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Close correspondence-friendship ends up
in educational centre.
'Vleugels van Hoop' <> 'Wings of Hope'
collects textile scissors for Burundi

RONSE/SINT-LIEVENS-HOUTEM

Lut De Cremer, living in Ronse, is searching among others for minimal ten textile scissors. This means a symbolic start of the first project, supported by 'Vleugels van Hoop' - 'Wings of Hope', a group who wants to support the development of people in Central-Africa.
Lut started to love Africa at a young age.

‘Whatever happens, we keep on writing each other and who knows, when we are grown up we’ll maybe meet each other.' That’s what the 13-year old Lut and the 16-years Joséphine Bararwendera wrote to each other in 1966. Lut stayed on boarding school in Sint-Lievens-Houtem, Joséphine also, but thousands of kilometres further away, in Burundi. “Sometimes it lasted months before our letters reached their destination”, says Lut.  “And it was as if we felt it already at that time: a lot would happen during the following decades.

Already before I graduated as a nurse, ethnic riots started in Burundi, as a result of which my correspondence-friend had to escape to Rwanda. There she founded a family.
In 1994 Joséphine had, together with her husband and their three children, again to escape for the genocide. Eventually she returned to her village of birth. All that time we continued writing each other. A correspondence which initially was meant to improve our knowledge of the French language has ended in an intense friendship relation. “The past years I was a member of an organisation which supported development projects in the area of the large lakes. With five other governing board members we were however no longer satisfied about the nature of the aid. This didn’t feel correct to me anymore that while we supported orphan children we didn’t offer help to other children.
For this reason we started previous month with 'Vleugels van Hoop' - 'Wings of Hope'.
This organisation wants to support small-scale projects support from which a complete community can benefit. The big advantage is that we know people on site, like Joséphine, which we fully trust and who can keep track on these projects.”

“To start we choose for the realisation of a specialized sewing education centre in Mabayi. The Mabayi municipality is approximately as large as Ronse, where many students in an early have to finish their school career, mainly because they are the only one financially supporting their family. Even when they don’t end up in criminality, they often have to continue living, as non educated professional, based on minimum financial means.
An association existing out of eighteen women wants to give these youngsters a sewing training. It will allow them to higher their and theirs family life standard.”

“The total cost of this project is estimated around 3,500 euro”, tells Lut. “For this is not a huge amount of money but for the local people however this is an unrealistic high budget. For this reason we want to help them. Mid-January we want to start up the project over there. As symbolic gift we are searching for ten good textile scissors. In former days they were frequently used in the textile industry in Ronse, but I suspect that those are lying somewhere covered by a thick layer of dust. In Burundi they would however be very well used.”
People who want to help Lut can call 055-21.70.92
or donate some money on 001-5300142-41.

Koen Lauwereyns - Het Nieuwsblad - 05.12.2007.

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