Chemmy Alcott finds peace in Rwanda
Last week, Britain's number one female alpine skier and Right To Play Ambassador, Chemmy Alcott, visited Right To Play projects in Rwanda. Here is a piece Chemmy wrote about her experience.
I was invited to Rwanda by Right To Play to see first hand the success of their projects.
I came expecting to feel sorry for the people here. These people who not long ago suffered horrific humanitarian loss.
I left realising that this Amahoro (peace) Generation are united through their overriding ability to FORGIVE and live through HOPE - this I have found to be present in EVERY Rwandese person - child, teacher, mother and father I have met.
The horrendous 1990s genocide may have left deep scars but because of its wonderful people with their huge hearts and ability to forgive and remain living next to neighbours who had previously inflicted them so much pain and heartache, the country is truly flourishing.
Children have hope - because of programmes like Right To Play their attendance in school is up so they are learning more, they have more confidence, girls are learning that it is okay for them to speak in public, they understand that by working as a team they are more likely to succeed, they learn respect - in essence they now have a VOICE.
Development work HAS to be with children. Not only are they our future but they have this unbreakable SPIRIT which has been so visible on this trip. Our children are brought up as a product of their influences - so we should endeavour to always surround them with positive direction so they grown to become positive members of our society.
The difference I made in Rwanda in just a few days feels far greater than what I could do at home. The ball starts rolling - you think with what I have seen Right To Play doing here in just a few days - contributing to such huge social improvements, you could change the world.
2014 was and still is a year of horrific humanitarian crisis with more refugees in the world than ever before - this experience here in Rwanda has yet again reminded me of the power of sport and the values that is teaches everyone, with which we could make this world a far more peaceful place.
Amahoro everyone xx