Aer Lingus UNICEF Ambassadors Rwanda Field Trip 2017

The 2017 Aer Lingus UNICEF Ambassadors have just completed a field trip to Rwanda. Cabin Crew member, Helen Condon (pictured below, far left) shares her experiences.

Unicef Change for Good
The cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the plaque was assisted by the local Mayor and Aer Lingus UNICEF Ambassador Jamie Mangado.  
It was clear that the Mayor and the local community couldn’t be more thankful to Aer Lingus guests, cabin crew and to UNICEF Ireland. The wide smiles and bright eyes spoke volumes to how much these young children were looking forward to the excitement and opportunity of attending this new facility.
Unicef Change for Good
Carina Caffrey shares her photos with some local children at the opening of the Early Childhood Development Centre.
We then travelled to a community-based nutrition programme located in a remote area. The programme is facilitated by a local woman who gave up her home and plot of land to the community in order to educate locals on the nutritional benefits of a balanced diet. Sadly, many of the area’s children are malnourished. The programme includes education on how to grow root vegetables including, believe it or not, Irish potatoes! Once the produce is harvested they are taught how to cook and utilise the crop to its full nutritional value.
Unicef Change for Good
This woman opened her home to allow her community to grow vegetables in her garden and have regular cooking demonstrations in her kitchen.
Babies of up to two years of age are brought once a month to be weighed and measured to ensure they are getting the correct nutrition and are gaining weight at the appropriate rate. Without this facility a lot of children from this rural area would sadly not survive.
During our trip, we also paid a visit a primary and secondary school to observe a busy reading class in full swing. The welcome that all the ambassadors received was one of warmth and openness. We were given a guided tour of the classrooms by the principal. The average age for pre-school is from two to six years, and primary school kids range from ages seven to twelve. Over 2,000 students pass through the doors on a daily basis.
Unicef Change for Good

 

It’s been an absolute pleasure and honour to visit Rwanda. Through our visits and interactions we got a deep understanding that the people of Rwanda are very resilient, adaptable and very forgiving despite the history this country has gone through.

Helen Condon – 2017 Aer Lingus Unicef Ambassador