Where there is hope there is light. Because of your care and support for our Rwandan families, during the Covid-19 pandemic we were able to offer food assistance, home tutoring for our children who could not attend school, and living expenses for families who couldn't meet their obligations. The pandemic brought a great strain to our families who already face hardships due to poverty.
Recently, Rwanda has eased the Covid restrictions for her citizens and travelers. Food markets are open, buses and motos are moving, and there is hope as they transition away from the pandemic.
As we close this project, you are welcome to support our parent project in the link below, Dyeing For Peace in Rwanda, that supports entrepreneurial efforts, education for school children grades K-12, and emergency medical and shelter needs.
We met the goal during this great time of need for the families. Thank you for answering the call.
With deep sadness we mourn the passing of one of the students in our school program. On December 21, 12-year old Fred gathered with friends after school, taking a break from studying for upcoming trimester finals. They were playing in the water at Lake Kivu and Fred and another boy started to drown. A passerby was able to save the other boy but not Fred. Fred was a top student in his class, conscientious and focused. With your support he had just started attending boarding school. His future was bright; he wanted to be an accountant. He is survived by his mother, grandmother, 8 siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Fred is deeply missed by everyone who knew him. Our hearts are with the family and pray their sorrow can pass softly.
As 2021 comes to a close, despite this tragedy, there is much to be thankful for. Through your support and confidence in our work, we have been able to welcome 3 new children into the education program and hope to add 2 more children in 2022. Education is critical for Rwandan children. Because we can fund their school fees, they attend school without worry of being left behind in their studies and in life. It is a great gift and we profoundly thank you for making it possible.
We continue to give food support to the families as they find their way through the challenges from the pandemic. Lockdowns have eased, and vaccinations are being offered with 39% of the population fully vaccinated.
We launched a microproject to fund an egg business for an elder Rwandan woman who has little to no income for food and other necessities. The money raised will build a small brick hen house within the walls around her tiny home - walls are an important safety feature for Rwandan homes. The funds will also cover the purchase of 20 hens and feed for 4 months - until they begin laying eggs which will then be sold for income. In less than 2 weeks we raised the entire project goal and Josephine, with the help of her daughter, will start the project soon. They are beyond excited and grateful!
One facet of our mission at Rwanda-one4one is to give a hand "up" to Rwandans who want to earn income and avoid life in poverty. Because of your support we can help them help themselves. We wouldn't be here without you.
From all of us at Rwanda-one4one we wish you a peaceful, healthy New Year.
Our ladies in Rwanda have been unable to dye any Umva scarves and wraps since the pandemic began. We can't get fabric to them due to travel restrictions and risks. Luckily we had a decent amount of inventory before the pandemic hit, but our primary retail outlets were also shut down due to COVID: the safari lodges in Rwanda had no guests and our big textile show in upstate New York was cancelled last year. Our board made the decision to continue providing income to the ladies nonetheless as the pandemic made their financial challenges even greater.
The good news is that the NY textile show was held this October. Although it was scaled back considerably, our team put together a beautiful booth with our remaining inventory and did far better than we had anticipated. A bright spot indeed!
On the education front we have continued to see an increase in school fees due to COVID-related expenses. We also have three new children in school this fall. With education for school age children being core to our mission, we made the decision to continue funding beyond our budgeted levels to keep them going.
We could have done NONE of this for our families if it weren't for your faith in our mission and your generous support of these remarkable people.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, and those of our families.
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