Rotarians boost business abroad


Two members of the Rotary Club of Lewes Castle have been giving business training to those living in the Kigeme Diocese of Rwanda.

John Clark and Chris Spinks have been travelling to Rwanda for the last ten years to encourage entrepreneurship so that local access to The Basket Fund for Development is facilitated. The aim of the fund is to lend money to the poorest people in the area, to enable them to start or expand their own small businesses. The fund now totals £38,000 and had made 1,815 loans since it started, all of which have resulted in successful outcomes.

Some examples of this include Anastasie, whose home was destroyed by floods. She successfully applied for a long and now has a new home, some land, some goats and a cow, and is able to pay for her children to receive schooling. Francis also received a loan to expand his small timber business, and now owns a forest.

Other loans were made to villagers so they could buy more land and plant more crops, fruit and vegetables to enable them to become self-sufficient in providing food for their families.

The cost of the business training provided by the two Lewes Rotarians is covered by The Rotary Club of Lewes Castle, which has also contributed £2,000 to the fund this year alone.

This summer, the club will be heavily involved in organising a dinner dance with music and cabaret to help the people of Lewes celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. ‘A Right Royal Celebration’ will be held on Saturday, May 21 in Lewes Town Hall.

The event will be in aid of three local causes - The Oyster Project, Landport Youth Centre and St Peter & St James Hospice.

Tickets cost £35 and are limited in number, with several tables already reserved. Call 01273 813048 for more information.