After 6 years of partnering with L'Esperance Orphanage in the hills overlooking the beautiful shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda, the time has come for the Engineers Without Borders (EWB)-CU Team to turn over project control to the orphanage community. Visiting L'Esperance in January to monitoring the irrigation system we implemented in Summer 2011, it was apparent how much hope we, as mere engineering students, had brought to this community. Over the years, our team has worked with local Rwandans, designing and building rain water catchment facilities, installing solar panels, setting up handwashing faciliites, and most recently installing an irrigation system for the many acres of farm land at the orphanage. EWB-CU's experiences at L'Esperance Orphange have been about more than engineering. We have come to know and love the orphans that surrounded us day after day at our project sites, eager to learn about the strange equipment we carry with us.
Returning to L'Esperance Orphanage in December, our team recognized that under the director's vision, the community is well on its way to becoming economically self sufficient, with plans to now sell the trees grown in their nursery for profit in local markets. Our team has cherished every moment of working with this amazing community. Now, we feel that our presence at L'Esperance Orphanage is no longer necessary. The community has grown to own the maintenance and operation of each of the systems we have implemented, and we are confident in their ability to continue their journey on the road to becoming wholly economically self sufficient.
As our team prepares to return to Rwanda this summer to begin our new partnership building a school with the Rwandan Orphans Project (see the attached newsletter for details!), we will always remember the smiles we met in the hills of Rwanda. These children, their hopes and dreams, are the driving force behind what we do.
We would like to thank you for your continued support of EWB-CU's mission to improve the futures of orphans in Rwanda. Without you, the last 6 years of immense progress at L'Esperance, and our new program with the children at the Rwandan Orphans Project would never be possible.
Please stayed tuned for our new school construction project on GlobalGiving!
-The EWB-CU Rwanda Team
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