Jul 13, 2020

Summer School is in Session

Summer school - 1st Grade
Summer school - 1st Grade

As with most of the world, Rwanda has been under a stay at home order since spring. Our children cannot attend school. Their school runs in trimesters, so they attend across the year with only a few short holidays. We developed the idea of hiring teachers from their respective schools to come teach in their homes in June, July, and August to keep their minds sharp in these stay-at-home months. We hired 6 teachers to teach 17 students in 4 homes, 5 days a week 3-5 hours a day. The children are all happy to gather each morning and attend summer school together!

The guardians and parents created a school room at each home, with a blackboard and supplies that we provided. The teachers produce report cards for each student at the end of each month so we can evaluate their progress. By creating the summer school program we are able to keep the children studying which will help them when school begins again, and the 6 teachers each earn a wage in this difficult time, returning income to their families in Rwanda.

Your financial support of education and other basic needs means the world to the families we support. They and we are profoundly grateful for your generosity.

Guillene home schooling- 5th grade
Guillene home schooling- 5th grade
June report card for a student
June report card for a student
High School students in home schooling
High School students in home schooling

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Jul 12, 2020

You Have Brought Relief in a Pandemic

Taking care of each other in the pandemic
Taking care of each other in the pandemic

Just a few months ago, COVID-19 was not a threat to Rwanda but as we have seen, the virus is not selective of location or any other factor. In some ways, Rwanda had the benefit of watching other countries and how they handed the surge of cases. The country went into a strict lockdown in March. Citizens had to stay in their houses, except for buying food and medicine. No one was able to travel between provinces for any reason. Presently, the active cases are extremely low. Rwanda has been pro-active, and the results are impressive. What is not clear with this virus is how it will spread in any population across the months ahead.

With our families unable to work and the children unable to get meals at school, we saw the urgent need to provide food and rent support and your generosity has been overwhelming. For the past 3 months, we have assisted with rent payments, monthly food assistance, and emergency medical issues.

For the members of the families we serve who had been earning income and were suddenly without it, your financial support has enabled them to have three meals a day instead of the one they were down to, as well as being able to stay in their modest rental homes. They and we are profoundly grateful for your generous support.

Caring for her grandchildren at home
Caring for her grandchildren at home

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Mar 26, 2020

In Solidarity

Guillene
Guillene

We are in uncharted waters. COVID-19 is now present in nearly every country in the world. It has taken thousands of lives and now threatens millions of livelihoods. And it will require bold individual and collective actions to defeat.
Everyday chores, like buying food, present a challenge, and even the near future is filled with unknowns. This is life in the middle of a pandemic.

Amidst this crisis, we continue working with our families in Rwanda while they are presently in a country-wide shut down. On March 12th we provided money for all our families to purchase thermometers, hand soap and sanitizer. We wanted to act quickly before supplies started to dwindle as there were no cases in their country. Yet now as their confirmed cases rises daily, the government has set strict standards for all citizens to stay home, businesses are closed, schools are closed, flights are cancelled in and out of Rwanda and fines will be placed on those who don’t obey the orders.

This has placed a hardship on all Rwanda’s citizens, most of whom live in poverty and now have no ability to earn income at all. As founder, I had to postpone my April trip to Rwanda. This trip is vital to our mission for both social encouragement and implementation of furthering their work goals. With the trip postponed, we will continue our support and guidance as our families wait out the pandemic. Our focus in this time is to provide any medical needs to help them, and we will continue to fund the school fees as soon as the children return to school. Although all the children in our education program are home during the stay at home order, they will return to their studies after the crisis passes.

Above is Guillene, the newest child to be accepted into our education program. I have known her and her mum since 2015. The family has fallen on hard times as both parents cannot find work. Guillene is a very bright young girl with very good marks. Her mom, Micheline, is an accomplished seamstress and we hire her each year to sew products for the Umva project. Micheline received a grant to attend tourism school in Kigali and we are helping with her weekly transportation fees this year until she graduates. Unfortunately, the school is closed during the pandemic and running the course online. Micheline does not own a computer. She is missing the online studies and falling behind. We are trying to find a way to help with this issue.

Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your continued support, even in this time of financial uncertainty. Both one time and recurring monthly donations are so vital for keeping the wheels of progress turning for our mission! Together we are bringing hope, stability and peace to Rwandan families who truly have no other options.

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