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.


First photo from Olive. My kids waving to me.

Saying “Hello mama.”

Second photo. Love this.


New in Mama’s rock garden.



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


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.


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 and .

Or phone 412-522-6450.

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

Hope Made Real

P.O. Box 3222

Williamsport, PA 17701


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.


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 .

Be happy to send it to you.

Lots of love,

Mama Arlene

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).


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.


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.


Special dancing cows at the palace.


Future Plans

With the help of family and friends, Urukundo continues to move into the future. Still in our goals for  the next five years:

    •    Four classrooms for the Sewing Center.
    •    A two-story high school.

Without your help, we stand still. Blessings to all of you who are a part of this this mission.

Latest look at Urukundo

Bringing you, our friends up-to-date on development at the Urukundo Learning Center.

You have made this possible. Thank you.

Overview of Urukundo Learning Center
Top Level: Preschool, Kindergarten, Culture Center (brown roof), retaining wall site of future classrooms for the technical school for sewing, Cleared, leveled and ready to start building foundation. Water storage reservoir.
Second Level: Classrooms for Primary 1, 2, and 3.
Third Level:  Restrooms for boys and girls. Funded by World Orphans Fund. Red Roof: Teachers Resource Center, Music Center.
Fourth Level: Classrooms for Primary 4, 5 and 6.
Black water tanks on three levels.

Photos by Jean Marie 

The second photo provides a closer look at a portion of the compound.

Space and construction begin for four classrooms to move the Sewing Center. The retaining wall indicates where the new classrooms will be constructed. I’m looking forward to when the Sewing Center will be part of this picture. The Sewing Center now is in a rented space which is scheduled to be demolished when a new road is completed. It is urgent we get the center moved into a new building before that happens.

In process: Clearing done, Leveling done, Retaining wall built. Need funding for foundation and construction. To construct one classroom costs $25,000, or $100,000 for four built at separate times.. To build four at a time, the cost is less than $75,000. A savings of over $25,000. Our aim is to build at lowest cost for quality work.

Would you like to help? Gifts appreciated.

Friends have responded to what has been built so far. Friend Lisa in Switzerland said, “You have built a dream many only talk about….Pretty sure that’s heaven there.  So well done, Mama.”

Friend Drew from the USA said, “Quite a learning center indeed!  Great photos!”

Secondary School Plans

The vision does not go away.
So far, $5,000 has been raised for the Secondary School. Thank you.

There’s a long way to go. We need your help.

May 2018 Newsletter


Soon we will be six months into 2018. So accountability and budgeting for the next six months is on the agenda.

Here’s a request to our support partners for our children: Please check your dates for sending support for your child. If it is due or overdue, please send it ASAP. Maintenance and education all require ongoing funding.

I am so grateful to all of you for supporting the children and this mission.


More on Mama and Baby Project


Urukundo’s Mama and Baby Project was so pleased to get a new supply of newborn items from friends in Pennsylvania, USA. They reached us via a suitcase carried by a Rwandan student who was returning home from Penn State University. The items are so needed. We even received hand-knit baby sweaters and hats. So much love!

Other wonderful gifts to us are the reusable nylon bags from ChicoBag, which has given us 100 bags each year for the last four years.They are gifts that keep on giving and are used by the mamas after they are home. They serve many purposes.


Progress Report

Secondary school progress
Our hopes are high. Progress is slow.

Here’s a progress report on giving so far for the planned secondary school(high school):
Michael Jerro                  USA  $100
Lace Ladies                     UK   $200
Phelps Chapel UMC          USA  $500
Barb Stapleton                USA  $500
Thank you.