Education

Good news

Starting the new year, nine of our children remain in our home.

Three of them -- Claude, Aline and Luki -- are waiting for their national exam results and then will be going to secondary boarding school. They will return to Urukundo for school holidays. As is normal, we will share them with their families.

good-news-1.png

Claude, Aline and Luki.

David has been given permission from his foster family to stay home with us and attend Primary 6 here rather than disrupt his education in the last year of primary.

good-news-2.png

Of the children who have moved on to other families Jacob, Prince, Kevine, Banita and possible Rebekah will live close enough to be students at Urukundo Learning Center.

Graduation 2018

All non-graduating and graduate students gather at school for the parade to the foote ball field.

11-18-graduation-1.jpg
Students and graduates coming together.

Students and graduates coming together.

11-18-graduation-3.png
Starting the parade to the site of graduation. Ready, set, go!

Starting the parade to the site of graduation. Ready, set, go!

Kindergarten Graduates and the Preschool teacher, Erneste.

Kindergarten Graduates and the Preschool teacher, Erneste.

Primary 6 graduated, pictured with the Primary English teacher, Ignace.

Primary 6 graduated, pictured with the Primary English teacher, Ignace.

Sewing Center Graduates with the teacher of tailoring, Desire.

Sewing Center Graduates with the teacher of tailoring, Desire.

Walking the distance from the Learning Center road to Mama’s gate.

Walking the distance from the Learning Center road to Mama’s gate.

Mama & Pastor Yves join the Kindergarten parade at Mama’s gate. We’re so happy that the road was completed before this event.

Mama & Pastor Yves join the Kindergarten parade at Mama’s gate. We’re so happy that the road was completed before this event.

Primary 6 graduates, Mama and Pastor Yves.

Primary 6 graduates, Mama and Pastor Yves.

Sewing Center, Mama & Pastor.  The walkway beside Mama’s house leading into the compound from the main road.

Sewing Center, Mama & Pastor. The walkway beside Mama’s house leading into the compound from the main road.

Entering the Foote Ball field.

Entering the Foote Ball field.

The Kindergarten is seated.

The Kindergarten is seated.

After seating the Kindergarten class the parade proceeds, with P6, Sewing Center & undergraduates arriving at the field.

After seating the Kindergarten class the parade proceeds, with P6, Sewing Center & undergraduates arriving at the field.

Speakers for Graduation

Our Master of Ceremonies was Remy Paul Dushime, teacher of English.

11-18-graduation-23.png
The Headmaster of Urukundo Learning Center, Irene Dushimana.

The Headmaster of Urukundo Learning Center, Irene Dushimana.

The Vice President of the Parent-Teacher committee, Dilexi Birasa Aloys.

The Vice President of the Parent-Teacher committee, Dilexi Birasa Aloys.

Our Guest of Honor was Valerie D Mukamutari,  Exective Secretary of the Cyeza Sector.

Our Guest of Honor was Valerie D Mukamutari, Exective Secretary of the Cyeza Sector.

Mama with Olive translating.

Mama with Olive translating.

The speakers for Kindergarten Talia Ruremesha and Hope Bertha Isingizwe.

The speakers for Kindergarten Talia Ruremesha and Hope Bertha Isingizwe.

Talia gives Mama a hug.

Talia gives Mama a hug.

Certificates

Benita receiving her certificate.

Benita receiving her certificate.

Emily receives her certificate. She’s now in Primary 1.

Emily receives her certificate. She’s now in Primary 1.

Jacob almost lost his hat but hangs on to his certificate!

Jacob almost lost his hat but hangs on to his certificate!

Kindergarten.

Kindergarten.

Sewing Center.  Certificates for all. So proud of them.

Sewing Center. Certificates for all. So proud of them.

Although P6 graduated from Urukundo Learning Center, they will receive their certificates after the results of the National Exams.

Although P6 graduated from Urukundo Learning Center, they will receive their certificates after the results of the National Exams.

Some of the non-graduating students who are participating in the graduation ceremony.

Some of the non-graduating students who are participating in the graduation ceremony.

Urukundo Foundation & Sewing Center pays tribute: awards and celebrations

In loving memory of Tom Nunnally, our benefactor and the thinker, who envisioned a school for sewing at Urukundo Learning Center.

Each year in Tom’s memory, Forest Hills Rotary in Pittsburgh, PA awards a sewing machine to the most outstanding student the class, to help that person start up his or her own business.

Tom’s wife Carolyn also chose to present each graduate with a kit of basic tools needed to work as a sewer. Tom’s Legacy at Urukundo will live on.

11-18-graduation-45.jpg
Displaying the award: Theresa, Head of the Sewing School along with teacher Redemptus Nderendebe,  the tailoring teacher Desire Uwimana, and Laurien Sebomana, honored guest from Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Displaying the award: Theresa, Head of the Sewing School along with teacher Redemptus Nderendebe, the tailoring teacher Desire Uwimana, and Laurien Sebomana, honored guest from Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

This year’s award went to Teddy Uwurukundo and is presented to him by Madam Valerie Mukamutare, the Executive Secretary of the District, and by Redemptus Nderendebe, a teacher at the Sewing Center.

This year’s award went to Teddy Uwurukundo and is presented to him by Madam Valerie Mukamutare, the Executive Secretary of the District, and by Redemptus Nderendebe, a teacher at the Sewing Center.

The manager of the sewing project presents certificates.

The manager of the sewing project presents certificates.

The certificates and sewing starter kits were such precious gifts.

The certificates and sewing starter kits were such precious gifts.

Special awards given to outstanding Primary and Preschool students.

Special awards given to outstanding Primary and Preschool students.

The parent of the year award was presented to Celestin Ndayiziga. This award was given to the parent who was most active and helpful to the teachers and in the Learning Center.

The parent of the year award was presented to Celestin Ndayiziga. This award was given to the parent who was most active and helpful to the teachers and in the Learning Center.

Special guests were interns from GO ED. The girls lived and volunteered at Urukundo for a month.

Special guests were interns from GO ED. The girls lived and volunteered at Urukundo for a month.

Jean Marie, Juliette, Olive, Theresa & Erneste join graduates for photo.

Jean Marie, Juliette, Olive, Theresa & Erneste join graduates for photo.

Remembrance photo.  Next year we will have risers. Our Primary 6 kids are as tall as the students in the Sewing Center so only the hats of those students are visible. Live and Learn.

Remembrance photo. Next year we will have risers. Our Primary 6 kids are as tall as the students in the Sewing Center so only the hats of those students are visible. Live and Learn.

Happy Face of a special girl. She has been #1 in her class since Kindergarten. Congratulations Delice Nishimwe.

Happy Face of a special girl. She has been #1 in her class since Kindergarten. Congratulations Delice Nishimwe.

I hope you have enjoyed the photos of the graduation as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.

Thank you.

Mama Arlene

School music program

2018-10-music-teacher-1.jpg

Introducing Emmanuel Iyakaremye. Emmanuel is joining our teaching staff at Urukundo Learning Center. He is a graduate of Ruhija School of Music. At present, he will teach full days two days a week. After a successful probationary period, there is an option for permanent employment as director of music at Urukundo Learning Center.

He is a talented musician and plays and teaches many instruments, including cultural instruments native to Rwanda.

September 2018 Newsletter

Dear Sponsors and Friends of Urukundo,

This message is the most difficult I have ever written.

A ruling from the government has thrown us into grief and difficult readjustments. Please bear with us as we cope and adjust to this government ruling. Many tears have been shed.

For five years, we have fought this event, but it has finally become a reality for the Urukundo Foundation. The Rwanda government has decided all orphanages and homes for children must close. This rule is across the board, no exceptions. The government is requiring us to close our children’s home, calling it an institution.

This does not in any way affect Urukundo Learning Center. Urukundo Foundation is, as always, dedicated to providing education for those from low- or no-income families. The school now has 702 community children in preschool and through Primary 6 classes. Enrollment will increase to over 800 in 2019.

Our secondary students and university youth also are not affected by this directive. And we will continue to grow and benefit many needy children in our community.

But the 25 younger children are being moved from their Urukundo home to be placed with biological parents, or, if there are no parents, in foster homes or with extended biological families. All are expected to be placed after the end of the 2018 school year in December.

So far five of the children have been moved. They are Jason, Nelly, Kenny, Kenilla and Kaboss. As arrangements were made, we have notified their sponsors and asked for their continued support for school expenses, medical insurance and emergencies.

Thirteen others still live with us but have been assigned to move in December. They are Jennette, Aline, Kevine, David, Sarah, Rebekah, Jacob, Claude II, Prince, Benitha, Yves, Isaiah and Livine. Still waiting to be assigned new families are Johnny, Egide, Luki, Soso, Claude I, Diane and Claudine. We are hoping all will be allowed to remain here until after Christmas when the older kids in secondary school and university are home to share the love with them.

To say I am OK with this would not be true. My heart is breaking.

The good news is the National Children's Commission has agreed that Urukundo will not lose the children. They will go to school wherever they live with their families but will come home to Urukundo to visit on school breaks. Urukundo is trying to cooperate with the government to make the transition easier for our children.

We will have final approval of the foster families. We also have permission to monitor the children in school and in their new homes. Our child advocate Olive is visiting them at their homes and in their schools on an ongoing basis.

Those placed near our school will continue to attend school here at the Urukundo Learning Center. Urukundo is paying school fees, equipment needed for school, medical insurance and any emergency conditions. These payments will go to school and medical facility bank accounts in the area where they live, not to the families.This assures us the children are in school and cared for.

For those who sponsor individual children, it is our hope you will continue to care for the child you have loved. Your support will allow us to continue caring for the basic needs of your child and our dependent children.

With your help we will continue to support and protect our Urukundo family children. Without your help, this will not be possible.

Please pray with and for us and all the children as they prepare for this difficult transition.

We also ask that God will give all of our children, staff and older brothers and sisters peace and healing for our broken hearts.

Mama Arlene