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Stephen Crabb MP: Project Umubano is a truly remarkable expression of the Conservative Party’s core values - voluntarism, compassion, enterprise and an outward-focus

Stephen Crabb is MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire and a Government Whip.


The Party is now recruiting volunteers for Project Umubano 2012 in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

Now in its sixth year, Project Umubano is a truly remarkable expression of the Conservative Party’s core values: voluntarism, compassion, enterprise and an outward-focus. It is also combines a lot of fun and hard work.

Umubano brings together the most diverse groups of Party members and supporters, working for two weeks each July in challenging environments alongside African partners focused on tackling the root causes of poverty. (A video snap-shot of last year’s project can be viewed here)

The scope of the Project continues to grow in response to requests from our partners. There is a strong focus on training to ensure there is a lasting benefit to the work we do.

In a number of Project areas we require specialist skills and experience: Healthcare, Law, Business & Finance, and parliamentary support. But there is also a wide range of opportunities for the generalists among us.

The Umubano English language teaching programme in Rwanda, led by Wendy Morton remains the largest single part of the Project, and there will also be teaching opportunities in Sierra Leone through our partner Street Child of Sierra Leone.

Our sport project will also operate for the first time in Sierra Leone under the leadership of FA-qualified coach Stephen Ogden who has been at the forefront of our football and cricket coaching in Rwanda in previous years.

One of the highlights last year was the success of our workshops for Rwandan entrepreneurs, led by Fiona Bruce MP.  This will continue with the addition of a specific Introduction to Finance training programme.

Strengthening Parliament and civil society goes hand-in-hand with developing a market economy. Last year a team of researchers led by Anita Boateng and Emma McClarkin MEP trained staff at the Rwanda Senate. We hope to return there in July with an expanded team. There will also be a Community Group Advocacy Project working with NGOs that focus on the survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

With ages ranging from late teens to early seventies, our volunteers come from all kinds of background and from right across the UK. Every Umubano volunteer finds that they have something special and unique to contribute. Operating outside of our comfort zone brings out the very best in the whole team.

Whatever skills and experience they all bring, Umubano volunteers all share our Party’s strong commitment to social action and international development. It is this enthusiasm and commitment which ensures that Project Umubano goes from strength-to-strength and continues to make a modest but real difference in two of the poorest countries on earth.

Project Umubano 2012 runs from 7th-21st July in Rwanda and Sierra Leone. For further information and application form, email [email protected].


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