Laura's Rwanda mercy mission

By Jessica Elgot, December 2, 2010
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Laura Roth's week in rwanda with WJR was inspired by her late brother's plans to help genocide survivors

Laura Roth's week in rwanda with WJR was inspired by her late brother's plans to help genocide survivors

Laura Roth says her late brother's passion for helping survivors of the Rwandan genocide inspired her to go on World Jewish Relief's Rwandan mission to honour his memory.

Ms Roth, 28, from Finchley, has always wanted to visit the country. Her brother Nick, who died six years ago in a climbing accident, had been planning to work at the Rwandan genocide tribunals in Tanzania.

"He was passionate about helping under-privileged kids around the world. He'd never visited the country and so when the opportunity came up for me to go, it was amazing."

Ms Roth, who works in publishing, spent a week with street children at a WJR-sponsored project in the eastern province of Kyonza.

The scheme helped more than 200 with a home and vocational training.

Her place on the mission was largely financed by the Ansel Harris Memorial Fund and she joined five WJR donors, along with the charity's head of international programmes and partnerships.

"Working with the children was a lovely experience. We bonded over just a few days. I felt I got to know them.

"We also visited a group of women genocide survivors, which was very hard. They were severely traumatised, so we talked about the support they were getting.

"The best experience was visiting the former street kids who had been helped by the project. Two were married and had a child, they lived in a very basic home but welcomed us in there. They would never have had that without the work of the charity."

Ms Roth, who supports a trust in her brother's memory, now hopes to use some of the money to help the projects.

    Last updated: 1:29pm, December 2 2010