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Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda

by Rwanda-one4one
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda
Happy kids in summer school pod
Happy kids in summer school pod

As we reported in July, Rwanda has been under a stay at home order since the pandemic was declared in the spring of this year, so our children have been unable to attend school, like so many kids around the world. Not only have they been unable to go to school, but they have also lost access to the meals provided by their schools, with the additional need for food a crushing burden for their parents.

We hired 6 out-of-work teachers from the children's schools to tutor 17 students in pods in 4 homes, 5 days a week, 3-5 hours a day. The program has been a great success! The kids have loved it, and the parents and guardians are beyond grateful. 

We are all still awaiting a decision from the government regarding whether or not schools will reopen this fall, but we are feeling good about the current tutoring pods approach should we need to continue it, or reinstitute it again in the future.

The positive impact of education on individuals' and societies' ability to lift themselves from the crushing cyle of poverty is well documented. Your ongoing support of our efforts to help Rwandans rebuild their lives and their society is deeply appreciated.

One of the older students learning outside
One of the older students learning outside
We support students through high school
We support students through high school
We love this!
We love this!

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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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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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Vania 2014 (far left)
Vania 2014 (far left)

In 2014, when we began the education support program for children in Rwanda there was little to no earned income coming into the family homes. The children had missed semesters and even years of attending school due to their guardians inability to afford the school fees. The ability to buy enough food to feed their children two meals a day was scarce and what food they did eat lacked energy building ingredients. Prolonged hunger prohibits rational thought and sevely affects mental well-being.

This was the case for Vania. I met her in 2014 at her home in the Northern Region of Rwanda. She was an 11 year-old bright eyed girl with a beautiful smile. We receive report cards for all the children in our program to follow their progress, but Vania's grades were struggling to meet the 40% mark (80% being the best). However, in the last few years, as the women earn income from the Umva dyeing project, and are not having the financial burden of paying the school fees there is now more income for food and other necessities. Always, food and water are at the heart of a healthy mind and body.

In Rwanda, at the end of Primary School (grade 8) students have to take and successfully pass National Exams in order to attend Secondary School (grades 9-12). We received Vania's marks this month and she not only passed the exams but did them very well. Her best subject was English with a 2 (1 being best out of 10) but all the marks were 6 or less. She has been assigned to attend a boarding school in Rwanda where she will stay and study except for the holidays. We are so proud of Vania!

As our families work and earn income the children are thriving rather than barely surviving. This is how we make a difference directly where the need is so great.

Vania is thriving
Vania is thriving

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Mom's kitchen
Mom's kitchen

Paccy's mother lives in the Northeastern Province of Rwanda in a rudimentary home with an outdoor kitchen and latrine. Paccy used to fetch water for her 80 year old mother from the nearest well, nearly an hour's walk roundtrip, but she now works and lives too far away to do so.

After scraping together enough money to attend university, Paccy graduated from INES in 2016 and obtained a job in 2018 as a medical lab technician - a triumph - but it required her to move over 4 hours away. Paccy sends much of her monthly income to her mom to help with food and other expenses but cannot afford to pay someone to fetch her water.

I met with Paccy in April 2019 during my annual visit to Rwanda and asked about her mom's welfare. She told me about the difficulties her mom was having with no water. Paccy is incredibly shy; we converse very slowly due to our language challenges. I told her we would try to raise money to install a rainwater collection system for her mom. Her eyes welled up, she lowered her head, and tears began to fall onto her lap. We were silent for several moments. When she finally brought her head back up she smiled, I smiled, and the dream was in motion.

By August Rwanda-one4one was able to fund the water system. Paccy managed the project, sending images and receipts as the work progressed. We paid for a 500 liter tank, a cement platform, piping, and a secure brick enclosure. Rain from the roof flows via a gutter to the tank. Last week we received this message and these photos from Paccy:

She told me to tell you that you did a great thing in her life even in our family.
God bless you so much!!!  She missed manner to thank you!!! But God will give his eternal life and too much blessings at this earth.
This is the power of Rwanda one-4-one. We make personal connections with the families we serve and identify opportunities to help them solve intractable challenges, enabling them to be more independent.
Mom at her water tank
Mom at her water tank
Paccy and her Mom
Paccy and her Mom
Brick structure holds the water tank next to house
Brick structure holds the water tank next to house

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Organization Information

Rwanda-one4one

Location: Westmoreland, NH - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @rwanda-one4one
Project Leader:
Nancy Zeller
Westmoreland, NH United States
$40,803 raised of $45,000 goal
 
662 donations
$4,197 to go
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