Projects

August 2019 Newsletter

Several years ago, Urukundo experienced the horror of what a lightning strike can do. A day worker at Urukundo sought shelter from the rain under an avocado tree. The tree was struck, and the young man lost his life. It was a sad time and an awful experience for Urukundo.

Rwanda is a dangerous place for lightning strikes.

The New Times, a newspaper in Rwanda, wrote in March 2018 that “49 people were killed by lightning strikes in Rwanda, from January last year up to last weekend when 16 people were killed in Nyaruguru. The strikes also injured another 187 people and killed 45 livestock.”

Urukundo is stepping up.

In August, Urukundo, with help from the parent committee, took steps to protect our school. Most schools are built at the high point. As Rwanda is mountain upon mountain, there is no place else to build.

In order to protect our area, Urukundo has installed lightning rods to protect our school and the children and staff who attend there. The rods were installed by Optone Engineering Group Ltd. The rods are now the highest point on the mountain.

I remember the big metal rooster that sat on the top of my grandfather’s barn when I was a child. We called it a weathervane. Oh, so long ago!

At the school

At the school

In the village

In the village

Not only will the lightning rods protect the Learning Center and our Urukundo Village but also the local community in all directions. As far as I know, the community is not aware of this protection given to them. If one life is saved, it is a good mission outreach.

New Sewing Center classroom

Having a classroom connected to the Sewing Center is a requirement of the Ministry of Education. The curriculum requires not just sewing but English as a second language, business and entrepreneurship. The classroom is also more convenient for the students and teachers. The Sewing Center already has earned a Level 1 qualification, which permits it to give a diploma to its students.

Work began June 17.

The location of the former boys’ home, now the Sewing Center. The building in the lower edge is the kitchen.

The location of the former boys’ home, now the Sewing Center. The building in the lower edge is the kitchen.

This photo shows the location in proximity to the new boys’ home and Hope House.

This photo shows the location in proximity to the new boys’ home and Hope House.

Work as of June 21.

Work as of June 21.

Continued monitoring of project. Progress as of July 1.

Continued monitoring of project. Progress as of July 1.

Front view on July 10. Ready for metal sheets for making a roof.

Front view on July 10. Ready for metal sheets for making a roof.

Side view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Side view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Back view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Back view on July 10. Ready for roof.

Inside work in progress

Inside work in progress

The floor will be cement and tiles. Blackboard will be in indicated space in the back wall. Classroom is for 48 students.

Two entrance doors in front of the classroom.

Two entrance doors in front of the classroom.

Good looking on July 25. Building with roof and ready for exterior paint.

Good looking on July 25. Building with roof and ready for exterior paint.

Development at Urukundo School

Can you guess what this is all about?

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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.

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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.

Developments at Urukundo

Donations received on this trip allowed for the now-in-progress expansion of the library. Pierce and Katie Keating presented the gift for the library expansion. Thanks to the Keating family, Diane Mastrull and other Philadelphia area friends for helping to raise money for Urukundo. If you have not read the article written by Diane in the Philadelphia inquirer published May 1, please check it out on the web.


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Large annex added.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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What an awesome couple and lovely family!

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?

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Preschool classrooms also benefited from this project.

Organization was the objective in the library and classrooms.

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Preparation before organization

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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!

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

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

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Construction in progress. All ages benefit from the library.

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

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

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

We cover so many aspects of living and sharing.

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