Graduate joins Rwandan mercy mission for WJR

On message: Hannah Goldie’s T-shirt slogan reflects her views on the Rwandan aid trip

On message: Hannah Goldie’s T-shirt slogan reflects her views on the Rwandan aid trip

An Oxford graduate has taken part in a charity trip to Rwanda to help current or former street children reintegrate into family life and wider society.

Hannah Goldie, 22, spent a week in Kayonza, an eastern Rwandan province as part of a 10-person World Jewish Relief mission. She was chosen from close on 20 young applicants for a place largely financed by “a generous subsidy” from the Ansel Harris Memorial Fund.

The North Londoner explained that after graduating in June with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics, she decided to take a gap year “to gain some experience in international development. I wanted to see bits of the world that you can’t see going on holiday.”

In Rwanda she visited a school and children’s centres, helping with chores and joining vocational training sessions. Some of the youngsters she met were head of their households.

“They are inspiring children,” she said. “Most come from really difficult backgrounds and have overcome so much.”

Also on the trip was WJR programmes manager Cassie Williams, who said the mission had given participants “a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“The experiences were deeply intense and humbling,” she added. “The group really got to understand rural African poverty and the need for Jewish organisations to help non-Jewish people.

“Each person developed personal relationships with different kids, which was beneficial for both sides.”

At the end of her gap year, Ms Goldie will join the Civil Service, starting in the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

    Last updated: 5:37pm, October 29 2009