January 2016 Newsletter

A New Year Begins

The New Year 2016 started out with a first at Urukundo Village. Can you imagine coming to Urukundo to spend your honeymoon? Well it happened.

Lauren and John Paul came to Urukundo for part of their honeymoon. It was great. This may be the chosen spot for a honeymoon in the future. Better book early.

Lauren and Paul spent New Year's Eve celebrating with the kids. I am sure it was different than any celebration they have ever been a part of. Paul is quite a dancer and Lauren comes in second in African dancing. Me, I have become a spectator. Age does that to you. Darn.


Sunglasses were the perfect gift for enjoying sunny Urukundo in Rwanda. Lauren & Paul brought a pair for every kid and Mama.

We tried to make it a little special with the help of Lauren’s boss.

Paul & Lauren during departure at the airport.

Joy of Joy's

The arrival of this young lady has been a blessing for children, teachers and me.

We had no idea what a bonus she would be to Urukundo kids and Urukundo Learning Center when she came.

Jeanne Willis arrived in our home January 2, 2016 full of energy and love and is in our hearts to stay.

Jeanne came to teach the children in our home and school but she is doing far more than that. 

Jeanne’s goals are to help the teachers know the resources they have and how to use them better.

Jeanne hails from Hughesville, Pennsylvania and is a substitute teacher in the schools in the area.

Jeanne says she is a retired Preschool teacher. Just what part of teaching she is retired from I am not sure. Once a teacher with a heart there is no retirement possible.

Friends Church in Hughesville her family of faith are cheering her on.

Her teaching techniques are an inspiration and a source of encouragement to our teachers. 

Our Kids Growing Up

The best part of January was having so many of our older kids home. Some were here only for a few days, Divine, Esperance, Emmanuel, and Alexander. 

University Student, Esperance

University Student, Alexander

Senior Secondary Cecelia

Sophomore Secondary Esperance

Recent Graduate, University Bound, John Paul

Junior Secondary, Giselle

Senior Secondary, Deborah

Seraphine Student Senior 4

Never too young to celebrate

Jacob, Janette & Jason supervising preparation for New Year’s Party.

Sports News

Diescor, Abis, Bosco, John Paul, two basketball coaches and two foote ball coaches.  You understand these coaches; only coach our two family teams.

Where is the ball?

Every team needs a water girl

Cheering section

What fun. The score was a tie. 8 to 8. Everyone was happy.

Special for the Month

Rebekah had a surprise package from her sponsor Linda.  She was one happy girl.  A beautiful girl type backpack was the perfect gift for a little girl who just graduated from Kindergarten and is ready for Primary 1.

School supplies and some bobbles.

A new rain poncho

Solar Power Coming to Urukundo

For a long time, we have thought Solar Power would be a blessing to Urukundo but the price was beyond our reach because the installers would only do the whole village. Urukundo is many buildings and a school. We could not afford that.

Finally a friend from Austria has agreed to do just two houses to see if it is our future. Only the boy’s house and girl’s house will have the panels on the roof. Maybe we can do a house at a time when funding provides.  Claudia and Erwin Weissenböck, good friends of Otto Fischer will do the first installation in July.  Will keep you posted as to the results.

News from Urukundo Learning Center

Urukundo Foundation was honored to host a seminar for Muhanga teachers. The event was a part of the Anna Frank Project. This project emanates from Buffalo NY the sister City in the USA of Our home, Muhanga, Rwanda.

The leaders and presenters were teachers and students from Buffalo State University out of Buffalo, New York.

The 14-member team

Drew Cahn director and teacher did a fantastic job and his students did him proud. What a talented and amazing group.

Drama as a teaching tool may be a new concept to many but for the teachers of Muhanga it is a precious new tool to be used in daily teaching at our schools. More than 80 teachers attended this event and next year it will expand.

Dinner with the kids.

Dinner with the kids was a bonus for the Buffalo team and sharing devotions only added to the joy experienced by our kids. 

The Ugly Duckling Improvisation by Buffalo University Students was sensational our kids demanded an immediate second performance and wanted a third. I think they would have watched it all night if sleep didn’t interfere.  Watching their little faces was a joy to behold.

Devotions with the kids

We Have A Baby

Jean Marie Ntwari, our executive director at Urukundo Foundation and Larissa are the proud parents of a baby girl

Larissa and baby

Isn’t she beautiful?


Thanks to Carol Baney a volunteer at Urukundo, we have new African musical instruments at our school. These are called an INANGA. We have four child size ones.


David Marino and a team from Nyamata School came on an observation tour of Urukundo Learning Center. We were delighted to show them around and encourage them to invest in the future of Nyamata School. This team originates from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Path to Learning

In Loving Memory of a very dear friend this stone was added as a memorial to her and her love for Urukundo Home for Children. "Bo" I will miss you and your beautiful smile.


In closing, I leave you with this thought:

The vulnerable children of Rwanda and the world.

Opportunity is what they need. Your love. Their lives, Our world, You can make a difference.

Your most appreciated gift can be sent to the address below or use the Donate button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

Hope Made Real
PO Box 3222
Williamsport,PA. 17701

Much love,

Mama Arlene
Urukundo Foundation/Hope Made Real

Help make their world a better place.