by Anita Dabirzadeh
While many other students have written about the incredible experience we have had at our respective centers, I just wanted to take the time to express our gratitude towards the College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS), our incredible sponsors in Rwanda for the last 7 years. Without their help and support, none of the work that we have done over the last 5 weeks could have been possible. From the very beginning of our journey back in Canada, they have been supporting us by inviting us into the country and ensuring that our visas get processed swiftly. Although we do not directly volunteer with the College, the amount of hospitality that their incredible team has shown us since we arrived has made our team feel so welcomed. As my classmate Sean has mentioned in his previous blog post, the College was there at 3am in the morning to greet us at the airport and since then, they have organized many activities for us to enhance our experience while in Rwanda.
Last weekend for example, we were invited by the College to visit a school for the visually impaired which our entire team greatly enjoyed. The College has also taken time out of their incredibly busy schedule to sit with our team on multiple occasions to help us reflect on the work we have been doing at our centers as well as on the country’s reconstruction over the last 21 years. During these reflections, we were able to meet with the principal of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr. Jeanne Kagwiza as well as with her team which was an absolute honor. We were also fortunate enough to meet with Dr. Phil Cotton, the former principle of CMHS and the current vice chancellor of the University of Rwanda. Dr. Cotton spoke to us about the work that the University of Rwanda is doing to enhance post-secondary education as in the country. This talk was incredibly inspiring for our team and we were all thrilled that he was kind enough to meet with us.
On Friday, the staffs at CMHS were also gracious enough to host a farewell dinner for us at the Nobleza Hotel in Kigali and presented our team with certificates. Thanks to the help of CMHS, our entire team has had a truly magnificent experience and we will never be able to thank them enough for their kindness and hospitality.