What is Toonies4Change?
Toonies4Change is a children’s fundraising program for the B.C. charity Grace Rwanda. It’s a way for you, your friends, your family, school and community to get involved helping children in Africa.
What is Grace Rwanda?
Grace Rwanda is a B.C. registered charity founded by two Rwandan women who came to Canada as refugees from Rwanda, co-founders Elizabeth Mujawamaliya Johnson and Marie Louise Kaligirwa. The charity works to raise money to promote literacy and education in Rwanda, mainly by donating school reading books and creating district youth centre libraries.
Where is Rwanda?
Rwanda is a tiny African country located right in the centre of the continent. It’s land-locked and shares borders with Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Why help Rwanda?
The Rwandan people suffered through a terrible history. In 1994, ethnic hatred led to the mass killings of an estimated one million people in just a few months. This tragic event was called the Rwandan Tutsi genocide. During this dark time, neighbours turned on neighbours and people fled in fear.
Now, 20 years later, the country is healing and recovering. A new government and a new generation of children and youth are making great improvements to this country. But scars remain, and so does poverty.
Why give books?
We believe that the genocide happened in part due to lack of education. So our goal is to improve literacy in Rwanda to help ensure it never happens again. And we want to give the children of Rwanda a better future by helping them to read and succeed.
Books are scarce in Rwanda, especially in the countryside. Basic education is free in Rwanda, but books are expensive. The government says there are just two books for every three elementary students to share. And in high school, five students have to share one textbook. Imagine trying to do your homework like that!
How can you help?
You can donate money to Toonies4Change to buy new books for Rwandan students just like you. Even a few dollars from your allowance can make a difference. Or, you can get your family involved in fundraising too, maybe through a yard sale or bottle drive. And, you can get your class and school involved by talking to your teachers and school club leaders about Toonies4Change. Check out the web site to learn more.