Roses’ David’s go on life changing trip to Rwanda …

Sunday 17th May 2020

Bonnyrigg Rose Community Football Clubs  2007’s coaches were approached by Hearts F C Community lead  Chalky White and the SFA’s Chaplain , Mark Fleming (who also delivers some of Bonnyrigg Roses’s Community Clubs Positive Mental Health sessions) to see if they were interested in going on a journey of sharing  and supporting by visiting and supporting, Children in Rwanda.

The trip as a follow up to Tranent Colts and Hearts who went out to visit Rwanda previously and thought it would be great to get other Community and Legacy clubs involved.

David Hamilton and Dave Fairgrieve  both put their names forward and before they knew it along with 16 coaches from Hearts, Tranent, Spartans, Penicuik, Murieston, Ormiston  Clubs, the fundraising started, football kits were collected and Bonnyrigg Rose Teams contributed by donating toothpaste, toothbrushes and ankle socks which the team travelling were taking for some of the poorest kids in Rwanda. Collectively, the 16 coaches took over 100kg of  items with them.

The Coaches visited schools affected by the genocide, coached at over 10 locations across the country and saw many interesting and unusual football pitches. They coached disabled kids, youths, boys girls.

During the trip the coaches visited 3 genocide memorial sites which really resonated and helped them understand the culture of Rwanda bit more.  The 3 sites had 300000 bodies buried in them . This was very reflective experience .

The beauty of the country is a contrast to the horrors that took place previously.  There is a remarkable spirit of community and togetherness that all the coaches took inspiration from.

Their gratitude for the gifts was met with a plea to tell the story of their country and to come back again.

During the trip we visited many projects supporting young people ans we plan to continue to support a project from Bonnyrigg. We hope this story inspires other to get involved in this project in the future. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

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