Education

Textbooks for students

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Every child having a textbook for every subject taught at Urukundo Learning Center is our goal.

A gift was received from friends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, to purchase textbooks for our Primary 6 students. It is so exciting to have real books to study from.

In time, all six grades will be so blessed.

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Counting our blessings every day.

Social studies teacher Tricelle and her students enjoy textbooks and puzzles provided for her class.

Social studies teacher Tricelle and her students enjoy textbooks and puzzles provided for her class.

Science teacher Fidele is excited about new material to present to his class along with the textbooks.

Science teacher Fidele is excited about new material to present to his class along with the textbooks.

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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!

Buffalo State visitors meet the children

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Baby Alyn -- Auntie Betty’s child -- is in day care at Urukundo. What big eyes you have, Alyn! Precious child. Buffalo student Lisa is a happy caregiver for the baby.

(l-r) Claudine,  Monique and Diane

(l-r) Claudine, Monique and Diane

Molly visited Luki and Claude at secondary school

Molly visited Luki and Claude at secondary school

John and Amanda, Missouri student traveling with professor Gabrielle Malfatti.

John and Amanda, Missouri student traveling with professor Gabrielle Malfatti.

Children give the gift of peace doves to visitors from Buffalo College.

Children give the gift of peace doves to visitors from Buffalo College.

Mama receives a gift of a prayer shawl from Lucas.

Mama receives a gift of a prayer shawl from Lucas.

Our visitors rose very early in the morning to arrive at the Urukundo Learning Center for opening exercises at 7 a.m. Report was it was worth getting up for. The kids were delighted and welcomed the visitors.

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Lila has conversation with our students at the school.

Lila has conversation with our students at the school.

Imani gets a hug.

Imani gets a hug.

Monique with Samuel, our teacher Rosemary’s son.

Monique with Samuel, our teacher Rosemary’s son.

Sitting on the ground, letting the kids have the upper hand. Good idea. Little kids get tired looking up.

Sitting on the ground, letting the kids have the upper hand. Good idea. Little kids get tired looking up.

Molly shaking hands in love.

Molly shaking hands in love.

Urukundo choir presents a song for visitors

Urukundo choir presents a song for visitors

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.

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.

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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Graduates on the move

Our recent high school graduates prepare for life away from Urukundo Village. University is now in their game plan. It takes a truck.

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Bosco, Olivier and Abais. Congratulations, gentlemen. Well done.

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Bosco and Abais will attend the Adventist University of Central Africa, Kigali campus.

Olivier will attend University of Kigali.

With the addition of these three, we now have quite a few in higher education:

• 22 students are at the university level or beyond.

• 1 is working on her master’s degree in Texas, USA.

• 1 finished college in Seattle, Washington, USA, in 2018. He returned to Rwanda and teaches phys ed at Urukundo Learning Center.

• 1 graduates from Arizona State University, USA, in May 2019.

• 4 have finished university or trade school and are gainfully employed.

• 3 will graduate in fall 2019.

• 5 will graduate in 2020.

• 2 will finish in 2021.

• 3 will graduate in 2023.

• 2 will graduate in 2024.

Our first generation of Urukundo kids are now young men and women. They are well on their way to a brighter future, thanks to you who have cared and shared. I thank you.