Events

Visitors from Buffalo State College

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Improving the world one story at a time. The Anne Frank Project at Buffalo State College (SUNY Buffalo) uses story as a vehicle for community building, conflict resolution and identity.

We were delighted to welcome the project back to Urukundo for the fourth year. These young people add joy and love when they visit and participate at Urukundo Village and Urukundo Learning Center.

Anne Frank Project team from Buffalo arrives. Big bus brings big fun.

Anne Frank Project team from Buffalo arrives. Big bus brings big fun.

Our kids greet them after they exit the bus.

This 12-member student team shared their many talents as young actors. They taught how to tell a story through drama with the teachers in the Muhanga District for three days. They shared their love with Urukundo kids and the Urukundo Learning Center for four days. It was an event for celebration and sharing.

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Gathering at Mama’s house where Mama is the storyteller. I so enjoy sharing the stories of Urukundo and its family with visiting groups that come to our village.

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Winding down the day sharing devotions with the kids in the evening before sending all off to bed and a good night’s sleep.

Gabrielle Malfatti, director of global engagement and ancillary associate teaching professor, higher education, at the University of Missouri, came with the Buffalo team..

Gabrielle Malfatti, director of global engagement and ancillary associate teaching professor, higher education, at the University of Missouri, came with the Buffalo team..

Presentation of “The Three Little Pigs” by the Buffalo team.

Presentation of “The Three Little Pigs” by the Buffalo team.

The storyteller is the young man, Travis, on the right, Big bad wolf is the young lady Janae on the left in grey. The three pigs are on their knees. The protecting arms in the air represent the structure of the house.

Use your imagination and your love for fairy tales. This long has been one of my favorite stories of how brothers love and protect each other from evil. Kids and the team shared this special moment. What fun!

Students teach

Buffalo students became teachers, Muhanga teachers became students. Eighty teachers and students attended this teaching experience focused on storytelling. We thank the Global Engagement Institute and the Buffalo team members, who have a heart for children and education for all.

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Using drama and storytelling is a better way to teach and to learn. Our teachers are ever ready to learn new teaching techniques. Each person has a story, and the story is worth telling. What is your story?

Buffalo student/teacher Lucas and Muhanga teachers.

Buffalo student/teacher Lucas and Muhanga teachers.

As always, saying “so long” is the hard part. It was important we part with happy memories.

For devotions the final evening, the team was in charge and presented a story and taught games. We will long remember the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

In white, “Mama Bear.” In blue, “Papa Bear.” In middle, “Baby Bear.”

In white, “Mama Bear.” In blue, “Papa Bear.” In middle, “Baby Bear.”

Imagine this young man, Travis, as Goldilocks. The kids loved it.

Claudine was part of the door. Fun, fun, fun.

Claudine was part of the door. Fun, fun, fun.

Drew Kahn, a distinguished service professor at Buffalo State and founding director of the Anne Frank Project, shared photos with Soso. Kindred spirits. Best buddies.

Drew Kahn, a distinguished service professor at Buffalo State and founding director of the Anne Frank Project, shared photos with Soso. Kindred spirits. Best buddies.

Global Engagement Institute Rwanda program manager Franciose Uzamukunda and Gabrielle formed a new friendship. Every friend is valued. Amazing women.

Global Engagement Institute Rwanda program manager Franciose Uzamukunda and Gabrielle formed a new friendship. Every friend is valued. Amazing women.

Modeling the new shawl. Mama posing with Urukundo executive director Jean Marie Ntwari and Gabrielle after devotions.

Modeling the new shawl. Mama posing with Urukundo executive director Jean Marie Ntwari and Gabrielle after devotions.

The final photo for this special event.

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What a fantastic group! Bon voyage, dear friends. Safe travel.

May 2019 Newsletter

Successful fundraiser

Here it is the end of May. What an exciting month it has been!

Now on my mind is going home to Urukundo.

Of course, the last week in April has to be in the May newsletter. That last week in April saw the “Bridging Pittsburgh to Rwanda” fund-raising event.

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Here are members of the bridge team plus two Urukundo siblings, Tresor and Solange, and myself. Awesome group. The three of us told the crowd about Urukundo.

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The celebration included a get-acquainted event.

Jewelry and crafts from Urukundo Village were for sale.

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The event was well organized and went very well. Everyone had a good time, and funds were raised for the Urukundo Foundation/Hope Made Real.

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Funds were raised, but it wasn’t enough to finish building much needed classrooms for the elementary school. However, it was more than enough to pay for a much needed, handheld portable X-ray machine for the Dental Clinic.

MaxRay handheld portable X-ray

Included with the machine are the charger, battery, strap/holster, premium sensor and software.

This is very good news.

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Urukundo Dental Clinic wishes to thank Vector R&D Inc., Dr. Richard Reckmeyer and the many others who made this acquisition possible.

Tresor’s graduation

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Arriving at the campus, my eyes could not believe this mountain making way for the Wells Fargo Arena where the graduation for Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, was to take place. We have mountains and hills in Rwanda, but this one in the middle of the campus took my breath away.

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Touring the campus with Tresor, this sign caught my attention. I am so proud of Tresor and his academic achievement at Arizona State University. This young man in our Urukundo family did not start his education until he was 12 years old. He is truly an example of what one can do with determination, dedication and a will to succeed.

Congratulations, brother!

Your brothers and sisters at Urukundo Home for Children.

Congratulations, my son.

Your Mom

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Tresor honors the flag of his country, Rwanda.

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Dr. Dick Rickmeyer and his wife Jan have been Tresor’s off-campus parents for the last four years. Urukundo/Hope Made Real is so appreciative of their love and family support. Knowing Tresor was in good hands while away from home made it easier for me to let go.

Balloons marked the end of the celebration.

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The grand hall where thousands came to witness the ceremony. It was indeed a celebration.

Yep, we were at the right graduation. T-shirts worn by the ushers and guards say so. With so many graduates, it was hard to get a photo of your special grad. It was just such an honor for me to see my son Tresor honored with his peers.

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The time comes for me to return to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Parting from Tresor is hard, but he has much to do -- three more graduation events and preparing to move to California to serve a three-month internship in software development with Esri in Redlands, California. Tresor’s degree is in software engineering

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Jan is chief cook and bottle washer. Jan is wearing her new apron made by the Urukundo Sewing Center.

Special event for Urukundo

Auntie Delphine’s wedding was indeed a special event. So sorry I missed it. Delphine was the first Urukundo employee in 2006.

A bridal shower was given by her coworkers at Urukundo Village.

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After a surprise, you shed tears. Tradition, I think.

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The wedding was followed by dancing and singing.

Then food.

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The food was served by the Urukundo kitchen staff. Looks good.

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The wedding attendants and Diescor. Not quite sure how he got in the bride’s photo. Delphine is rather special to our kids, and Diescor has been under her wing since 2007.

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Not the best photo, but our kids and staff presented the bride and groom with a gift. Jean Marie is handing the large pease basket filled with I-am-not-sure-what. It is never empty to Auntie Delphine in the photo.

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Beautiful bride and wedding attendants.

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Best wishes for a long and happy marriage.

Amin gets married

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So hard to believe. Our kids are really growing up.

Amin, a new husband, and Marie Claire, his lovely wife, are one happy couple.

Amin is Urukundo’s first brother to get married. Wow!! Can this be true? Yes, it sure is.

My first daughter-in-law in Rwanda! Welcome to the family, Marie Claire. Congratulations, Amin. Be the best husband you can be, and know that you and Marie Claire are in our prayers for a long and happy life together.

My journey begins

Here it is March 15, and I am in the USA.

Believe it. I slept most of the journey home and was greeted in the USA by friends from Reston, Va. I was taken to breakfast. It’s not unusual for me to have no camera. This time, I left it in Rwanda for assistant Olive to use to send me photos of my kids.

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First photo from Olive. My kids waving to me.

Saying “Hello mama.”

Second photo. Love this.

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New in Mama’s rock garden.

Awesome!

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Here are some kids in my world in the USA. Remember, all under 65 are kids for me.

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Thank you friend, Bruce, for sharing. His wife, Margie, took the photo. She’s on the board of Hope Made Real. A wonderful time seeing them, their children, grandchildren and guests at their home in Penn Hills, PA, USA. Hey, how do you like the new haircut???

An evening spent with the Waverly Presbyterian Church mission team from Pittsburgh. Their visit was a memorable one. This one includes our newsletter editor Eleanor standing next to Mama.

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It was great to be with this happy group once again.

Happy news

Come join the fun. A gala fundraising event in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.

Interested??? Contact Mama or Patricia

Emails are arlene@hopemadereal.org and pdbrown@spiritworks.org .

Or phone 412-522-6450.

Can’t be there? Donations can be sent to:

Hope Made Real

P.O. Box 3222

Williamsport, PA 17701

USA

Fashion Show

Now last, but not least, I give you an Urukundo fashion show.

These Urukundo fashion treasures will be part of the celebration in Pittsburgh on April 27 and 28.

Come meet and greet me, Mama Arlene, and learn more about Urukundo, the foundation based on love. Translated, Urukundo is the Rwandan word for love.

Mama Arlene

Ready to support the children???

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Visitors day at secondary school

First visit to Claude and Luki in secondary school. Visitation is allowed the second Sunday in the month. The St. Bernadette Secondary School is a half hour from Urukundo Village and easy to get to.

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Students wait for family and friends.

This month, Luki hurt his shoulder playing sports, and we were able to bring him home for a few days. If he were in a school several hours away, this would not have been possible. His shoulder was only bruised, and he returned to school after three days.

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Our boys are growing up.

Big brother Diescor, our medical student, home for a break, visited with the boys.

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