Africa Matters 
Christmas Newsletter 2019

Welcome to the Christmas edition of Africa Matters – because people do matter (if you get the pun!) wherever they live in the world.
Don’t you agree?

There’s lots of news so please do scroll down to see what’s been happening on our projects.

If you’d like to give the Gift of Physiotherapy this Christmas, find out what your money can buy and please consider making a donation to our ASFA Physio Centre Staff Appeal 2020. This will help pay for 8 full-time physio staff plus food for 10-12 inpatients and 5 carers in 2020. What could be a better gift than that?!

Learn more about the work of the physio team in ASFA Physio Clinical, get a building update in ASFA Physio Construction and there's news from Rusuzumiro and Muganza Schools too.

Finally, if you'd like to sponsor a secondary school student for three years, please read about our Umuganda* Education Program. This opportunity can set a child up for life and can be a rewarding experience for you too.

No matter how big or small, every penny directly impacts our beneficiaries and their families. So, please do help us if you can. Together, we can Make a Difference!

Thank you for your support and HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Troy, Ali, Kate, Jette, Margo and Richard
@MAD 4 Africa 

* Umuhanga means clever/able in Kinyarwanda. 

ASFA Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre - clinical

It’s been a busy time for the clinical team as they try to keep the children focused on achieving their goals despite all the construction action happening next door! The building can’t happen soon enough as it’s still pretty cosy in the dorm...not long to go now though!

Team ASFA Physio treat, care and encourage young disabled children to maximise their independence and achieve their goals 24/7.
Working towards these goals requires skill, compassion and lots of patience. Family circumstances can, at times, be complex too making the work even more challenging. We thank and praise the physio team for their on-going commitment to provide a high quality service in the first dedicated paediatric physiotherapy clinic in the District. RESPECT!

Magic moments when children achieve their milestones or enjoy a hearty giggle during therapeutic play can, however, makes it all worthwhile ☺

Left: Children enjoying water play
Right: Practicing sitting in locally available materials like basins means the parents can continue physio at home and don't have to rely on expensive specialist equipment from the centre

So what have the physio team been doing?
A comprehensive review of the 174 patients on ASFA Physio’s books resulted in paediatric patients being prioritised for short-term inpatient treatment and rehabilitation and/or outpatient treatment and a number of discharges. Our waiting list remains long, however, and we look forward to opening the doors of the new centre to expand the physiotherapy service in 2020. 

The admissions criteria has also been reviewed and now includes an enhanced induction session for parents so they are fully aware of the role they can play in the therapeutic development of their child.  

There's also been further CPD training on cerebral palsy and safeguarding and a two-day first aid course including certificates for all participants!

Huge thanks to physiotherapists, Diogene Murwanashyaka and Jessica Edwards and all the team for all their hard work - the service is now in a strong position for future growth. We salute you!

ASFA Physio Centre Staff Appeal 2020

Once accredited as a health care provider, our new centre will be run jointly by our local partners, Les Sœurs Pénitentes de Saint François d'Assise au Rwanda and the Rwandan government, in the same way they manage Muganza Health Centre. Until then, however, we need to raise approx. £16,000 to fund 8 full-time physio staff plus food for 10-12 inpatients and 5 carers in 2020.

What can my donation buy each month?

  • £20 pays for a child or carer's food
  • £30 pays a carer’s salary 
  • £55 buys porridge and fruit for all the inpatients and carer's
  • £100 -£150 pays for a physio assistant 
  • £300 pays for a fully qualified physiotherapist. 
No matter how big or small, every penny will Make a Difference so please donate here if you'd like to help. Thank you! 

ASFA Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre – construction update

Rain pours down daily at this time of year in Rwanda but the builders make the most of every single dry spell to keep the project on track.  

Exterior walls are nearly complete, the septic tank holes have been excavated and electricity and wait for it… the running water supply (!) is being connected as we go to press! If the rainy season remains manageable we hope the roof will be on by January 2020 meaning that work in the next rainy season can continue under cover!

It’s an exciting, busy and muddy time (!) for project manager, Jean Dusabe who is doing an amazing job managing up to 130 labourers on site each day.
Thank you Jean – you are a complete legend!
We are proud to be creating positive short-term impact by employing so many local people as well as contributing to the longer-term impact of building the first dedicated paediatric physiotherapy centre in the District.
Jean Dusabe - project manager

Construction labourers, Delphine and Pierre, tell us what working on site at ASFA Physio means to them...

“My name is AYINGENEYE Delphine, and I live in Muganza. I heard about this project from other people of Muganza and I came around to check. This is one month working here. We are getting paid without a problem and this job will help me to set up a small business that will help me in my life. Getting a job is not easy, it is a chance.”


“My name is NIYOMUGABO Pierre, I’m 24 years old, I live in Nyabimata sector is about 4 km from there to here at Muganza, I heard about this project when I came to church as this is our parish. And I decided to come here to ask for a job. 

I have been working here for about one and a half month, this job is helping me to feed myself, and I think as I keep working I have other life objectives that I will be able to achieve like buying domestic animal. ”


Rusuzumiro School – ICT Smart Classroom Project

Construction on the first ICT classrooms at Rusuzumiro School started in September 2019. Generously funded by the enthusiastic students and parents at Barnes Primary School, these classrooms have been built on the positive energy of sponsored runs, bike rides, movie nights, birthday parties, generous donations and lots of singing just to name but a few creative fund raising ideas! Construction is estimated for completion in January 2020.

Of the 32 builders on site, 31 have children or siblings at Rusuzumiro School. This illustrates the positive short-term impact of providing employment and raising standards of living for a number of local families plus the longer-term impact of two new school ICT classrooms that will be used by students for years to come.

The Rwandan government has pledged to provide 100 computers on completion of the Smart Classroom project but unfortunately the school doesn’t have any spare tables or chairs! If you can help raise money for 20 tables and 100 chairs please click here to make a donation. Thank you! 

Project Cost: £2,500 (we’re over half way there already!)

Muganza School – the new is library is complete!

Muganza School’s first stand-alone library is now in full swing. Built with funds raised by the generous and dynamic community at Thomson House School, Mortlake, it has been wonderful to witness children and teachers getting lost in a new world of books….

Teacher and library co-ordinator, Damien Niyonzima reports that…

“Library time is now on the school curriculum, and all classes, from primary to secondary have a library period”. 
Damien’s “50 Reasons to Read” are painted on the floor of the library and include:
Books build self-esteem
Books help in achieving life’s goals
Books help you grow
Books inspire
Books build nations
Books take you to a world of dreams

We admire Damien’s inspirational words and his dedication to teaching. We love his positive personality too!

Umuhanga Secondary School Education Program

We have a small education fund that sponsors recently graduated Senior 3 students from Rusuzumiro or Muganza Schools to continue their education at government boarding schools of excellence.

The scholarship is based on financial need and academic merit. It costs approximately GBP£350 per year to sponsor a student, depending on the course/school inclusive of registration fees and tuition fees and if required, uniform, shoes, basic living items e.g. tooth brush and transport to and from school. Fees need to be paid yearly in advance or as a lump sum to guarantee the student can finish senior secondary school.

Supporting a student through their final years of school education can be an extremely rewarding experience and can set a child up for life.  If you are interested in finding out more please kindly email

And last but not least….

Thank you for supporting our projects in 2019. We warmly wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and remember…

 “If you think you’re too small to Make a Difference, try sleeping with a mosquito!”


Troy, Ali, Kate, Jette, Margo and Richard
@MAD 4 Africa 

Copyright © 2019 MAD 4 Africa, All rights reserved.

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