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June - July 2009
THE LOOMBA TRUST EMPOWERS 500 GENOCIDE WIDOWS IN RWANDA
The Loomba Trust, in partnership with Oxfam and the Mayor of Kigali, have come together to empower and support 850 poor widows, including 500 survivors of the genocide through a range of self help initiatives including mushroom growing.
Cherie Blair, wife of the former British Prime Minister and the Trust’s President, and Founder Chairman of the Trust, Raj Loomba, headed up a mission to Kigali during which they launched the partnership project.
Launched originally in India where it now runs educational programmes in all 29 states, the Loomba Trust currently operates in nine countries to support widow survivors and people living in poverty, caught up in areas of conflict.
The growing importance of the Trust’s work worldwide was underscored by the reception it received from the Rwandan government officials.
His Excellency President Paul Kagame hosted a dinner to officially launch the Loomba Trust in his country on the eve of the official week of mourning for the 1994 genocide, in which 1,000,000 innocent victims, including half of the male heads of all households, were slaughtered.
The following day, Cherie Blair, Raj Loomba and his wife Veena, were the guests of the President at a commemoration service when the President rekindled the Flame of Remembrance to ensure the memories of the tragic events remain permanently woven into the fabric of the country.
With Rwanda today still dealing with the aftermath of the conflict 15 years on, the decision of the Loomba Trust to work in partnership with Oxfam and the Mayor of Kigali, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacycira has been warmly welcomed.
It was a chance meeting between the Mayor of Kigali and Raj Loomba at a Commonwealth Business Conference last year that resulted in the Loomba Trust extending its operations to Rwanda.
This followed on within days of the Trust being officially launched in neighbouring Kenya where it is supporting young widows and their youths through the Loomba Trust Entrepreneur programme in partnership with the Kenya Youth Business Trust, part of Youth Business International, a charity set up by His Royal Highness Prince Charles.