July 2017 Newsletter

Hello from Urukundo Village

We are please to reveal the new Logo for Hope Made Real

Love it.

The month of July is a dry month in Rwanda but beautiful. We look forward to the rains starting in August. Agriculture is our focus during the 3 months of rain. This is also the month the second term of school finishes and our secondary kids come home for a short break about 3 weeks. Our little ones love having the older brothers and sisters home with them.

On July 4th an important holiday takes place in Rwanda.  Liberation Day is a national holiday commemorating the day in 1994 when the killing stopped, marking the end of a 100-day genocide that left nearly a million Rwandans dead.

On that same day July 4th we celebrate Independence Day in the USA.

 It is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776.

July 4th is a special day both in The USA and in Rwanda. A day we share. Celebrated very differently. IN Rwanda a long walk to the stadium and many speeches in memory of that day.

In the USA we celebrate with Family, fun, picnics and fireworks. Ok, Yes I miss it all but especially the spectacular fireworks display.

Take a look

Anyone have an idea who these two people from my past are?

Child of the Month: Luki Medland

Luki’s Story

Luki just turned 11years old and is a healthy, happy boy and in Primary 5 (Fifth  Grade Level).

Luki came to Urukundo when he was about 6 month old.  We were surprised one afternoon when we had a visit from a social worker carrying a little baby boy in her arms.

The story is an older woman in Gitarama came into her house from outside to find a little baby boy sitting on the floor just inside her front door. There was a basket beside him with some clothes and a paper stating his name was Luki.  The older women called the District for advise, as she was not able to care for the boy. The social service person brought Luki to us.

Louise Midland from the UK and working in the president’s office at the time was on her weekend visit to Urukundo when Luki arrived. He reached out his arms to her and she lost her heart instantly. Louise asked at once could Luki be her little boy? I was delighted as finding a sponsor is not always easy.  Louise remained in Rwanda for three years and was a part of Luki’s development. She helped him learn to walk and speak English with the UK accent not the same as USA accent. Luki loves her and she loves him. He has Louise’s last name, Medland

When Luki was three years old, another three year old little boy arrived and he and Luki became best friends. Claude was the opposite of Luki in many ways. Luki was light and Claude was very dark skin toned. Luki is tall and thin. Claude is shorter and of stocky build.

Luki’s passion is Basketball and Claude’s is Foote Ball.  Luki is the serous one and loves science projects like the one he received from his mom, Louise.

Both excel in school and both work hard to be # 1 place in their grade.  The boys help each other with homework and sports.

Where you see Luki you see Claude.

Do opposites attract? In this case they do and it has been such a blessing for both boys.

Watching Luki grow I am sure he will be very tall and he is already very handsome.

Luki’s dream was to go to England to be part of Louise’s wedding celebration this year. That did not happen. Visas for children are hard to get in Rwanda.

Luki now has a complete family. His stone a gift from Peter & Louise says it plainly.

Prince and Soso are the half pints on luki’s team.

Coach Luki and little brothers Prince and Soso.  Luki is dedicated to Basketball.

Luki playing basketball here with friends on our field. In case you wondered Luki is not the tall one in the green shirt. That is Joe.

Luki today

Visitor In July

Our only long term visitor in July came from Texas

Alicia is a fifth grade teacher in Texas and so fit well in our school.

Alicia Warren Johnson

Her happy cheery smile was a blessing to all.

Alicia teaching the preschoolers Spanish. Now they will have four languages; English, French, Spanish and their mother tongue Kinyarwanda.  Awesome.

Alicia was a delight to have. It was difficult saying good-bye to some of her students. Others were in school. 

Development in Progress

It was necessary to remove ground to build a retaining wall at the area where the new class rooms were under construction. Where to put the dirt?  Now it made good sense and also saved us money and labor to use the dirt in a practical way.

The perfect place for the dirt was the soccer field. It was not level and the kids got scrapes and burses playing on that field. We had talked about digging down and leveling the field.  The question. Was it necessary to remove earth to level the field and make it safer?

Wouldn’t it be just as good to level and widen with the fill dirt removed from the school area. Yep, that is exactly what happened. We now have a great soccer field and in the pictures below you will see a great retaining wall at the construction area for 3 classrooms.

Site where the excess dirt and high bank had to be removed.

Dumped clean fill dirt on the field before leveling.

Rather than digging down to level we decided to use fill dirt from the school and level and widen up instead of down. Killing two birds with one stone. (Another of my dad’s sayings)    Lookin’ Good!

The back view where the dirt was removed and the retaining wall built

Big project


Showing where the old classroom connects with the new construction. Well not so old but previously constructed and in use.

Front view of new buildings.  Blue door is where the buildings connect.

Another big job.  There are 11 count the tails.



Welcome home Lilliane. We had a pleasant surprise when she picked up the guitar and played it very well.  Lilliane, Diescor and Tresor sang in worship with Lilliane on the guitar. It was wonderful.

It is so great having Tresor home although it is for a short time. He returns to Arizona State University in August for two more years. The kids were so happy to welcome both Tresor and Lilliane home. We would have been complete if Solange could have joined them. 

More Farm News

We were so blessed when a group from State College developed a project called, Fill the Coup.

One of our main sources of income is the chicken industry. We purchase one-day-old chicks (they are so cute) and raise them for 3 1/2 months.  In my youth, we called the babies, peeps. However like all baby animals and birds they do not stay 1 day old as they grow they do not stay cute.

Near Finished Project

Construction finished just a few more used bricks and we will have a Great walkway.  We now have 3 new baby calves. Only one in photo. Others visiting mothers for food.

Short-term visitors

Tom Gardner a Journalist from the Economist Group out of the UK came asking for an interview. It was interesting.  What he wanted to talk about is a sore subject in Rwanda. Discretion is the better part of valor. I do not do interviews well on delicate subjects.

Divine, our Kigali University ambassador surprises us with visitors. They come for a few hours and are introduced to Urukundo and the kid’s in Divine’s family.  

Martin (dad) and Mairie (daughter) Hutchison  were visitors from Scotland, UK.  We had a nice visit with them but much too short.

Mairie browsing through our 10-anniversary photo book.


Mama & Baby Outreach


Mama and baby Outreach needs hats please.

Thank you every one who pitched in and sent new born clothes when I sent out an appeal. We are so grateful for your love, caring and sharing.

1  of 17 precious babies born this month. 

Hours & Hours Spent

Egide and Claude are accomplished Lego builders.

This was not an easy accomplishment for these boys.

Until next time

Eight of Secondary kids home 2015-2016

4 missing

New current photo coming in August Newsletter

Bosco, Belise, Anitha, John Paul, Desere, Emmanuel, Esperance, Dada

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