Former primary school teacher and former professional runner, Margaret Butler, founder of our sister organization Komera, spent a year living in a remote village in Rwanda in 2007.
She explored the countryside during her daily runs, and she often found herself surrounded by groups of boys but rarely girls. At the same time, she was learning about the local education system and how, more often than not, girls were being left behind in secondary school education.
These few brave girls who started running with Margaret inspired her to host a girls-only “fun run” to promote the rights and education of Rwandan girls. As the intrepid girls took off, shouts of “Komera!”, which means “be strong and courageous” in the local dialect, could be heard from the crowd. In partnership with Partners In Health/IMB, the local government and local schools, 10 girls were selected to be the first set of Komera scholars to attend secondary school.
Inspired by the extraordinary work being done by Komera, Komera Canada began operating privately in 2008, soliciting donations from friends and relatives and sending these, plus the registrations from the Rotary Run for Rwanda, to Komera in the US, to be forwarded to Rwanda. In May 2013, Komera Canada was officially launched as a charitable organization with the Canada Revenue Agency. This enabled us to issue charitable receipts for donations from Canadians. We are proud to be able to sponsor ten girls in their high school careers and also to pay a portion of the salary of the social worker who works with them.
In the past few years, we have partnered with the Rotary Club of Bowen Island in operating the Rotary Run for Rwanda. All proceeds from the run go directly to helping our girls in Rwanda. We are very grateful to this club for their help in this regard. For more information on the work done by this club, click here.