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New Sewing School

We wanted to share with you the news and photographs from one of our new sewing schools which has just been launches in Cyabatanzi – a region of Rwanda in much need of help as there are some really poor communities in this very rural area.


As you will read from the letter sent by one of our partners – Ephaste – there is great delight at being able to start this project – which was funded by money we raised and sent last year. This is what was said:


Dear Mrs.Heather Thomas and Mr.Tony 


I am delighted to share with you the photographs in attachment showing the start of Cyabatanzi sewing school.


On 8th of May 2024, I and the Treasurer of the FMC ( in red shirt ), on behalf of the Bishop met 24 young ladies and gentlemen  as well as the Parish leadership team who were so excited for this great opportunity of learning sewing skills. They send their sincere thanks, love and prayers from the overjoyed hearts. This is a poor and rural community who were not expecting help in this way - but

this help is being done from the funds you sent to us last year.


I will keep updated on the progress of the project.


We delivered 10 sewing machines, their accessories and materials that the learners will be using for their 10 months of the training. 


With love and greetings;  Ephaste Niyigena


In recent weeks – and thanks to some of the fundraising events we had in the autumn of last year – The Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mills Band Concert with The Perfect Pitch Choir in October – the community ‘Big Breakfast’ in November and our attendance at a Christmas Craft Fair where we sell the sewing items made in Rwanda – as well as a number of talks to local groups like Rotary, WIs, Community Groups etc - we have been able to send a further fairly substantial sum of money to support some of these grass-roots apprenticeship schemes – as well as giving livestock to widows who live without support. All, we feel, are so important in giving people a much needed ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out.’

Tony Brennan and I plan to return to Rwanda in September 2024 to visit some of the projects which have come to fruition since our last visit – and to let the communities know that what they are able to do with the funds we send is always of great interest to us and to the many people who support The Goboka Rwanda Trust.

We will again be holding a Concert in October 2024 and a Big Breakfast in November – so please look out for further details if you are interested in supporting us.

Heather Thomas

Cyabatanzi 2.JPG

During 2015, four sewing machines were gifted to four students
from some of our Sewing Schools in Rwanda as they finish their courses.
These have been purchased by individuals who wish to support the trust - and these young ladies - in this way. A sewing machine ensures a future career, even when a young woman marries and has a family
- and for someone who has worked hard over the past year to learn a new skill, such a gift can be truly life-changing. £100 is the cost of providing a machine, cottons and materials.

Over £1,000 of PHARP sewing goods sold very quickly since July - when they were brought back for us by visitors going out to Rwanda from the West Midlands. Beautifully coloured padded shopping bags, bags-in-a-bag, aprons, stuffed elephants and giraffe are among just some of the goods which are incredibly popular when we have them to sell.

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