Hackney Youth Reaching Rwanda

Hackney Youth Reaching Rwanda

17 Hackney youth plan mission trip to Rwanda during their summer holidays to help renovate classrooms, provide health insurance, and reach out to young people in urban and rural communities of Rwanda.

Darell J. Philip

Following on from a peace march (during the May bank holiday) against gun and knife crime, youth from the Hackney Seventh-day Adventist Church, based in Haggerston, now have Rwanda set firmly in their sights.

It was on a fateful day in March 2018 that lightning struck the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nyaruguru, Rwanda, causing the deaths of 21 people (view story here: Lightning kills many at Rwandan church). It is a day that Michaela Mathieu-Marius remembers with profound sadness in her heart.

“Whilst living and working in Rwanda, I lost one of my year 5 students in the lightning strike. It was a tragic and sad experience that changed my outlook on life, making me more reflective on my purpose for being here. 

” It was after sharing her experience with family, friends and her local church that a group of young people decided to do something about it. “Young people from our church and community felt impressed to help out their peers in Rwanda who had suffered and so from then our Reach Rwanda Mission trip evolved.”

17 young people from Hackney will be travelling to Africa (during 22nd August-1st September 2019) where they will be spending part of their summer break renovating 2 classrooms in a primary school; purchasing and distributing yearly health insurance for 1000 people costing just £3 each, while also reaching out to the youth, orphans and genocide survivors within urban and rural communities in Rwanda. Michaela, a youth leader in the church, said she was heartened by the youth’s response to the call to reach out to their peers who are suffering across the world. “This trip will not only empower the 17 young people going, but will also provide them with a learning experience which connects them with other youth in Rwanda. The mission will seek to show the 17 youth the value of their gifts and the difference and impact that their lives can make to others, as well as present them with an opportunity for them to learn from the Rwandese people and culture” says Michaela.

The young people have a goal of £7000 that they are determined to reach, and would love the community to also play their part in helping them to ‘Reach Rwanda’. “We have set up a Go Fund Me page: Reach Rwanda Mission Trip. We are also on Instagram: Reach Rwanda 2019 and Twitter: @Tripreach. While everyone cannot make the trip to Rwanda, everyone can support the cause through their prayers, encouragement and of course donations. It costs just £3 to give an individual health insurance for a whole year and £15 for a family of other words that’s a Costa coffee!” says Michaela. 

Another way members of the community can support the cause is by coming down to the Summer Fitness Fun Day taking place on Sunday 11th August 2019 at 164 Haggerston Road, Hackney. It kicks off at 11am where there will be games, food and drink on sale as well as various stalls to visit.

There will also be a chance to take part in exercise classes as well as view a fashion show which takes place at 2:30pm. Part of the proceeds raised will go towards Reach Rwanda.

For more information on Hackney’s Reach Rwanda Mission Trip, please contact Michaela Mathieu-Marius on 07903 403 110 and/or email her at:

For more details on the Summer Fitness Fun Day, please contact Beverley Daley on 07903 742 229.