Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Rwanda : Cummings Foundation supports health sector

The Cummings Foundation, an American establishment founded by Joyce and Bill Cummings, has pledged $250,000 to help establish Rwanda’s first cancer infusion center, to be located in Burera District, Northern Province of Rwanda.
Joyce Cummings said that the center will be opened in 2013, and will be one of the foundation’s most rewarding philanthropic efforts in Rwanda.
The operations of these two rural hospitals, both part of Massachusetts-based Partners In Health, are overseen by Dr. Peter Drobac.
In appreciation for the grants, Drobac wrote, “Cancer care and integrated food security are two of Partners In Health’s most important new initiatives, and we expect both to have significant impact throughout this remarkable country.”
The foundation was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings, a Massachusetts couple who founded commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties. The foundation has also committed $500,000 in grants to Rwandan organizations through Institute for World Justice, an arm of the Foundation dedicated to international causes, with a special focus on Rwanda
Joyce and Bill Cummings became interested in the country after sponsoring student groups from Tufts University on annual service-learning trips to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village- located near Rubona. The Village houses, cares for, and schools 500 young people who were orphaned during and after the genocide.
In January, the couple traveled to Rwanda themselves for the first time, spending 12 days learning about the country and its needs. They Cummings stayed four days at Agahozo-Shalom, and have since awarded it a $100,000 grant.
While in Rwanda, the Cummings also toured Butaro Hospital and Rwinkwavu Hospital. Impressed with the work being done in areas where advanced medical care was previously lacking, the couple committed $100,000 to Rwinkwavu Hospital. The funds are dedicated to an agricultural training program to combat chronic malnutrition, one of the country’s most vexing development challenges.


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