David Williamson Rwanda Foundation, which was set up
in late 2008 and formerly recognized as a charity registered
in Scotland in March 2009, came into existence as a
memorial to the life of David Williamson, owner and
Managing Director of Glasgow-based coffee roasters,
aims are to work with the communities attached to the
coffee-growing co-operatives in Rwanda - a country whose
people and amazing spirit greatly moved David when he
visited there in 2007 - to alleviate poverty and assist
in the improvement of health and welfare.
The Foundation is administered
by four Directors; Morag Williamson, Ewan Reid, Ian
Bretman and Wyndham James and had its inaugural Board
meeting at The Fairtrade Foundation offices in London
in April 2009. As well as the Board of Directors,
The David Williamson Rwanda Foundation has two very
involved Patrons in actor Colin Firth and musician
and actor Shirley Manson.
Wednesday 21st August 2013
Morag's Scotland Coast to Coast Challenge
This September, Morag will be running, cycling and kayaking from the North Sea at Nairn to Loch Leven at Glencoe in order to raise as much money as possible for DWRF. That's a total of 105 miles up and down some very steep hills and across two lochs!!
All the money raised from this endeavour will go towards supporting more brilliant projects in Rwanda - like our partnership project with Oxfam which assisted groups of women smallholders (prioritising those living with HIV/Aids) to grow and market pineapples (one of the fastest growing fresh fruit imports into Europe and the US). The charity continues to work closely with Oxfam and other NGOs with all of the money raised going towards supporting people in Rwanda.
Morag says that she’s also doing it in memory of David of course. Not quite sure what he'd have thought, although she’s sure he would have decided to give it a go too, just so he could beat her!
So please dig deep and donate now.
Thursday 05th January 2012
Another Project On the Way
We are delighted to be working with Oxfam again on a second project. Oxfam has been associated with the country’s premier research institute, ISAR and facilitated the process of technology transfer for production of planting material for pineapple (called as macro-propagation, a technique suitable for the women to develop micro and small enterprises). As a result, more than 800 women are involved in pineapple planting material production and supply from the first phase of the project.
The experience has helped to gauge the interest of women and its feasibility in the Rwandan context. This has also given the idea about using the model for exploring other planting material especially passion fruit and tree tomato.
As such, the proposed project aims to support women in marketing the planting material and increase the production of planting material. This will help to further develop women as one of the major producers and suppliers of planting material in the country. To date this has brought acclaim both from within Rwanda from the Ministry of Agriculture, and from outside as a viable strategy for increasing women's economic leadership within the horticulture sector.
To develop women’s economic leadership in horticultural value chain by:
1.Developing women as micro and small business entrepreneurs in Horticulture planting material production and supply
2.Creating women as traders in plant material supply business
1.Development of cadre of 25 women facilitators to organize field sessions on gender mainstreaming, planting material nursery management, access to credit etc.
2.Partnership with ISAR for technology transfer and certification of planting material
3.Establish women as key stakeholders in country’s horticulture value chain through:
- Identification and training of existing 800 and new 700 women entrepreneurs to initiate micro and small enterprises in planting material production and supply. Of which 1260 will take up the enterprise development (about 1200 for pineapple and 60 for passion fruit and tree tomato).
- Develop at least 15 women as traders in planting material business who can link women producers with larger market as well as provide business services.
- Explore the possibility of organizing women sucker producers in appropriate structure which can facilitate marketing.
4.Engage more than 500 women micro-finance institution to access credit for development of their businesses.
5.Provide technical support to business development through cost-benefit analysis, market analysis, financial product development, development of technology package, enterprise / business model etc.
6.Provide support to operate farmer field schools to initiate the process for certification of pineapple to women’s cooperative.
7.Develop and implement market promotion strategy to generate demand for planting material locally as well as at regional and national level.
8.Develop skills and capacities of partner institutions to implement and monitor the programme
9.Development of training material and project documentation
10.Advocacy of programme model with government and other (I) NGOs as well as Financial institutions in the country through organization of stakeholder meetings.
Tuesday 03rd January 2012
New Facebook Page and Twitter
We have a new DWRF Facebook page, we've been moved out of Facebook Groups to here... it's a good thing they tell us! We've also moved onto Twitter and you can follow us at @DWRF_Rwanda.
To find us on Facebook copy this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Williamson-Rwanda-Foundation/167228950033755
Wednesday 17th August 2011
Maggie Carroll at Oxfam Rwanda forwarded this link to us. Great to read the testimony from Miriam in Nyagatare in terms of Pineapple project impact. (see: http://www.totalpolitics.com/blog/168292/pineapples-and-oxfam.thtml)
Tuesday 24th May 2011
Open Plaques Project
Open Plaques is an innovative crowd sourced catalogue of heritage plaques worldwide. Deirdre Molloy, one of the internet experts behind the project, kindly flagged that David's plaque in Tinderbox, Ingram Street in Glasgow is now registered. By the way, Tinderbox coffee bars raise funds for DWRF by selling mighty fine cups of Rwandan coffee… and this coming from someone who’s drunk a lot of coffee.
Have a Tinderbox near you? Try that coffee. Got a penchant for plaques, get to it and contribute to Open Plaques.
Monday 28th March 2011
New Project - Ananas comosu?
Pineapples!!!! - the ink is just drying on a project agreement we’ve made with Oxfam Rwanda partnering with local NGO and micro-financier Duterimbere. We are contributing to the project with a £6,000 grant along with the major funder the Jersey Aid Commission. Pineapples are tipped as a one of the fastest growing fresh fruit imports into Europe and the US, this product aims to assist smallholders to access to these markets. The projects main aims are in particular to empower and bring benefits to women smallholders by:
1. Promoting organic pineapple cultivation and enhancing yield.
2. Creating local enterprise around supporting activities such as bio-pesticides and manure production.
3. Bringing and organising smallholders together on a collective basis to market produce effectively.
4. Developing small scale pineapple processing to cater for local Rwanda market needs.
Enterprise management will comprise more 50% female participation to deliver on Oxfam’s economic women’s leadership model. The project will prioritise women living with HIV and AIDS as beneficiaries.
Big thanks to all of you who contributed to our fund raising in recent months to allow us to work on this and other projects we are planning.
Tuesday 01st March 2011
8 Million Metres
Pete Cavani and his team's challenge is to row 8 Million Metres for cancer charities, namely MacMillan, Cancer Support Scotland (Tak Tent) and also for David Williamson Rwanda Foundation on a Concept 2 indoor rowing machine at their local Greens Health and Fitness Centre in Finneston, Glasgow.
Big thanks for their support and you can track their progress and find out how you can support them at http://www.8millionmetrerow.com
Monday 10th January 2011
A great start to the year for DWRF with Morag and Derek safely reaching the top of Kilimanjaro (and getting down again from 5895 m / 19,335 ft above sea level). Still waiting for all the details from the expedition but with over £4.5K raised between them so far it has been a great success.
Wednesday 20th October 2010
Move on up...
In a bid to raise funds for The David Williamson Rwanda Foundation, Morag Williamson will attempt to reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in December of this year. Want to support DWRF through this, see
More info on this in our news from September and on our Facebook page.
Tuesday 19th October 2010
Rwanda Scotland Alliance
At DWRF we are pleased to have be associated with the Rwanda
Scotland Alliance. Launched in December 2009 by the previous
Rwanda High Commissioner, HE Claver Gatete, the Alliance was formed by a group of people dedicated to encouraging links
between Rwanda and Scotland at all levels in education, society,
commerce and the arts. The Alliance provides a way of becoming actively involved in developing partnership between Rwanda and
Scotland and aims to:
- Promote the best interests of the Rwandan people and provide a
focal point for Rwandan interests in Scotland
- Provide a framework for knowledge and skills exchange
- Bring together different groups and increase synergy and effectiveness
- Accomplish agreed projects
- Facilitate cultural and commercial exchange
- Support members in their partnership with Rwanda and her people
- Contribute to the reduction of poverty in Rwanda
- Help build capacity in Rwandan health and education
- Link together civil and governmental interests
You can read more in the Rwanda
Scotland Alliance newsletter on our Facebook page (see page 5 for a article on DWRF).
Wednesday 08th September 2010
In a bid to raise funds for The David Williamson Rwanda Foundation, Morag Williamson will attempt to reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in December of this year. Having never scaled anything much steeper than Gardner Street in Glasgow, Morag decided that making the 5,895m ascent would be a good idea.
When chatting to her family about the idea, her brother, Derek Hendry, a Development Director with Peel Ports in Liverpool, decided that he would like to give it a go as well. Age-old sibling rivalry is already surfacing as brother and sister have begun training in earnest for the expedition. Morag is now receiving frequent text messages from her brother in Liverpool describing how many miles he has run that week, and how his latest attempt at reaching the top of Snowdon has gone (all failed to date, but he is blaming his wife).
In response, Morag has embarked upon a rigorous (or perhaps a better description would be tortuous) regime with a personal trainer. The mosquito repellent is packed and the sleeping bags and tent are getting a trial run in the Hebrides in September.
Who'll get to the top first? Will they survive sharing a tent for the first time in over 30 years? It's nail biting....
They set off on December 27th this year and should reach the summit in early January 2011. Every penny raised will go to The David Williamson Rwanda Foundation and donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/Morag-Williamson4
And when Morag and Derek watch the sun rise from the highest point in Africa every blister and every aching muscle will be worth it - as they raise a water bottle to the memory of David.
Tuesday 01st June 2010
Despite the heat Caroline made it through the gruelling Edinburgh marathon course in a respectable 5 hours and 22 minutes. The other great news is that she has provisionally raised £681 so far through her JustGiving page. The final amount will be most generously matched by Matthew Algie so funds raised should be in excess of £1,300.
Thursday 06th May 2010
Keep on running...
So that's one down, one to go for Morag! Completed the Edinburgh 10K run in 62 minutes or thereabouts and now hoping to go a bit faster in Glasgow. Thanks to everyone who has donated so generously so far....... £570 to date!!!
For more info see: http://www.justgiving.com/Morag-Williamson
The word is that Caroline preparations are going well for the Edinburgh marathon later in the month and she's raised £480 so far which is fantastic.
For more info see: http://www.justgiving.com/Caroline-Rosney0
Tuesday 06th April 2010
We've set up our JustGiving account and you can now fund raise on our behalf through the JustGiving portal (http://www.justgiving.com/rwandafoundation).
First to take the plunge is Caroline Rosney. You might remember that Caroline is running the Edinburgh Marathon on May 23rd 2010 and you can support Caroline and DWRF by donating via her JustGiving page (http://www.justgiving.com/Caroline-Rosney0).
Big thanks again and best of luck to Caroline.
Wednesday 17th March 2010
Money for old rope?
Old coffee sacks actually...the majority of coffee imported into the UK arrives in 60-kilo jute sacks: over 4 million in 2006*. Although it is the contents of these sacks that carry the main value we believe that even an empty coffee sack has worth and definitely should not find its way into landfill!
Those inventive people at Elvis & Kresse ( www.elvisandkresse.com) have started an initiative in conjunction with Sainsbury’s to up-cycle these waste coffee sacks and turn them into the ultimate in environmentally friendly shopping bags. This waste is produced in the UK, they collect it in the UK, re-manufacture the shoppers in the UK and then sell them in the UK. What’s more, Jute (the raw material) is a completely natural fabric and ultimately biodegradable. On top of that DWRF receive a donation for each bag sold through Sainsbury’s (big thank you) and we are grateful for the first funds from the sales of these bags which we plan to use for our water projects.
Thursday 04th March 2010
Running for DWRF
In 2008 Caroline, an employee of Matthew Algie, decided to complete a 10k run in Manchester, much to the amusement of her friends and family as before this point running up the stairs was a challenge. Managing to complete this run in one piece spurred her on to continue running, skywiring, scrambling etc all in the name of charity. Finally bringing her to the biggest challenge, the big one: 26.2mile Edinburgh Marathon taking place May 23rd 2010. She immediately decided to run in the name of David Williamson Rwanda Foundation, hoping to inspire others to raise money for this worthwhile cause.
We are setting up a Just Giving page for Caroline and will let you know as soon as it's up.
Friday 26th February 2010
Official launch of The David Williamson Rwanda Foundation
Took place in Mono, Glasgow on the night of Sunday 5 July 2009, David's favourite music venue. Titled Throughout the Dark Months of April & May it was a night, which saw David's friends, family, colleagues, supporters and music fans, gather together and watch some of David's favourite bands play. With warm words and warmer hearts, the Foundation launched to the sounds of The Pastels, The Vaselines, Malcolm Middleton and Teenage Fanclub. It was a night to remember and marked a new beginning.
We would like to say a big (if belated) thank you to Jenny Soep who donated the various pieces of artwork she created from the night for our charity auction which raised over a £1,000. You can see more of Jenny's fantastic work at her website (www.jennysoep.blogspot.com).