Saturday 14 April 2012

The Muhanga Shipping Container (2010) 

In a fortunate case of synchronicity we were talking about shipping resources to our sponsor community when a young entrepreneur, Rylan Hernberg contacted us to see if we would be interested in helping him to fulfill his goal of sending a library to Africa. 

The original plan of shipping the container to Kahama, Tanzania changed when the the container was still at sea as the paperwork wasn't completed at the other end; we had to reroute to our second community in Rwanda. Unfortunately the container was then held at customs for weeks and we were at risk of loosing the whole shipment. Fortunately we were able to arrange the sale of the empty forty-foot crate to help cover the extra costs. This meant that we were not able to use the container as a library in itself but books were distributed to schools in Muhanga and surrounding villages. Multiple libraries instead of one!

Rylan brought in $12,000 of donations and supported us as we raised the remainder. He took part in our 2010 volunteer trip and met the container in Rwanda, though the delay in customs meant that the team were not present for the unloading and distribution. 

Lana Corbett and Student Works Painting, created this beautiful mural. We held open days for the public to come and drop off books, sports and educational supplies, medical resources and sewing machines. 

Our idea is for one community to help another - at all levels, and the Muhanga container was a perfect opportunity to see this ideal in action.

Teachers and students supported education by donating items or raising funds; the medical profession, pharmacists and local service groups supported the medical aspects, and sports associations such as SOYSA gave time and donations to supporting sports for children. And many, many families and individuals came along to donate items, time and funds. The One Person committee members and an awesome team of volunteers spent numerous hours sorting and packing the donated items, which included 16,000 books - we probably received around 30,000 but many weren’t suitable. We have learned to be more discerning in our requests! By raising just $20,000 to purchase and ship a container we can sends hundreds and thousands of dollars of self-sustaining aid. Isn't that amazing?

Maureen B. and family worked tirelessly filling their own tubs of donated gifts and resources
and encouraging friends and family to do the same.
Maureen hauled six totes to the shipping container!

Find out what we need to fill our next containers. Or make a donation towards the shipping.

Thank you!


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  3. The OOP love is unselfish rather creates hope to all who it meets.
    On behalf of Muhanga Community, I salute your commitment to assist those in need.
    Love and Light,
    from Costa Ndayisabye.
    Author of the book, "The Work That Brings Peace In Me"