Ten years ago it was just a tiny seed.
With a lot of tender loving care from so many, it began to sprout, and the growth has been awesome. God in Charge.
A wonderful tribute event to 10 years of love shared with you in the following pictures.
In the wee hours of the night, tents and chairs appeared on the football field. Workers were preparing for the 500 or more guests expected to attend. Now I thought that was expecting a lot but by the time the event started every chair was filled and more benches were needed. What a recognition to Urukundo Foundation and Hope Made Real with this expected turnout.
Tents lined the entire field and were full with welcomed guests!
The children had their own tent. What a beautiful sight.
Our international Guests- Louise Midland from UK, Meredith Lu from USA, Lennart Westmark from Germany, and Talia Sainclair from USA. These international guest represented our Volunteer Alumni.
Guest Bruce Krogh, Carnagie Mellon.
It was wonderful to have a board member from Hope Made Real present at our celebration, secretary Margie Krogh was a delight.
Master William and his Urukundo Karate kids demonstrated their talents.
My University Girls
Divine, Anett, Esperance, and Jolly Divine
My University Boys
John Paul, Diescor, and Alexander
My youngest Jacque traveled from Pennsylvania to Rwanda to be with me during this special event. Having one of my children from USA travel and attend the celebration was such a pleasure.
We were honored by Exec Secretary of the District, Celse Gasana, and a representative of the National Commission of Children, Eugenie. We so appreciate their presence.
Claire Effiong from Esthers Aide and her colleague sit with our Headmaster Irene.
iANITHA AND THE GEMS CHOIR
John Paul & Diescor with the older children choir sing for our guest
The choirs combined to sing a song together. It was heavenly music.
Jean Marie conducts a tour for our guests
Viewing the Path to Learning Stones placed with LOVE by many of you.
Gifts were given to Urukundo’s Founder/Director.
Urukundo Board made Mama burst into pure joy close to tears.
Jean Marie, Oswald, Felix, Felicitie, and Hildebrand.
A dear friend Grace also presented a lovely gift. All Chocolates. Wow!!!
A speech was presented by the older children thanking Urukundo for loving them.
A poem was written as a tribute to Mama by the teachers. It made me cry.
Staff and our children enjoyed the day.
Mama walked across the field, Joyce and Jacob came to greet her and be her escort. It was such fun.
Betty Mama boys house, Chantel Mama at Nursery, Rahab manager of childrens shop at sewing center. All had a job to do during the celebration and did it well.
Big brother, Etienne, come home to be with the kids this special day. We love parties especially when the big kids come home.
Of course, Mama had to make a speech as well. You will find it at the bottom of this Special 10 Year Anniversary post. It is a summary of events and the goals for the next 5 years at Urukundo Home and Learning Center.
A few words were presented by Eugenie whose heart is also with the children of Rwanda.
Our guest of honor, Exec. Director of Muhanga District, Gasana Celse closed the program with encouraging words for Urukundo and the work being done.
No party is complete with without food and drink. There was plenty for all
So ends a beautiful day.
Our banner flies high and we view it with proud and joy.
THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO MADE IT SUCH A SUCCESS.
Welcome honored guest and friends to Urukundo’s celebration of sharing love for 10 years with our neighbors in Muhanga District.
I would like to tell you briefly how and where Urukundo started, how it has grown in the 10 years and the vision for the next 5 years.
In 2006, Urukundo actually began as a home for girls. A house was rented in Kibirigi and at that time there was only one mama, one girl (this one) and one guard. By the beginning of 2007, the local Mudugudu approached Urukundo about a need for a home for 6 young boys. A second home was then rented to accommodate the street boys. Those 6 boys are now young men and remain a part of our family.
By the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008, we had purchased land in Binunga Village, Cyeza Sector for our chickens and since we already owned the land and the children needed a better place to call home. We decided to start by building a new home for the boys on the land and then one for the girls to permanently give them a more safe and stable environment to grow up in. That was when Cyeza sector became Urukundo’s permanent home. The Urukundo family continued to grow. As the family grew we slowly purchased more hectors to help with the much needed expansion to add a farm with chickens, cows, pigs, rabbits, goats, and a vegetable garden. By doing so we feed the children with the produce from the farm.
2010 was a very important year for us. We started using manure to produce biogas to cook with and it also helped in the conservation of wood. The other major event in our 2010 history was when the Rwanda government recognized the Urukundo foundation officially.
In 2011 thanks to cooperation between F X B and Urukundo Foundation a free water system was built with the help of the Binunga community. Bringing the water up the mountain and nearer the road was a blessing for many. Through the combined efforts trenches were dug and pipes were laid. As electricity was not accessible solar pumps were installed to pump the water from the bottom of the mountain to the reservoir at the top. We give special thanks to Rotary International for funding these Solar Pumps and Rotary Vuringa/ Kigali for being our sponsor here in Rwanda.
In 2012 a formal dedication was held and we were honored by having the governor of South Province and the Mayor of Muhanga at the dedication of the new water system.
In May of 2011, the Urukundo Learning Center had its start by opening the Cyakabiri preschool. Thanks to the district of Muhanga. It was wonderful to be able to open its doors for the young children. Since then, each year another grade level had opened.
We are now in the process of building Primary 5 and 6 and should be complete and opened by January of 2017.
With an MOU connecting Urukundo with the National Rwanda University School of Dentistry, a dental clinic was established here on Urukundo and we are waiting for the acceptance from the ministry of health for the official opening.
Since 2009, we have provided a home for 54 children. Of these 54 children; 23 are all under 10 years of age, and now live in the Urukundo home for children. The remaining 31 are cared for by their Rwandan families and their education and additional expenses are covered by Urukundo Foundation.
Seven members are going to universities. Four are studying at universities in Rwanda and three are studying in Universities in America.
I must also note that we have two others who are waiting to be accepted into the field of medicine at a university. The remaining are in Secondary school or have found Jobs and are becoming responsible citizens.
I am also pleased to say that Urukundo employs 69 Rwandan citizens. This helps make the Urukundo family feel even more complete.
Education being our priority we also encourage our employees to seek further education. To date with help from Urukundo 8 employees have attended and graduated universities. Six with bachelor degrees and 2 with master degrees. At present two of our staff are finishing at the University this December with bachelor’s degrees.
And now our next 5 years vision has already started.
In July, which is just next month, solar electricity will be added to both the boys’ home and the girl’s home.
I am also pleased to announce that as of last week Urukundo was able to purchase the property next to the Primary 6 classrooms. With our vision of a secondary school the land acquired will complete the acreage needed to build a secondary school. In 2017, we will petition the Muhanga District for permission to construct & equip a Secondary School. The vision doesn’t stop just gets better.
This secondary school will let our community children live at home with family and attend secondary school reducing the cost of higher education.
Low and no income families will also have the opportunity to send their children to secondary school and have them live at home.
In our long-term plan, a technical University is also part of our vision. Creating a learning facility for much needed skills as plumbing, electricity, masonry, automotive, culinary and the list goes on.
We are in the process of acquiring funding for that technical University. This would require the district to help us obtain the land where we can extend our school. The technical school is needed and would be an asset to Cyeza sector and Muhanga District.
Moving into the age of technology Urukundo has established a computer lab and are working and will be ICDL certified this month. This program is to certify business men & women in the use of the computer to make their business more efficient.