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Stephen Crabb MP: A record number of Conservatives are joining Project Umubano 2011 - but there is still time for you to be a part of it

CRABB-STEPHEN-2 Stephen Crabb has been MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire since 2005 and is an Assistant Government Whip.

Since 2007, Project Umubano, the Conservative Party's Project in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, has served as a powerful demonstration of the Party's commitment to social action and international development. We focus on teaching skills to provide long term sustainability, and through the project our teams of volunteers have been able to make a modest but lasting difference.

This year that's set to grow, with a record number of volunteers signing up to join us. Over 100 Conservatives will join us for Umubano's fifth year and we are continually overwhelmed by the effort and enthusiasm of our participants.

Leading the way on our projects as ever are a dedicated group of MPs. Dr Daniel Poulter MP will lead a team of medics delivering training to doctors and nurses with specific emphasis on rural health clinics. Fiona Bruce MP and Jeremy Lefroy MP will be returning to Rwanda this year to lead an expanded Business project in conjunction with the Private Sector Federation of Rwanda and the Capital Markets Advisory Council. They have put together a superb programme which builds on the success of their entrepreneurship workshops last year.

We're also building on our project links in Sierra Leone, led by David Mundell MP. Our team there will continue their groundbreaking legal and medical projects, and for the first time this year, Umubano volunteers will also work alongside Street Child of Sierra Leone, a UK Charity, on educational and entrepreneurship initiatives.

In Rwanda we're continuing our English language classes for school teachers making the adjustment from a French-based education system to one where English is the principal language. Some of our volunteers will also deliver English language workshops for a group of young survivors of the 1994 genocide. We will also have a team working on a Community Project alongside SURF, the main survivors' charity in the country.

A team of volunteers will once again be organising grass-roots football coaching clinics with boy and girls around the country. We have already had the pleasure of hosting the Rwanda Under-17s football team here in Parliament ahead of the U-17 World Cup this summer in Mexico. They are the first Rwandan team to make it to the final rounds of a FIFA tournament and we are proud to have worked with them during our time with the Project.

This year Project Umubano has also been invited by the President of the Senate to bring a small team to work alongside their parliamentary assistants to develop their research and report writing skills. This is an exciting new opportunity which expands the scope of Project Umubano 2011.

Our co-ordination teams have just returned from trips to Rwanda and Sierra Leone, and preparation for this year's Project is now well under way. But we are continuing to recruit Party activists and supporters who want to share in a remarkable experience. It's something that brings together all parts of the party, working alongside ministers, MPs, and people from all over the country. We are particularly looking for volunteers with medical experience who would be interested in joining our health team.

Please do get in touch will Abigail Green via email if you would like any further information.


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