Gavin and Bronwen Ryalls left Dunfermline last year to take up voluntary charity work in Rwanda. Christmas, in 30 degree heat, is coming but there are issues with glue sniffing kids, poverty and, on the lighter side, a question mark over why their rabbits won't mate!

This is their story : "With the end of the year fast approaching, this is the season for taking stock and reflecting a year about to pass.

We have been in Rwanda a little over 16 months now and this will be our second Christmas.

In 30 degrees of heat there is little of what we usually associate with the usual festivities.

Shops are starting to display plastic Santas and fake Christmas trees which only add to the feeling that if we want white and cold, we are in the wrong place.

A little over 10 months ago we began setting up our street children's project in the Nyamirambo district of Kigali.

Nyamirambo has become known as one of the poorest parts of the city and children without families are not hard to find.

Glue sniffing has become a real problem among the youngsters. Solvents can be bought relatively cheaply and are used to numb the body from hunger and cold night air.

Managing the project has not always been easy, particularly in the early days when finding funds for equipment was a challenge.

We have local staff who have given us tremendous support and who look after the children each day.

The project has been able to take in sixteen children who are fed, sent to school and where necessary, given a place to sleep.

Before these children came to us they were living and begging on the streets.

None were attending school and even for those who had a home to go to at night, there was no food for them there.

For these children, being able to go to school is possibly the biggest thing that has happened to them other than being fed regularly.

In the months that we have known them, their confidence has increased and their behaviour improved noticeably.

Getting to school in Rwanda is not easy for many children.

Although in most of the country free primary education is provided by the government, in Kigali city, children have to find school fees as well as a uniform.

Many children have no parents and for those that do, school costs are often prohibitive.

Over the year we have succeeded in reuniting most of our children with their mothers, but only by continuing to feed the youngsters each day.

Not all the children have a home and those that we have found have no income to speak of.

The mothers are able to scrape an existence by taking on small jobs such as washing clothes but the income this generates is irregular and not enough to provide for a family.

As is typical across many of the poor families that we have come across, there is no father in the house.

Many have died from disease or illness.

A generation were lost in the civil war which preceded the Rwandan genocide.

The difficulties faced by these women are what keeps them in poverty.

Many are uneducated and illiterate, so finding any meaningful full-time employment is out of the question.

Some sell fruit or vegetables on the streets but this is illegal.

The risk of arrest and confiscation of the goods is ever present.

The markets in Kigali are controlled by the government and expensive to get into.

Taking on a stall means finding several months' rent in advance, which for people without income and living on the breadline is quite unrealistic.

Shortly before we came to Rwanda we heard a story from an aid worker that just before Christmas the monthly stall rentals at one of the markets had been doubled without warning.

Those traders that couldn't afford to pay were closed down.

The problems we are facing in trying to help these people out of poverty are daunting.

In a regime where private enterprise isn't encouraged, the women lack both confidence and business skills.

Employment is for the educated elite and access to funds for a new business is difficult.

Having been able to bring most of the families we are working with back together, our focus in the new year will be to help the mothers earn a living for themselves.

Happily, life at the project has it's brighter moments.

Two of the children came top of their classes during the year.

They have also started learning to play rugby with some balls donated to us.

The house where the project is based has also turned into something of a children's farm.

We have a dog, supposedly to guard the compound but which spends most of the day asleep.

There are four hens which are now laying a more or less regular supply of eggs.

We also have two guinea-pigs and a pair of rabbits.

The rabbits were supposed to multiply for the pot but we suspect that whoever went to the market that day didn't come back with a matching pair.

Or perhaps they did come back with a matching pair, depending on which way you look at it.

Hopefully in the new year our efforts to get the mothers of our children earning some income will be a little more fruitful."