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An experience of a lifetime

Christina Phelan, a student at Dunshaughlin Community school, joined a team of students and teachers to see Concern’s work in Rwanda first-hand. Here she tells us about her experience and how it has inspired her to make a difference.

Arriving in Rwanda

When I arrived in Rwanda accompanied by my teacher, Síle Ryan, and fellow student, Shane Dowling, I felt instantly blessed to be there. I got to go on the trip because my school was one of the best fundraisers for the Concern Fast last year.


I had never heard about the Rwanda genocide until I was in Rwanda. I felt shocked that when it was going on I was alive and I had never heard anything about it or helped in any way.

Spirit of Rwanda

I was amazed by the positivity and happiness of the people in Rwanda. They made me realise that although we have so much, in some ways we have so little; and although the people of Rwanda have so little, in another way they have so much.


I felt deeply affected by the primary school that we visited. I left feeling emotional and touched. The students were such an inspiration to me. I want to keep studying so that I will be able to use my education as a way to help people in the future. 

Making a difference

Since the trip, I am more eager than ever to raise money for people less fortunate than myself. I am also very determined to return to a developing country in the next five years with funds from the developed world. 

Giving something back

The community health workers and the entire community were a real example to me. It is my dream to be able to give something back to them. I would like to thank Concern for the opportunity to experience the work they do in Rwanda. It was an experience of a lifetime.