July 2019 Newsletter

Celebrating the Fourth

The Fourth of July marks Independence Day for Americans. For Rwandans, the day marks Liberation Day.

So much has happened in late June and the month of July!

• Sports awards

• Social media and video development projects by visitors

• Sewing Center’s Level 1 accreditation by the Ministry of Education

• Construction of Sewing Center classroom

• Urukundo moving forward in educational development

• Worship Center serving children

• Textbooks for Urukundo Learning Center

The first 25 kids

A visit to our university house in Kigali. It’s unusual to find nine of the 10 kids at home at the same time. Perfect photo op. Dada (Pacifique) was in class so is not in the group. Oliver doesn’t start university until September. He then will move to the university house also.

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Back row: Divine, Esperance, Bosco, Alexander, Abais

Front row: Giselle, Deborah, Cecelia, Lilliane

Bringing you, our long-time friends, up to date as to where the original 25 Urukundo kids are now. This group became family in 2006. Where are they in 2019?

The 11 above are or will be living the the university house. Solange is in Texas, USA, working on her master’s degree. Tresor is in California, USA, serving an internship in computer development after graduating in May 2019 from Arizona State University. John Paul, returned from Seattle, Washington, USA, after achieving his physical education certificate and is working at Urukundo Learning Center as a sports coach. Amin and Seraphina, with certificates in culinary arts, are on the job in Urukundo’s kitchen. Diescor is a medical student in school in Butare. Lucy and Fabrice are living with family and attending university. Anita, Anette, Emmanuel, Florentine, Savronia and Big Claude are now independent.

This accounts of all 25 of the first generation of Urukundo’s kids.

I am a very proud mama.

New Sewing Center classroom

Having a classroom connected to the Sewing Center is a requirement of the Ministry of Education. The curriculum requires not just sewing but English as a second language, business and entrepreneurship. The classroom is also more convenient for the students and teachers. The Sewing Center already has earned a Level 1 qualification, which permits it to give a diploma to its students.

Work began June 17.

The location of the former boys’ home, now the Sewing Center. The building in the lower edge is the kitchen.

The location of the former boys’ home, now the Sewing Center. The building in the lower edge is the kitchen.

This photo shows the location in proximity to the new boys’ home and Hope House.

This photo shows the location in proximity to the new boys’ home and Hope House.

Work as of June 21.

Work as of June 21.

Continued monitoring of project. Progress as of July 1.

Continued monitoring of project. Progress as of July 1.

Front view on July 10. Ready for metal sheets for making a roof.

Front view on July 10. Ready for metal sheets for making a roof.

Side view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Side view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Back view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Back view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Inside work in progress

Inside work in progress

The floor will be cement and tiles. Blackboard will be in indicated space in the back wall. Classroom is for 48 students.

Two entrance doors in front of the classroom.

Two entrance doors in front of the classroom.

Good looking on July 25. Building with roof and ready for exterior paint.

Good looking on July 25. Building with roof and ready for exterior paint.

Sports in the spotlight

Karate graduation

Karate graduation

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Ishmael, our dental employee, received an orange belt. The presenter was Iyamuremye Eugene,our farm manager and director of the karate team. I have so many proud moments.

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Kavine, one of the younger children at Urukundo, has earned another belt. Pastor Yves, who is Urukundo’s spiritual leader and her foster dad, and I were there to congratulate her.

Boys and girls basketball team

Boys and girls basketball team

Boys volleyball team

Boys volleyball team

Girls volleyball team

Girls volleyball team

Boys soccer team

Boys soccer team

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Volunteers attended sports event. Moses was the photographer, Natasha the observer.

Champions every one.

Champions every one.

We salute our coaches John Paul, Ignace and Theogin; Headmaster Irene; and fans Eugene, Elias and Olive.

What an accomplishment for Urukundo Learning Center! This was our first year taking part in active competition in Muhanga District primary school sports. Urukundo is No. 1 in foote ball (soccer), girls volleyball and boys volleyball.

Coach John Paul and his teams.

Coach John Paul and his teams.

Positives vibes going in. Confidence is important. The goal is to win. They did it.

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Red shirt, captain of girls volleyball team, Pierrine; black shirt, captain of foote ball team, Manzi; blue shirt, captain of boys volleyball team, Samuel. They are the winners.

Iris, proclaiming Urukundo No. 1!

Iris, proclaiming Urukundo No. 1!

Celebrating victory with Mama.

Celebrating victory with Mama.

We are the winners. Congratulations to all sport teams.

Proud display. We need a shelf at the school for trophies. This is just the beginning.

Proud display. We need a shelf at the school for trophies. This is just the beginning.

Visitors in July

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Co-workers Natasha Dean and Kim Moses from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, came to Urukundo Learning Center to meet with students and staff and to help Urukundo develop an updated social media system and videos. This will give our followers a better visual picture of Urukundo and life here in Rwanda. It has been a pleasure having them here as volunteers.

They not only visited the school but attended the sports event as well.

Time with the kids.

Craft project: Making colorful bracelets for all. Made with embroidery floss.

Craft project: Making colorful bracelets for all. Made with embroidery floss.

An art project gave excitement to the weekend.

An art project gave excitement to the weekend.

The kids and Pastor Yves invited our guests to take a hike.

The kids and Pastor Yves invited our guests to take a hike.

Yep, they hiked to the lake. The lake is proving to be an interesting Sunday afternoon for volunteers. The kids love it.

Another stone has been added to the Path to Learning. This one is in memory of Kim Moses’ grandmother, Pastor Emeritus Aseline Ratcliff, who is loved and missed by her family. Moses wanted a stone on the path in memory of this special lady. The $100 gift for the stone goes into the Education Fund for Community Children.

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Saying so long to friends at Urukundo is always difficult. Natasha and Moses have made a huge contribution in media so that the world can better understand what Urukundo is all about.

Their contribution long will endure, and the benefits for Urukundo are yet to be known.

Olive, Libby and I feel so blessed having had time with them.

New neighbors

Peter and Cherrie Jacques— the new directors at the Victory Home of Champions — came to call.

We are very happy to welcome them to Rwanda. Victory and Urukundo have enjoyed a relationship for many years, thanks to the former director for Victory, Grace Van Mil. The soccer team from Victory was the first to come and enjoy playing foote ball with our older kids about eight years ago. Victory Home is an NGO (non-governmental organization) from Canada.

Along with Peter, Cherrie and me in the photo are Mama Grace, left, and Papa JoJo, both long-time friends from Victory.

Along with Peter, Cherrie and me in the photo are Mama Grace, left, and Papa JoJo, both long-time friends from Victory.

Worship includes caring

What Urukundo worship is all about: sharing what we have with those who have little and sharing love with a child.

Pastor Yves and Chantel give a gift of clothes to a precious little boy.

Pastor Yves and Chantel give a gift of clothes to a precious little boy.

Little feet need little shoes.

Little feet need little shoes.

His mama and Chantel look happier than our precious boy.

His mama and Chantel look happier than our precious boy.

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Several shirts, pants and shoes make a big difference in the life of a child and his mom.

We are blessed to be a part of this event.

Looking every bit the man.

Looking every bit the man.

Textbooks for students

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Every child having a textbook for every subject taught at Urukundo Learning Center is our goal.

A gift was received from friends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, to purchase textbooks for our Primary 6 students. It is so exciting to have real books to study from.

In time, all six grades will be so blessed.

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Counting our blessings every day.

Social studies teacher Tricelle and her students enjoy textbooks and puzzles provided for her class.

Social studies teacher Tricelle and her students enjoy textbooks and puzzles provided for her class.

Science teacher Fidele is excited about new material to present to his class along with the textbooks.

Science teacher Fidele is excited about new material to present to his class along with the textbooks.

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Board member visits

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Last but not least, Urukundo was honored to have Louise Medland from the United Kingdom come and spend a week at Urukundo. Louise has spent many years as part of our family and was here for our 10th anniversary celebration.

Louise is a member of the International Board of Directors for Hope Made Real.

Louise’s expertise is in financial reporting and management. Her advice and knowledge were a blessing to our staff.