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St Lukes Church, Formby, has sent a staggering £348,482 to Rwanda

St Lukes Church, Formby, has sent a staggering £348,482 to the tiny impoverished country of Rwanda since the formation of its Shyira Trust in 2006. And its chairman, Professor Allan Hobson, MBE, wishes to thank all those who support them.

It was back in 2000 that Allan, of Lime Tree Way, Formby, a lay reader of St Lukes, went out to Rwanda following the 1994 genocide and found that the maternity hospital in the hill top village of Shyira was in ruins. He vowed to help.

Recently Rev Jane Morgan, MBE, who serves at Holy Trinity Southport, visited and has just brought back the grateful thanks of those who have benefited from the fundraising.

The rebuilding of the hospital, training of midwives, and restoration of maternity services means there has only been one maternal death since, far lower than expected in this north eastern African country. As it is now overcrowded, the government want to build a new hospital on level ground at the foot of the mountain to the tune of £3 million. St Lukes has pledged to help contribute to the £1m the local diocese needs to raise. It has just sent £31,300 to help purchase the land.

The Trust has also been supporting 21 child-headed families, whose parents had died, schooling the younger children, and now helping the children who headed up the families, who had to stay at home. These children have now attended technical college or learnt skills to help their community and earn a living. The Trust has also sent them money for tools and equipment.

St Lukes’ Shyira Trust has also built a Children’s Centre which is used by 400 children and young people on Sundays and during the week. Two secondary schools in the area presently have 65 pupils whose school are fees paid by Trust supporters. They have also helped with painting the bare walls of Shyira primary school. Children from St Philip and St Paul Primary School in Southport also sent letters to Shyira pupils, who were delighted to receive them.

The work of the Trust continues to support the women of Shyira. Many in the district are widows with little or no income. With money from the Trust, the pastor’s wife, Peace Ruzindana has put them into little ‘families’ to pool their resources. Jane Morgan took, from the people of Formby, blankets, mosquito nets, knitting wool, needles and money to purchase mattresses and essentials.

Finally the Trust has also been able to help the impoverished community of Butaka, about 8,500 feet up the slopes of a dormant volcano, near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. St Lukes’ and the Shyira Trust has raised funds to build a church/community centre in the district. The land has been bought and building started. They also support the pastor Moses, whose normal stipend is just £10 a month, to support himself, wife and family, including two orphans he has adopted.

If you are interested in the work of the Shyira Trust, or wish to help with fundraising, please check out

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