Search

Holloway man is humbled by the gratitude of Africans

16:03 30 September 2012

Russell Zubrinich with his sponsor child Bugingo and parents

Russell Zubrinich with his sponsor child Bugingo and parents

Archant

When Russell Zubrinich arrived in Rwanda, he had no idea about the reception waiting for him.

The accountant from Loraine Road, Holloway, travelled to the village of Kabacuzi for a week in August to meet eight-year-old Bugingo, a child he sponsors through anti-poverty charity Action Aid.

The 59-year-old said: “I had already spent five weeks teaching English in Tanzania, and I used the opportunity to visit Bugingo and find out more about his family.

“It was a three hour drive but when I got there I was amazed how high-profile my visit was.

“I was greeted by Bugingo’s parents, 300 villagers who had erected a special canopy and 100 children who were singing welcome songs.

“It was all quite emotional; I had to make up a speech on the spot.”

Humbled by the experience, Russell soon discovered how his donations to Action Aid had been used to benefit the whole community.

One of the improvements made to the village was the restoration work made to the local school, where two rooms had previously been falling down. “Bugingo led me around the village, it was great to see the impact my sponsorship has had.

“It demonstrates just how lucky we are.”

Russell also visited a banana crop owned by subsistence farmers and paid his respects at the Kigali memorial site, where the remains of 50,000 victims of the 1994 genocide are now interned.

Russell first began sponsoring children in developing countries in the early 90s, but he only decided to support Bugingo two years ago after spotting an Action Aid appeal in a newspaper.

“The cost of £15 a month is a relatively small amount in Britain, but in places like Rwanda it can change lives. Above all it’s an educational experience that I couldn’t recommend more highly.”

His hospitality also extends to three other children in Burundi, Brazil and Haiti who he would love to visit in the near future. Now back in Holloway, Russell is surprised by how different things seem.

“It’s been a real culture shock; everything seems so quiet in comparison to Tanzania and Rwanda. “It’s been a life-changing experience and I can’t wait to go back next year.”

Action Aid was founded in 1972 as a child sponsorship charity, and now operates in over 40 countries. To find out how you can make a donation, visit www.actionaid.org.uk for more information.

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00
Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Fri, 18:39
MP Andy Burnham visited the New River Green Childrens Centre, in Ramsey Walk in 2013

Parents have just hours left to respond to Islington Council’s cost-cutting plans for its early childhood service, which many fear could have a damaging effect.

Fri, 10:05
Service user Anna (L) with Celia from St Martin of Tours Islington (Picture: Islington Council)

What better way to enjoy the glorious sunshine than with a spot of gardening?

Thu, 11:53
Whitehall Park School has been in temporary blocks since opening in 2014. (Picture: Nigel Sutton).

Children at Islington’s £10million first free school will spend next term in a college after being forced out of their portacabins before the new building is ready.

Wed, 17:03
Adrian Carpenter

A man who stabbed a teenager to death on a Finsbury Park basketball court has been found guilty of his murder.

Wed, 15:58
Members of the Britannia Squash Club outside the the Sobell Leisure Centre. From left Richard Noble, Tim Denis, Tony Lewis, Carlos Lopez Barillas and Adam O'Brien. (Picture: Polly Hancock)

Dozens of squash players went on strike for a month after frustrations with a leisure centre boiled over.

Wed, 12:41
Leo Whittaker of Besant Court, Newington Green. Picture: Polly Hancock

Big changes have been mooted for Newington Green’s Besant Court estate, with one block facing demolition. Tenants yesterday reflected on their memories with James Morris.

Wed, 08:55
New Scotland Yard

A 23-year-old man was arrested in Finsbury Park yesterday on suspicion of funding terrorism.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now