Last week, I went on an insight trip to Rwanda with The Social Investment Consultancy, led by Jake Hayman. With seven of us in the group, we brought together a mixture of backgrounds and professions including finance, communications, philanthropy and journalism – and we spent a busy five days meeting with a wide range of industry leaders and visiting projects across various districts in order to better understand the opportunity for potential partnerships and investment, be they commercial, social or philanthropic. Our interests ran from health, to gender equality, education, agriculture, commerce, social enterprise and beyond. I think I speak for the group when I say that Rwanda paints a remarkable picture of growth and ambition. It is not without its problems – those we witnessed, those which history makes plain, and those which were alluded to in confidence by the people we met. But problems can be overcome, and Rwanda has already demonstrated a staggering capacity for this.
Over the course of a few brief chapters, I will write about my experience of Rwanda in the short time I spent there. I plan to cover the issues which were absolutely standout for me: the legacy of genocide; gender equality; health and wellbeing; and employment and enterprise. These will be scratch thoughts – many more remarkable people who have lived and breathed in Rwanda have written exceptionally about the country, and I cannot hope to emulate. But I wish, in writing what I can, to try and convey the one thing I learned above all else – when all else is lost, there are very deep reserves of hope we little humans are capable of drawing from.