RWANDA, Rwinkwavu — When Ruthie Semere was just 10-years of age, her passport included stamps from her visits to places like Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK! Her passion for traveling started at an early age, beginning when her family migrated to Sweden from Eritrea (Africa), by way of Italy due to the war back in her homeland. Crediting her parents, traveling has become a way of life for her as an adult.
Her most recent trip took her to Rwanda, Rwinkwavu – where she would devote her time volunteering with the Partners in Health Organization (Women and Girls Initiative) from Jan 29th – February 9th, 2018. In a interview with Fidel Maghangel ( globebeyondyourself.com), the Swedish – Eritrean Digital media marketing strategist, opened up about her documented trip and work in Rwanda, Rwinkwavu with the Partners in Health Organization ( Women and Girls Initiative).
Tell us about yourself. What are you passionate about and what motivates you?
I’m a 34 year old Swedish-Eritrean and also a Londoner. I guess I’d describe myself as a lover of life, a forever optimist, and a global citizen that’s very passionate about travel, human connection and self development. Professionally my background is Digital media & Coaching.
Where do you live, work, and play?
I live in Stockholm, Sweden which is currently my base. I work on the internet and play in the gym.
Why did you decide to travel abroad and volunteer your time?
I spend a lot of time volunteering in my local community and for a long time have felt like I wanted to increase my commitment to service by volunteering where there is a greater need and where I could have a greater impact. This was my first time doing this type of travel but certainly not my last.
What was your selection process in choosing an organization to serve with and what about its mission moved you to sign up?
I chose Partners In Health (PIH) because I was already familiar with the organization and had been a donor and supporter for a while. In a practical sense, I utilized my network to talk with a senior staff member at PIH who interviewed me and matched me with the Women and Girls Initiative specifically based on my media background. The available placement was in Rwanda and I accepted immediately.
I like that their work is about strengthening local communities and supporting them towards self-sufficiency. Essentially, their model addresses ways to support the health system of a chosen country then reinforces the system and builds locally to the point where they work themselves out of the job. Once the system is stable, Partners In Health departs and the remaining structure continues to thrive through the local community and government. This philosophy is very compelling to me and refreshing compared to how aid organizations typically work in Africa and in other developing continents and countries.
It was simply amazing, I was in the countryside of Rwanda in a small town called Rwinkwavu. I really enjoyed being out in nature and the rural environment. The Women and Girls Initiative (under the helm of PIH) is a project that supports vulnerable girls and young women in the local area though education, vocational training, counseling and many other ways. I got to meet the brilliant girls in the program through my school visits and home visits which was truly inspiring to see and hear firsthand how the program has changed the prospect of their lives.
I also met a young girl who did not receive this critical support in time and her situation became very difficult. The girl was HIV positive with two small babies who were also HIV positive, she had little to no means to support herself and her kids, and there was a complete loss of hope for her future. This showed me the other side of their very real reality when these girls don’t receive economic funding to go to school or gain a skill. While this was hard to see, it was also very impactful and reinforced my commitment to the project.
Read The Original Article Here: Meet Ruthie, The Eritrean-Swedish Globetrotter with a Heart for Africa
Original Article written by Fidel Maghangel