The Farm

Partnering

Our partnering with NGO GO ED benefits both GO ED and the Urukundo Foundation.

GO ED volunteers Erin Mackenzie, who intends to be a librarian, worked in our library and Alicia Newmaster worked with the farm manager. Erin is from Messiah College and is an English major. Alicia is from Eastern University and is a museology and anthropology major.

Erin and Alicia enjoy devotions with the kids.

David and company teach volunteers Alicia and Erin to play marbles.

Erin directs arranging books on new shelves in the library.

New shelves to arrange books better

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Kids enjoy the game room at the library.

Thank You, Erin and librarian I’rene, for making the library more “user friendly”

Alicia at work. She wanted to experience a farm.

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Feeding baby chicks

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Gathering eggs

Alicia came to work with two boots for the left foot. Of course, it did not work well. Sent her and a cowboy shopping for a pair of boots with a left and a right foot boot. That was better. She took a lot of teasing. She also spent a week with the cows and another week with the pigs. She is now a farmer.

Big production

This mama had 12 babies.

News from the Farm

The cowboys were delighted when a young woman chose to work on the farm as her volunteer project at Urukundo. Abby came prepared with a pair of  knee high black boots. Not exactly the latest fashion design but served the purpose.

Abby learned to walk down steep uneven steps  keeping her balance. Those steps are a bit much for me but I tackle them at least once a week on the arm of one of the boys.

Abby gathered eggs.

Milked a cow.

And earned the respect of all the farm staff.

She did not come a farmer, but she is leaving with a new respect for the farm and the hard work involved in caring for animals that are so important to our well being.

December Newsletter

It is hard to believe another year has come and gone. 2014 was a good year for Urukundo. The farm is doing well, the gardens produced; The Urukundo Learning Center now has 384 students. We have 54 employees and 3 more were added to our teaching staff.  Three babies came to live with us and be a part of our family.  70 children graduated from Kindergarten, one finished Primary School and five graduated from Secondary School. We had one graduate from University. All in all It has been a very good year.

Shelling beans.

Harvest time at Urukundo. Mamas and children work together. I take pictures. Even the 2 year olds get involved.

Soso is very proud of his work. Good job Soso.

Kitchen manager Cecelia in orange and Delphine, our Home Manager, show the way.

Libby, Chantel and Anithia lend a helping hand. It is a big job.

Progress at the Farm

When I was a little girl my grandparents lived on a big farm and on Thanksgiving all my Aunts, Uncles and cousins would gather there for a great and exciting event.

Grandpa was the expert and so everyone in the family who had raised a pig transported the pig to the farm and a butchering day took place.

Not much fun for the pigs but it was a wonderful time for all the cousins.

I remember with fondness those Thanksgiving days.

Pork in any shape or form is my favorite meat and is not readily available in our part of Rwanda. It seemed to me if we had pigs I should have pork and the farm manager said he would make it happen. We did not make the butchering a special occasion but the farm boys butchered a pig, cut it up and put it in the freezer. There were no special cuts. No chops, loins, bacon, ham and of course no sausage.

A friend traveling to Kigali found a shop owner that actually sold ham in his shop. He agreed to come out to Urukundo and teach my boys a little about butchering and cutting meat and curing ham. The ham is delicious.  I am thrilled but we have a long way to go and a lot to learn. He did what he could in one day and is coming back to work with Cecelia our head cook. I love the ham but pork chops and bacon would be a treat. 

The new meat has been introduced at our house and already there are inquiries as to when we will have the meat for sale. That is not in our plans. We will still raise the piglets to sell and occasionally we will add pork to our already varied types of meat. We have these meats available for the children: rabbit, goat, beef, chicken, turkey, fish and now pork. No, we do not raise fish nor do we supply our own beef but the rest does come from our farm. We have meat once a week and on special occasions only. The farm with its vegetable produce, fruit trees, meat, milk and eggs manages to supply quality food for the children.  Fortunately I am not the farmer just the driving force.

Letter from Mama

The October Newsletter is the month we start thinking about providing schooling for the very poor children in Muhanga. In the past, beginning in 2009, we were blessed to be able to provide school supplies for 369 children seeing them through Primary school. Those children have all finished Primary School and now there is a new group needing our help.

In order to know where the help is most needed we have connected with the Village leaders (Mudugudu). They can identify the children from very poor families who will not go to school without help. With Urukundo Learning Center and your help we are able to reach out and offer education to children who would not go to school and offer them a good educational foundation and environment.  $15 is still the amount to provide for a needy child. Help make a difference. A check to Hope Made Real PO Box 3222, Williamsport, Pa 17701 will make a difference in the life of a child. Mark the check: Education in the memo.  Or you can donate online through the 'Donate Now' link on this page.  Mark 'education' in the notes field.  Thank you.

THE FARM

October 19 saw the birth of a new baby girl calf. We are always pleased when the baby is a girl.  We now have 3 milking cows and two girl calves.

This new baby means more milk for the kids and to sell.

Greetings from Urukundo Village - April 2014

April is a very happy month for Urukundo and for me. My kids are home from boarding school and Urukundo village is alive with activity of a different sort. Teenagers do make a distinctive noise!

THE CHILDRENS FARM

Meet Charlie goat and his companion Matilda.

Matilda

Charlie and Matilda are milk producing goats. Well, maybe Charlie doesn’t produce milk but he and Matilda together produce babies and if they are girls they will produce milk. We are moving away from goats for meat only toward goats for milk and milk products. This is new and rather interseting. I did not know there was a difference. I learn something new every day.

Enjoy our newsletter this month, and the updates on our all our education initiatives.  It is my hope that many will come on board and help build our school, keep the dental program going and encourage education for needy children in Rwanda. Gifts can be any size. There is no such thing as a small gift. Funds are needed and much appreciated.

You can donate online, or by check to the address below:

HMR

Po Box 3222

Williamsport Pa. 17701

USA

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Mama Arlene

Gardening Adventures

Gardening in Urukundo Village is a bit different, but our volunteers were very interested in agriculture and one of our teachers was game. It is back breaking work but well worth the pain.  Well that is my thought but I only watch! Building kitchen gardens requires a certain amount of skill and a lot of back breaking labor.

Tools are make-do using what we have available.

Nothing stopped our volunteers from completing the task!

Nina, and the two Carols hard at work.

Cloth animal feed sacks, 2 foot sticks whittled to a point by Carol Baney, a hammer, a machete or large knife and a desire to play in the dirt are the requirements most needed to build a Kitchen Garden.