I cannot help feeling very concerned about the proposed plan of the government to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Since 2001 I have worked in the beautiful country of Rwanda and seen much transformation since the devastation after the genocide.

The country is small, about the size of Wales, but densely populated, with now over 12 million inhabitants.

I was asked by the former Archbishop of Rwanda, his Grace, the Most Reverend Emmanuel Kolini in 2003 if I would help with health education within all the Anglican dioceses in the country - which I did for more than 10 years, the final 5 years being to educate the population about the family planning methods provided free in the government clinics, and train leaders of the Mothers’ Union to continue the programme.

This was in answer to a request to the Church from the then Minister of Health in Rwanda. The government was so concerned about the population explosion following the genocide, and also the subsequent repatriation of Rwandans who had previously fled their homeland.

Having travelled extensively throughout the land it was obvious that every available space was being cultivated in order to feed the existing population - and my last visit was in November 2019. The land is teeming with people, many young and seeking further education and work.

I feel strongly that our government is wrong to send asylum seekers there - many of whom have spent everything to start a new life outside of Africa - using the guise that they will help the Rwandans with their education system.

We are one of the richest countries in the world and yet this government has reduced foreign aid saying we can no longer afford it due to the pandemic - but now seek to use taxpayers’ money to send these poor asylum seekers out to Rwanda.

Yes, Rwanda needs more help with education, and I have been involved with the setting up of two schools - but Rwanda is also a very organised country where the people work hard to be self-sufficient, and this scheme does not seem a just and right way to help.

I feel that the government has lost its way when it comes to integrity, truth and compassion.

I agree with Archbishop Welby - what has happened to the Christian values on which our country was founded?

Mary Millard

Moorcombe Drive, Weymouth