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Volunteer bridge builders depart for Rwanda in just over a week!

Breaking Ground in Rugusa 
 Photo: COWI.

Breaking ground in Rugusa

​​Ten COWI employees are soon off to Rwanda to build a footbridge with the non-profit organisation Bridges to Prosperity.

​The purpose is to help local residents out of rural isolation. But the departure date is approaching quickly and the team need your help…

For nearly 10 weeks every year, approximately 850 residents in Rugusa, a village in the South region of Rwanda, are cut off from the rest of the community, due to the high water levels that make the nearby Akanyaru river impassable. This means that children are unable to attend school and farmers are prevented from selling their harvest at the market securing their livelihood.

However, this is about to change. Ten dedicated COWI volunteers are leaving for Rugusa in just over a week, to work alongside locals to help construct a 60 metre suspended footbridge.

"Access is such a fundamental thing. If you can’t get to basic facilities – to school, to medical aid, to market to trade your crops or livestock etc. – the chances of escaping poverty are slim. Simple as that. The planned Rugusa Bridge in Rwanda will be another important step towards bringing people out of isolation," says Ian Firth, Director of COWI in the UK (formerly Flint & Neill) and Chairman of the Bridges to Prosperity UK Trust.

The local construction team have already broken ground, and work to construct the foundations has begun. The COWI volunteer team can't wait to get on site to work alongside them in building this bridge.

But the clock is ticking and the team needs to raise more funds to cover expenses before they depart on January 21st.

Rebecca Abel, COWI volunteer and team communications manager said "We are absolutely floored by the generosity and support of our COWI colleagues and Clients so far in helping us raise awareness and funds for the Rugusa Bridge project. We have managed to raise a remarkable amount of money in such a short space of time, but we're still around £7500 short of our goal. No matter how big or small, a donation to the project helps bring safe, year-round access to markets, schools and health care and provides an isolated community with the opportunities they need to thrive."

You can donate to this Bridges to Prosperity project by clicking here.

About Bridges to Prosperity (B2P)

​Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) is a non-profit organisation providing isolated communities with access to essential health care, education and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers. Since its beginning in 2001, the organisation has supported or constructed more than 200 footbridges in 20 countries, serving over one million people.

LAST UPDATED: 23.01.2017