May 11, 2021

Where There is Hope

High school cousins
High school cousins

As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of the Covid pandemic, all of us at Rwanda-one4one recognize we are only as strong as you, our caring community of supporters. You give with your hearts and put your trust in our ability to deliver hope to the Rwandan families we serve.

It is a blessing that no one in our Rwandan families has become ill from Covid-19. The children are all back in school, thankfully. We receive their report cards and many are receiving above average grades. They do not have to worry about missing school due to lack of funds, and they are able to enjoy school meals again.

Unfortunately, schools have raised fees almost 30% since reopening to cover pandemic-related expenses. The financial strain on families that could barely afford the fees before has caused many children to have to leave school. If it were not for our donor funded education project, the children in our families would also be at home. Thank you so much for recognizing the value of a good education for Rwandan youth!

We also continue our focus on health, both physical and mental, for the families we support. The stress and worry during this uncertainty have caused issues that need medical attention. The silver lining in all of this is that Rwanda has, thus far, been spared a heavy infection rate. 

Our founder, Nancy Zeller, has made all the travel preparations to travel to Rwanda in September. The women will be able to create more Umva wearable products, and the visit will do all the families good. She brings reading eyeglasses, donated cellphones and laptops, and other necessities. (If you have a generation 5 or later cell phone you can donate, let us know!) All are eager for the visit and to get to work creating Umva one-of-a-kind originals. When Nancy returns, she will prepare to showcase Umva textiles at a New York trade show in October.

It is often said in Rwanda: “it is hard but not impossible” and that is how we must continue our work in this unprecedented time. If they can endure their hardships, we can bring solutions and hope whenever possible.

New life and hope
New life and hope

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Feb 13, 2021

Dyeing Delay Continues

Thank you for helping us get back to school!
Thank you for helping us get back to school!

With the COVID pandemic continuing throughout the world and new variants appearing, Rwanda continues to struggle along with so many other countries, lesser developed countries being hit especially hard. Our dyers are still unable to dye as we are unable to get fabric to them; our taxi entrepreneur and law clerk are unable to work due to ongoing pandemic related lockdowns. 

There are a couple of bright spots in the gloom, however. All the children whose schooling we support are now back in school, and we have paid all their fees. Unfortunately, the schools all raised the fees due to Covid issues, we understand increases are for cleaning and safety supplies. Without your generous support our families would be unable to cover the increased fees and the kids would be out of school.

The other good news is that we have provided a modest loan for one of our families to begin building their own home after ongoing challenges associated with their rental home. They are excited, and we are, too.

Our founder, Nancy, is still hoping for an opportunity to visit Rwanda this spring after having last year's visit cancelled due to the pandemic. If it is safe for her to travel, she would be able to bring the needed fabric to the dyers so they can produce more wraps and scarves for us to sell on their behalf, restoring desperately need income. Of course, with the slow rollout of vaccines and uncertainty about border restrictions, it is unknown whether her trip will be possible. 

Because of the ongoing challenges our families continue to face, we are continuing to increase our project goal over time. We started this effort on GlobalGiving in September of 2018, so our cumulative monies raised have covered nearly 2 1/2 years of support for education, entrepreneurship and skills building so that our families can have a fighting chance of becoming self-reliant. We are committed, with your ongoing support, to continue our efforts to provide not a hand-out, but a hand up, to these humble yet proud people who have suffered so much.

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Feb 13, 2021

Your Support Continues to Feed our Families

Thank you!
Thank you!

Back in the spring of 2020 when we first began the Pandemic Food Relief project for our Rwandan families, we thought it would be needed for a few months - perhaps through the end of the year. Of course, as the virus has continued to spread and new variants have appeared throughout the world, the hardship for these families, already struggling, endures. We have increased our goal so that we can continue to provide food relief as well as some medical support for families suffering from stress-related illnesses as a result of the pandemic's impact on their lives and livelihoods. 

Your ongoing generous support of this special effort is critical and profoundly appreciated. With your gifts we have been able to assure that our families have at least two healthy meals a day, whereas before our help they were struggling to afford even one. With the children back in school, they are able to access school-provided meals, but that does not help the adults.

Our board met in January and committed to continue our efforts to provide monthly food relief until the families we support are able to regain their hard-earned incomes as the lockdown eases. We could not do this without your steadfast support. Thanks to you all, including our generous monthly donors who help us plan our cash flow in support of these incredibly proud and hardworking families.

 
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