July 2019 Newsletter

Celebrating the Fourth

The Fourth of July marks Independence Day for Americans. For Rwandans, the day marks Liberation Day.

So much has happened in late June and the month of July!

• Sports awards

• Social media and video development projects by visitors

• Sewing Center’s Level 1 accreditation by the Ministry of Education

• Construction of Sewing Center classroom

• Urukundo moving forward in educational development

• Worship Center serving children

• Textbooks for Urukundo Learning Center

The first 25 kids

A visit to our university house in Kigali. It’s unusual to find nine of the 10 kids at home at the same time. Perfect photo op. Dada (Pacifique) was in class so is not in the group. Oliver doesn’t start university until September. He then will move to the university house also.


Back row: Divine, Esperance, Bosco, Alexander, Abais

Front row: Giselle, Deborah, Cecelia, Lilliane

Bringing you, our long-time friends, up to date as to where the original 25 Urukundo kids are now. This group became family in 2006. Where are they in 2019?

The 11 above are or will be living the the university house. Solange is in Texas, USA, working on her master’s degree. Tresor is in California, USA, serving an internship in computer development after graduating in May 2019 from Arizona State University. John Paul, returned from Seattle, Washington, USA, after achieving his physical education certificate and is working at Urukundo Learning Center as a sports coach. Amin and Seraphina, with certificates in culinary arts, are on the job in Urukundo’s kitchen. Diescor is a medical student in school in Butare. Lucy and Fabrice are living with family and attending university. Anita, Anette, Emmanuel, Florentine, Savronia and Big Claude are now independent.

This accounts of all 25 of the first generation of Urukundo’s kids.

I am a very proud mama.

Development at Urukundo School

Can you guess what this is all about?


The wall is the boundary of the soccer field. On the other side of the wall is the school parking space for the buses. Believe it or not, our soccer teams kick the ball very high and very hard.


After the ball hit the buses several times, we decided we needed to protect the bus windows from being broken. You see what came up as a solution. A higher screen wall. Now there should be no damage to our buses or the neighboring house windows.

April 2019 Newsletter

Visit to the USA

What a wonderful welcome I have received!

First off, I was treated to a pedicure, manicure and a new hairdo. A gift from my daughter, Patricia, and her husband, Dale Bauman.


What do you think? A bit different. Should it stay?


I saw many special people in my first month and a half in the USA. Here are some of them in some kind of order by location.

Early in my travels, I was hosted by the Waverly Presbyterian Church mission team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Early in my travels, I was hosted by the Waverly Presbyterian Church mission team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What a wonderful evening I spent bringing them up to date on Urukundo and the Urukundo kids!

In State College, Pennsylvania, I saw Carol Falke, president of the Hope Made Real International Board.

Carol and Mama and the ice cream challenge. How awesome, and mine is vanilla, my favorite.

Carol and Mama and the ice cream challenge. How awesome, and mine is vanilla, my favorite.

The creamery at the Penn State University campus has the best ice cream ever. What a treat after Carol and her husband Steve gave me a personal tour of the campus! My first time ever.

More friends for Urukundo kids were at an open house at Carol’s home.

Joan Zimmer and Janet Madore in State College

Joan Zimmer and Janet Madore in State College

Jerry Brown of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Jerry Brown of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania

My son Jerry. He was such a reliable source of transport and lodging during my time in the Williamsport area. Jerry also serves Urukundo as the chair of Hope Made Real International Board.

Jeanne Willis of Hughesville, Pennsylvania

Jeanne Willis of Hughesville, Pennsylvania

My children in Rwanda remember Jeanne Willis. Jeanne has been a volunteer at Urukundo Village and is loved by the children.

Sherry Sechrist of Quiggleville, Pennsylvania

Sherry Sechrist of Quiggleville, Pennsylvania

My youngest sister. It was so good to touch base and spend a little time with her.

Darrel Bietz of West Chester, Pennsylvania

Darrel Bietz of West Chester, Pennsylvania

My nephew, Darrel Bietz. It was a pleasant surprise to see and spend a short time with him.

More of my family, this time in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Great-granddaughter Haleigh Moore, daughter Barbara Downs and great-grandson Nate Moore.

Great-granddaughter Haleigh Moore, daughter Barbara Downs and great-grandson Nate Moore.

I then traveled to the Philadelphia area where I was hosted and toasted by Diane Mastrull, reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a good friend to Urukundo.


This is Pierce Keating. He has promised to visit Urukundo in the future. Holding you to that promise, my friend.


Katie Keating, who is Pierce’s wife, is the mom in this great family. Really Katie is a powerhouse full of love and compassion. Katie and her daughter Katrina have been volunteers at Urukundo.


What an awesome couple and lovely family!

Report on me

I am well and looking forward to more visits and fundraising events before I arrive home June 1. Yes, I am homesick. Miss my kids.

Urukundo is always in my heart. My goal is to complete four more classrooms for the Primary Learning Center and four classrooms for the Sewing Center. Each room will cost about US$25,000.

The Sewing Center is now an accredited technical school and part of the Urukundo Learning Center. More space is required for further expansion. Turning deserving students away because of a lack of space is not acceptable at Urukundo/Hope Made Real.

My next stop is Arizona and Tresor’s graduation from Arizona State University. Tresor has been part of the Urukundo family since he was 12 years old. His major is software engineering, and he graduates with honors from Barrett, The Honors College, at the university.

Update and more news in the May newsletter.


Project Library

The project for the month was revamping the library, including adding more educational toys and and supplying more shelf space. Librarian Irene and Olive teamed up with Carol Falke from the USA to make this project a success.

Big question: What belongs in the classroom and what should be in the library available for teachers to borrow and return?


Preschool classrooms also benefited from this project.

Organization was the objective in the library and classrooms.


Preparation before organization


Every 3- and 4-year old enjoys dolls that to play with. Cribs are on the way for these baby dolls. Each preschool classroom will have a crib and hopefully two baby dolls. Never too young to learn about love. With 30 kids in the morning and 30 in the afternoon loving on these baby dolls, they will not last long. But, oh, what fun!


In the library for all to share. African animals to see and read about.


What boy and, yes, girl would not love vehicles of every description? With books to tell the story.


Construction in progress. All ages benefit from the library.


Space travel, futuristic indeed. Carol demonstrates rocket for teachers.


Let's go shopping, Vegetables, fruits, shopping bag, pretend money and a tea set for later. All part of the learning process.


Learning about caterpillars and butterflies was the project for the preschool.

We cover so many aspects of living and sharing.


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