD4H. During the Youth Leadership Training in December, our students had a Skype call with their Sponsors, and when they went back home they shared such a great news with their parents and guardians who could not understand how you can talk to someone in America and you are in Rwanda watching each other. This was a dream for them. In order to make their dream a reality, a Skype call was organized and it was made. Having Skype for them has really been a great story they are sharing with all community members – the chance to talk to people from faraway, face to face. The Skype during our Vet Training was a very memorable thing in their lives – a new story has been created because of that.
On the last day before they went back home we organized a wrap-up to hear what the training meant for the participants. They all agreed that they had gained so much by sharing their experiences: learning from each others mistakes and working out ways to prevent them, and learning from successes and copying them. They now know what practices to continue, and stop some practices they are using. They are moving from being traditional in farming to being professional.
A training like this brings them out of their traditional lifestyle and helps them taste and compare more modern ways of doing things. Both sides are really needed in any development journey. The training also brought them a sense of belonging to a caring family, World Dance for Humanity. We hope Joel and WD4H can see the impact of their donations to Rwandan communities, and we pray for so many blessings upon all of you who contributed. So many thanks go to you for your acceptance to serve in this way.
Joseph, the Veterinary Trainer: “I was so much amazed by these people – their courageous approach to what they have begun with their livestock, and their willingness and commitment to learn. It is very clear that they are going to apply everything I taught them. It really built my confidence that I was giving what was needed. Supporting people like these is not in vain.”
Jane, Komera Cooperative: “Our lives have been so transformed since we connected with our dear dancers and sisters. We are going to set a very good examples in our community. The knowledge we acquire from this training will bring miracles in our livestock. We had a thousand questions but they are all answered and we can simply see the direction in which we are going to take our livestock program for a sustainable development. We can do all this because our friends and donors from WD. So many thanks to them.”
Beatha, Cokawi Cooperative: “It is always true that good moments don’t last long. I wish we would have more time together in this place. Everything was amazing – our training, and being together. There is no way I can thank the donor enough. Miracles are going to happen in our livestock program because of knowledge and skills we get out of here.”
Moments from the Training – Click photo to enlarge: