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Awards 2010: Fund To Help Raise Awareness Of Genocide

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Awards 2010: Fund To Help Raise Awareness Of Genocide

Date posted: 20 January 2010

A graduate who balanced study with working as a human rights campaigner is launching a scholarship fund with the University of Derby to widen awareness of genocide internationally.

Sam Boarer will graduate with a 2:1 for his BSc (Hons) in Electrical Engineering degree course at the University's Awards Ceremonies this Friday (January 22), at the Derby Assembly Rooms.

While studying for his degree Sam was Chair of the international group Aegis Students - part of the genocide prevention organisation Aegis Trust - and established a Derby students' support society for it. He also spent a year volunteering with Aegis in Rwanda at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, established in 2004 by Aegis and the Kigali City Council as a memorial to victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Sam is now working as the International Co-ordinator for Aegis Students, an international student movement working to end genocide.

Impressed with the graduate's work, the University of Derby is to launch a new scholarship fund supporting Aegis's mission.

It will fund two places annually on Aegis's Discover Rwanda programme. This three week educational and volunteering trip is designed for people interested in learning more about the Rwandan genocide, when 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days of violence between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes, and the prejudices which can lead to such an event.

People on the programme experience Rwanda's vibrant culture, visit genocide memorial sites, participate in social activities; and engage with the Rwandan Aegis Students' groups and contribute to Trust projects in Rwanda. This year it is planned for volunteers to work with schoolchildren and young adults in rural areas, who were orphaned by the genocide.

Sam, 24, of Egmanton, Nottinghamshire, volunteered at The Holocaust Centre near Newark when he was a teenager. He continued to work for the anti-genocide cause when he went to University.

He said: "As International Co-ordinator for Aegis Students I co-ordinate our activities outside of the UK, mainly between Rwanda and the UK.

"Although on the surface there doesn't seem much relationship between the technical subject I'm graduating in and the humanitarian work I now do, what I learnt on my course has been very useful.

"Organising the Discover Rwanda programme and recruiting participants from different countries is a complicated business, so the practical and organisational skills I've picked up come in very handy. As has the business module we did as part of the course.

"I hope in a couple of years I will have the opportunity for further study which would tie together my technical knowledge and my work with Aegis."

Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby - who worked with Sam and the University of Derby Students Union (UDSU) to create the scholarship places - said: "Sam Boarer is an impressive young man who has used his time at the University not only to benefit himself but the wider world.

"We're delighted that we could help him and Aegis with their very valuable work, through this new scholarship fund. It will enable current students, who will have to fundraise alongside the University's contribution, to learn first hand about world issues and to develop further their own expertise."

Caleb Jackson, President of the UDSU, added: "Sam made an outstanding contribution as head of the Aegis Society in Derby and his passion burns worldwide. He is an amazing individual."

Sam's efforts reflect the strong volunteering tradition at the University of Derby, which has a Student Volunteering section within its Career Development Centre. Each year over 1,000 students get involved in a wide variety of activities at home and abroad.

As well as benefiting others, students gain skills and experience that might interest a potential employer. People can work towards a University of Derby Award programme which formally recognises their contribution.

For further information about the work of the Aegis Trust see website www.aegistrust.org and for Aegis Students see www.aegisstudents.org.

For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email s.kirby@derby.ac.uk.

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