A derelict maternity hospital, following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, rose from the ashes of war with the help of dedicated people from St Lukes Church, Formby, Merseyside.

But now it needs more funds to expand its good work to save more babies and prevent women dying in childbirth, and a UK national appeal has been launched. So successful has the new maternity unit been that even Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, has sanctioned expansion.

The maternity hospital, in a poor hilltop village in Shyira, north west Rwanda, was rebuilt with £24,000 funds raised over 2 years by the church which then set up the Shyira Trust charity. From a 24 bed unit with two local people trained as midwives, there are ambitious plans to expand to a two storey building and 40 maternity beds with ancillary facilities.

But this will cost £300,000 and the deadline for completion is next April!

Eugenie Nikuze, 25, who has just given birth to twins at the hospital said: “I am so grateful for a place to deliver my babies safely. “ Eugenie and her mother-in-law Laurencre Mukandutiye were picked up from the road by a local health visiter and brought to the hospital.

Said Professor Allan Hobson, MBE, Chairman of the Shyira Trust, who initiated the first reconstruction 14 years ago after finding appalling facilities in a war-torn country:

“We have helped saved the lives of many disadvantaged women and babies in Rwanda. Risk to lives has increased again because the success of the maternity hospital has made it popular, and the maternity services need further development. £300,000 will save these lives. Since 2009 when we installed the first midwife we have only had one maternal death, much lower than the national average. So successful has the hospital become it is now so popular it is overcrowded We hope people will be generous and donate.”

“The Rwandan Government has introduced quality standards for hospitals which means Shyira hospital is now only suitable for 12 beds, so it has halved its capacity. The new building will comply with modern standards and save more lives. It has been so successful that it now supports 15 cal health centres, so demand is high. “

To donate please text (if in UK) SHYR01 £5 to donate £5, or SHYR01 £10 to 70070 to donate £10.

Or go to the Shyira Trust website on, or their Facebook page



1, Eugenie Nikuze, 25, with her mother-in-law Laurence Mukandutiye and her twins

2, Plans for the new hospital

3, The current hospital


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