May 2017 Newsletter

May was a wonderful month for Urukundo but for me personally it was not so good. Yep, this is the changing of the season when I catch a cold and cough my head nearly off. Two weeks was not enough this year. I am much better finally. Cough is gone and I am finally recovering. I think most of the cure was sitting in the sunshine. Love that Rwanda sun.

Current Events

May 1 is National Labor day in Rwanda. Urukundo celebrates it’s employees with a Foote Ball (soccer) game between:

The Village team


The Learning Center team


Spectators get very excited

This year the Learning Center Staff won 5 goals to 3.  After the match a luncheon is served to all players. Competition over friendships remain. Good sportsmanship all around.


Where are all our Urukundo Family children now?

Do you know?

Here are 3 that are studying in the USA. Bringing you up to date will be fun for me. Of the original family now they are young adults

# 1 Solange Nirere


Solange Nirere is in Texas where she finished high school and she graduated on May 13, 2017 from University Of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) with a BA in Political Science. She hopes to go to Graduate school working toward a masters in Law. Some day she will be a judge.  Solange will soon become a US citizen.

Her family at Urukundo are so proud of her and all she has accomplished. She is a role model for all the brothers and sisters while she has here. Way to go Solange! We love you!

#2 Tresor Cyubahiro


Tresor is an undergraduate student at Arizona State University (ASU) in the USA working toward his bachelor’s degree. He comes home to Rwanda this month, May 16, 2017 to serve an internship at Carnegie Mellon University -Africa.

Our kids are so excited especially Jacob. Tresor is his best big brother. Photo taken when Tresor was about to leave for USA after completing his internship in August, he will return to Arizona to complete his University and achieve his Bachelors of Science in Engineering.

# 3 Lilliane Wishovura


Lilliane is a student attending Kings Academy in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania. She graduates June 10, 2017 from high school and returns home to Urukundo to attend Akilah Institute in Kigali. 

This photo is Lilliane from 3 years ago. I am eagerly waiting to see the change. June’s newsletter should have that picture. Three years does make a difference.

May's Child: Johnny's Story

Shortly after David arrived our second baby boy came. Once the door was opened we could not close it. We were blessed again. We named him, Johnny. I am thinking God opened the door and did not intend for us to close it.  Johnny was a month old when again the Police and Vise Mayor Alice came to the door carrying a bundle of distressed, kicking, crying little boy baby. He really was a big boy even at one month. He had been found in the bush. Now I am not sure exactly where that is but someone found him and brought him to the police.  The police brought him to the district and then to Urukundo and he is now and will remain part of our family.

Johnny is a passionate child and loves beautiful things. He is my flower child and every day he brings me a flower. The problem with that is he picks the flower from my flower garden and only the very best one. I could never scold him for picking my flowers. He shows his love and love is so important.

Johnny is an excellent student and has been #1 in his class through preschool and now in Primary so far.  He is an award winner.  In first grade, he got an award for being the best reader of English in his class of 70 students. He is a good athlete but likes books more than sports.

When he grows up and finishes university, he plans to become a Bank Manager. Maybe even own his own bank. Hey, we dream big. Why not?

Johnny in first grade.

John today

Johnny has become a young man and is a great, big brother to the younger children. Oh yes, he is now John not Johnny. He decided to make the change. Yep, Growing up.


Our children are delighted when they hear from their sponsors.

Claude received books from his sponsor and shared the joy with sister Rebekah.


Tresor arrived home as scheduled

Diescor accompanied Mama to the airport to welcome his brother home.


Progress at the farm

Using the materials from the house we demolished we are building more pens for the cows at the farm.  Waste not want not. Good slogan. We practice what we preach. Materials are never thrown away but recycled.

I spent the morning inspecting the farm.  This is the present housing for 5 pregnant female cows.  All 5 cows came out to greet me. How awesome is that.

Land prepared and foundation being laid for additions expected in the near future to the cow population. We are hoping for all female calves. We hope to raise a good herd of milk cows.

New construction in progress.

One week later

May 29 Progress continues

Mission Outreach For Urukundo Dental

Centre Marembo Organization is an NGO for abused, vulnerable girls and young women.

In May, Nicolete Nsabimana the Director sitting at Mama’s desk.  Nicolete Nsabimana brought 13 of the girls to Urukundo for a dental checkup and treatment.


After the girls’ received their dental checkup and treatment lunch was served.   



Treatment includes: fillings, cleaning, extractions, etc all were done. The next date for more of the girls to come for scanning and treatment was set. We hope this service will benefit both Centre Marembo and Urukundo in Mission.

Internship at Urukundo Village

Intern Felix Tuyigenge

His name is Felix. He is a student at University of Technology and Arts in Byumba (CUYTAB) his study is early Childhood Development minor in Social Service. Working with the children in our home and in Daycare is right down his ally. Felix will be with us for one month.

Internships can last one month to three months depending on the level of the school the student is in.

Urukundo receives interns for extra training on site at the Farm, School (Social Service, Teaching), Dental, Kitchen (Nutrition) and Home/Village.

Daycare Children 

Three of the 14 children in day care.  Jerry, these are the younger of the group playing at Mama’s house


He relates very well with the different age groups we have. You are most welcome Alexi. Happy to have you join us.



My kids sing a song, I love and the words in the song are “Make new friends but keep the old, One is silver the other is gold.” Otto Fisher from Austria is in the Old friend category.  He is pure Gold.  It was such a pleasure having a visit with this very dear friend on April 30, 2017. He even brought me flowers and chocolate. Pampering an older citizen. How thoughtful!

More Visitors

Laurien Sibomana from University of Pittsburgh


Laurien and his family are Rwandan and live in Pittsburgh, Pa, USA.  He returns to Rwanda periodically working in his field of expertise.  Laurien works with Diabetes #1 patients through out Rwanda and in our local hospital. He and I and Sewing Instructor Theresa hope to establish a class at our sewing Center for his charges.  Teaching sewing to help these young people so in need of a way to make a living and to have a better life is another outreach Urukundo can do help to the community around us.

Working Volunteers

Teaching is part of the volunteer program when volunteers arrive at Urukundo. This program is not only at the school but at Urukundo Home/day care. Teaching is not just a school responsibility. Play is also a great teaching tool. Laura Rowling is teaching the P4 & P5 kids to play the board game, CLUE. All our children are exposed to and are learning Checkers, Chess, Chinese checkers, and puzzles according to age.  Dominoes, Connect 4, Mix & Match, Scrabble, and Lego’s are a few others that they learn and play. 

Kyle & Laura. They are a neat couple.

Laura teaching with kids how to play.

Kyle Uricchio is a Journalist and Musician. Our music program is so happy to have music teachers come to spend time in our teaching program. Kyle teaches guitar and piano. Working with our teacher Mr. Bonone and Ryan Sanford (Peace Corps worker) Kyle is able to add another dimension to our school of music. His time with us is short but so appreciated. Devotions in the evenings is exciting as he teaches our home kids new songs and plays and sings for them. Thank you Kyle.

Kyle, Tresor & Diescor took part in Sunday worship service.


Laura, Talia enjoy a reunion with Divine.  This is Laura’s second visit to Urukundo.

Talia is our top volunteer. This year marks 10 visits in 10 years for her. She is a blessing to us and we look forward to her return each year. She has grown up with our kids

Talia is a graduate of Penn State University USA and has a bachelor’s degree in African Studies. 

Final photo before departure

Visitor from Germany.

Kathirn Hegger is working in the Rwaza District of Rwanda. She met Divine and decided to pay us an overnight visit. Her visit was short but very good. Our kids liked her very much.

Important Need-Bus!

The bus is priority at this time!  Please consider sending some funding to help either with the purchase of the much needed bus!

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