• Winner: WINNER
  • Date: 1/31/2018
  • Rotary Year: 2017-2018
  • Award Category: International Service
  • Club NameBedford
  • Member First NameTraci
  • Address: 
    122 E. Main St.
    Bedford, VA 24523
    United States View on Map
  • Email: tblido@gmail.com
  • Brief Description: 
    In February of 2017, four members of the Bedford Club (Marsha Melton, David Herrick, Jeff Hubbard, and Traci Blido), along with Rwandan Hugs founder Nancy Strachan, traveled to Rwanda to visit the MBYO Peace and Reconciliation Village where they saw firsthand how the Rotary International global grant is changing lives for hundreds of genocide survivors (and reformed perpetrators), and their families.
    The Bedford Club partnered with the Kigali Mont Jali Rotary Club in the grant process to help to improve the lives of hundreds of genocide survivors and their families, as well as repentant genocide perpetrators who have been released from prison, and their families. The idea is that by living in harmony in the same village, the forgiveness and reconciliation will take hold in several generations of family members and be more successful.
    The Bedford Rotary Club had heard about the need in the MBYO Peace and Reconciliation Village from a local non-profit organization in Bedford, Virginia called Rwandan Hugs after a Rwandan genocide speaker came to the club to speak. David Herrick of the Bedford Club reached out to the Kigali Mont Jali Club and began the long process of building relationships and raising the matching funds needed. (Read more about the grant here: http://bedfordrotaryclub.com/news/bedford-rotary-club-receives-district-grant-to-assist-rwandan-village)
    “We thank the Bedford Rotary Club for visiting Rwanda and for supporting our projects at MBYO peace village, vocational center and school,” said Guma Alexandre, Director of the Association for Children Assistance (ACA) and MBYO Reconciliation Peace Village. “The Rotary grant is a great asset to our community and has played a great role in our success.” The four members who traveled to Rwanda are Past Presidents David Herrick and Traci Blido, President Marsha Melton and President-elect Jeff Hubbard.

  • Participation of Club Members: 
    15% of Club Members - Traveled to Rwanda to see how the grant was being used.
    100% of Club Members participated in raising or giving funds for the project.
    25% of Area 5 clubs participated in the project financially.
    5 area businesses provided gifts for the village
    1 non-profit organization partnered with our club to participate
    1 international Rotary Club (Mont Jali) partnered with our club to manage the flow of funds and monitor the progress weekly.
  • Resulting Benefits: 
    • The Rotary grant provided workshops, classes and forums on peace building, forgiveness, and conflict resolution, as well as specialized training and education and live animals and other gifts to the MBYO Peace Village community of 290 genocide survivors, their perpetrators, and their families.
  • Video Link: https://youtu.be/jOKOto4fkAY