Doctor Amanda runs Marathon for Rwanda in memory of murdered friend
Amanda Liddle (r) with Charlotte Wilson (l)
The Charlotte Wilson Memorial Fund (http://www.cwmf.org.uk/ - registered charity 1091955) has raised more than £20,000 since it was established in 2001. As well as supporting impoverished students at Shyogwe school, in Rwanda, it has funded a series of HIV awareness projects, helped rehabilitate Rwandan street children, and supported vital peacebuilding work in Burundi.
Amanda Liddle says:
“I am proud to be running the marathon for the CWMF, in memory of my great friend Charlotte. I have never done anything like this before, so it truly is a challenge, but running for a charity I really believe in makes it all worthwhile. Charlotte had planned to support education and HIV awareness projects on her return to the UK, but didn't have the opportunity to do so herself. Through CWMF, I hope we will be able to help build a more hopeful future for Rwanda”.
Margot Wilson, Charlotte’s mother, and chair of the Charlotte Wilson Memorial Fund says:
“We are delighted and touched that Amanda has decided to support CWMF in this way. After serving on our board of trustees for four years, she will soon become our first ever marathon runner. It costs just £150 a year to put a Rwandan child through secondary school, so every pound Amanda raises will make a huge difference.”
Notes to editors:
1. For more information about the Charlotte Wilson Memorial Fund, please visit http://www.cwmf.org.uk/, which also has a link to Amanda Liddle's online fundraising page. To arrange an interview with Amanda Liddle or Margot Wilson, please contact Richard Wilson via richard cameron wilson AT yahoo.co.uk.
2. Charlotte Wilson and Amanda Liddle met at university in 1995, whilst studying Biochemistry in Paris on the Erasmus programme. They graduated together from Imperial College, London, the following year and both went on to complete a PhD in their chosen field.
After finishing her doctorate in 1999, Charlotte travelled to Rwanda with VSO, planning to pursue a career in medical research on her return. She spent a year teaching science in a rural school, before being seconded to the Rwandan Ministry of Education in October 2000. It was while working there that she met and became engaged to a Burundian teacher, Richard Ndereyimana. A few days after Christmas 2000, they boarded a bus for Bujumbura, the Burundian capital, where Charlotte was due to meet Richard’s family for the first time. A few miles short of their destination the bus was ambushed by members of the Hutu-extremist Palipehutu-FNL rebel group –a faction linked to the perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Charlotte, Richard and 19 of their fellow passengers, mostly members of the Tutsi ethnic group, were shot dead. No-one has yet been prosecuted for the attack.
3. The Charlotte Wilson Memorial Fund was set up in 2001 by Charlotte’s family and friends, and raised more than £10,000 in its first year. Since then, it has supported twenty students at Shyogwe school - many of them orphans of the 1994 genocide – and helped refurbish the school’s science laboratory where Charlotte taught.
In conjunction with VSO, CWMF has also funded a series of HIV education workshops across Rwanda, helped produce AIDS awareness leaflets in the local language, Kinyarwanda, and supported the recording of an AIDS awareness song by Rwanda’s ITETERO project.
Other projects supported by CWMF include the “Streets Ahead” Children’s project, which works to rehabilitate Rwandan street children, and Burundi’s Youth Intervention for Peace, which brings together young Hutus and Tutsis to discuss the causes of the conflict between their two communities, and work together on collaborative projects.
4. The trustees of the Charlotte Wilson Memorial Fund are: Charlotte’s mother Margot Wilson, an adult education teacher, former VSO Head of Fundraising, Dick Bird, Charlotte’s brother Richard Wilson, a writer and fundraiser, Mine Bolgil, a university friend of Charlotte who now works as a corporate trainer, Amanda Liddle, another close friend of Charlotte who works as a medical researcher, and Ben Pollitt, a former VSO Rwanda volunteer and friend of both Charlotte and her fiancé Richard
5. Charlotte Wilson’s life, the aftermath of her death, and the memorial fund set up in her name, are recalled in the book, Titanic Express, written by her brother Richard and published last year by Continuum.
6. Images of Charlotte Wilson, and further information can be obtained from this website: http://remembercharlotte.wordpress.com
Burundi, human rights, Current Affairs, Politics, Africa, Rwanda,