Events

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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Upcoming USA visit

I arrive in Pittsburgh on March 15. What an exciting time for me! Seeing friends and family during the six weeks I am in the USA is my pleasure. I return to Urukundo on June 1.

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Wonder what this is about? Come to Pittsburgh April 27 and 28 and find out.

A full schedule of my time can be obtained by emailing me at arlene@hopemadereal.org .

Be happy to send it to you.

Lots of love,

Mama Arlene

Solange becomes a US citizen

Solange Nirere came to Urukundo in 2006. She was 12 years old. One of the first of my girls. She moved to McAllen, Texas, in 2012 for health reasons (asthma), finished high school and graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is currently enrolled in its graduate program in political science. She expects to earn her master’s in political science in 2020. She is now 25 years old.

On Jan. 9, Solange took an oath and became an American citizen.

Solange and her best friend and lawyer, Ana Villegas, celebrate this momentous occasion.

Solange and her best friend and lawyer, Ana Villegas, celebrate this momentous occasion.

So proud Solange is now an American.

Special Notice

On March 15, 2019, I will arrive in the USA. I am looking forward to spring in Pennsylvania.

March, April and May are special months as it is a time of renewal after a long winter.

This visit is basically for visiting Urukundo and personal friends and my family as well as for telling the continuing story of Urukundo Foundation and encouraging others to become part of our support system for this mission.

My home base will be Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with my daughter, Dr. Patricia Brown.

I hope to see many of you during the two and a half months I will be home in the USA.

More details as plans continue to progress.

Much ado about buses

In 2017, Urukundo purchased its first bus. We had money for only a small bus.

It has been our policy to purchase only what we have funding to pay for. We purchased this little bus (minibus).

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Then we were able to purchase a big bus. With the big bus plus the minibus, we are able to plan field trips, sports events and special outings for our school children and staff.

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A third bus was needed.

The news just got better.

Thanks to Rotary Club of Forest Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and The Rotary Club of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, USA, funding has arrived to purchase another big bus.

Starting the school year in 2019, we will have a minibus and two big buses for transporting our children. The buses also are a source of revenue as rentals on weekends.

The new bus is now in the garage being painted, and we are in the process of hiring another driver. It will be in service for start of school on Jan. 14, 2019.

The parking space at the school for the new bus will have a plaque saying, "In memorandum of Tom Nunnally, donated by the Rotary Clubs of Forest Hills and Willkinsburg, Pa.”

Special staff event

A special event in 2018 was for the Urukundo Village support staff. This included office staff, home mamas, kitchen staff, farmers, guards and cleaners. Two big buses were needed for the trip to the King’s Palace in Nyanza and dinner after the tour. This was the first time for many of the staff to visit this wonderful part of their history.

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Special dancing cows at the palace.

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Graduation 2018

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

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Students and graduates coming together.

Students and graduates coming together.

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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.