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

12:28
Highbury residents are concerned that the comedy festival could result in anti-social behaviour, a loss of amenities, damage to the park infrastructure and is too close to the children's playground

Homeowners around Highbury Fields have not seen the funny side of plans to hold a comedy event in the park later this year.

11:10
Makzhumi Abukar

A gang of “heartless” Holloway and Finsbury Park conmen have been jailed for a combined 19 years after fleecing pensioners of their life savings in a £1million fraud.

45 minutes ago
Islington Boat Club

Amanda Corcoran, of Islington Boat Club, thinks older people are ignored in the water sport world. It is why she set up a new club which gets over-50s on to Regent’s Canal – for free.

14:00
Age UK Islington Future Matters volunteers

It may not be a typical topic of conversation between strangers, but next week Islington residents are being invited to talk about death and dying over a cup of tea.

09:05
The question and answer panel at Tuesday's Islington's safer schools roadshow included police officers, youth councillors and Highbury Grove School headteacher Tom Sherrington, centre. Picture: James Morris

Highbury Grove School has expelled pupils from Years 7 and 8 for carrying knives, Islington’s first safer schools roadshow heard.

11:45
Amelia Ollis-Olds was last seen in Highbury on Wednesday evening

Police have joined the search for a missing 20-year-old woman last seen in Highbury on Wednesday.

Yesterday, 15:22
Julia Cheng, founder of House of Absolute. Picture: Vladmir Gruev

For a 13th successive year, Breakin’ Convention, the UK’s biggest hip-hop dance theatre festival, returned to Sadler’s Wells at the weekend. James Morris spoke to one performer, Julia Cheng, and found out her 15-minute piece required 15 days of preparation.

Yesterday, 13:42
Blackfriars Crown Court. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

A Finsbury Park man raped a woman in her sleep before his co-accused kicked her in the back, a court heard.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe