In 100 days of genocide in 1994 more than 800,000 Rwandans were brutally murdered. Since then, many beacons of hope have arisen. We hope that the Together Partnership is a small example.
The background to the organisation comes from the genocide through Scottish nurse, Lesley Bilinda. She worked in Rwanda from 1988 and married a Rwandan teacher and pastor, Charles Bilinda. On holiday in Kenya when the genocide began, Lesley escaped almost certain death. Sadly, Charles was not so fortunate.
After spending time back in Scotland, Lesley returned to Rwanda and set up an educational trust in memory of her husband. One of the first recipients of support from the trust was Nicholas Hitimana and his family, who were brought to Scotland in 1995. Nicholas studied at the University of Edinburgh, achieving his masters degree then going on to complete a PhD in agriculture.
Nicholas returned to Rwanda determined to bring reconciliation in some way by using his skills. The result was the creation of the pioneering agribusiness Ikirezi (www.ikirezi.com) which now employs around 800 orphans, widows and small farmers.
Through our contact with Lesley Bilinda and Nicholas Hitimana, the Together Partnership was born. Now it is working to support the Ikirezi project and other Rwandan companies, to build partnerships between like-minded companies here in Scotland and in Rwanda, and to transform lives in both countries. More information about Ikirezi and other initiatives supported by TTP can be found elsewhere on this site.