We are Juliette et Mathilde, students of the College Saint Quirin de Huy in Belgium. We participated in a development project in Rwanda during the Carnaval holiday, along with 14 other students from our school.
We are going to speak to you about the solidarity that exists between Belgians and Rwandans, that is to say, between North and South.
When we went to the work sites, we talked at length with the inhabitants. Despite the kilometres that separate us, we were interested in what they had to say and they answered all of our questions! However, the language barrier prevented us from communicating with them as freely as we had hoped.
During our spare time, we would go out to meet people. We wanted to know how they lived.
We even went to visit a secondary school in Rwanda. The language was no longer a problem because, with a bit of effort, we all spoke some English.
We explained to the students how we lived and they did the same. They had assumptions about us “white people”: they thought we were rich, that we had no problems and that we thought only of ourselves.
We proved them the opposite. As far as we are concerned, before leaving, we thought that Rwanda was a country with less knowledge than at home. We were surprised because it is far from the case. Aprojumap's technicians were very competent.
We worked in mixed groups (Belgian and Rwandan) on solidarity. We had to find a definition together with this word. And it is by being in solidarity that we have defined the word in the best way.
At the end of this trip, we learned that we are interested in each other. This is proof of North-South solidarity.
This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Alberic Djomaki Proofreader: 'Karen Pawson'