Visitors for February


Early in February, Ray O’Keefe from Seattle, Washington, USA, dropped by. Literally, he did drop by. I did not know he was in Rwanda.

Ray is Chief Nurse Anesthetist at Providence Washington Anesthesia Services, PC, Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett, Washington.

Ray and his wife, Sarah Ketchley, our website manager, have been part of the Urukundo family for 10 years.

Ray was in Rwanda with a team of surgeons and anesthetists on a medical mission. He took time on his rest day to come visit Urukundo and give me a hug from Sarah.

Ray and his family support, love and pray for our own John Paul Nziyumanganya. John Paul just recently returned to Urukundo after furthering his education in Seattle, Washington. Thanks to Ray and Sarah’s devotion, he is now a full time physical education teacher at Urukundo Learning Center.

The Dental Clinic had a real boost in February. We are always happy to welcome a visiting dentist from abroad.

Dr. Troy Michelson and his wife and assistant, Charmaine, are very appreciated. They hail from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This is their third journey to Urukundo Village.

The day care was blessed by their daughter, Alina Michelson, who was accompanying her parents for the first time. She brought her best friend, Kristina Le May.


Alina and friends


Kristina sharing her toys


More fun at Mama’s house

Both girls said they will be back.

After a day of rest and touring Urukundo Village and Learning Center, Troy and Charmaine got down to serious business.


They started by scanning and treating, if necessary, all P5 and P6 students at our school.

Reports were sent home to their parents. Students waited to register. Ishmal, our clerk and recorder, filled in forms.


Dr. Troy and Charmaine are a team worthy of praise.

Dr. Troy and student.


Suction, anyone? Oliver, our full-time therapist, comes to the aid of Dr. Troy.


Serious consultation.


Aline Ishimue, the newest addition to our dental staff, tried something new, thanks to Charmaine.


A fun time was had by all.


Welcome home, Carol

Carol Falke came home for the eighth year in a row. She is family.

Carol is from State College, Pennsylvania, USA, and is president of the Hope Made Real board of directors.

Urukundo and the Learning Center are blessed by her presence.

What do you know about butterflies? Our preschoolers know a lot, thanks to Carol Falke.


First, you read a book about caterpillars.Then you color and cut out.


Next, you show them off.


Windows also work well for this activity.


Urukundo kids enjoyed playing Simon Says with the butterflies on the lawn at Mama’s house.


Touch your nose.


Touch your toes.

The parade led by Carol topped the play time.


Visitor notes

New bathroom with tile, new toilet and shower for the comfort of our guests. Hey, it may not seem like a big thing. For Urukundo and our guests, it is.


We welcomed many visitors, interns and volunteers during the year. Each is so appreciated.

These are just the highlights of 2018. I want to thank all friends of Urukundo/ Hope Made Real for making 2018 a good year.

Visitors for January


Andrea Manor returned to visit Urukundo along with Nancy Gutierrez. The girls are from California, and Andrea was here in 2016 as an intern with GO ED.

Andrea plays Uno with John and Egide.

Andrea plays Uno with John and Egide.

A new jumping game.  How high can you jump?

A new jumping game. How high can you jump?

Visitor from Uganda

Richard Hatasha is a student at Buganda Royal Institute of Business and Technical Education. His major is accounting. His goal is to care for vulnerable children in Uganda. We were happy to welcome this enterprising young man.

Richard (middle) flanked by Abias and Olivier.

Richard (middle) flanked by Abias and Olivier.

November 2018 Newsletter

First of all, it’s the end of the fiscal year. Do you need a tax deduction? Please consider Hope Made Real.

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit in the USA. You can donate on our website, or mail a donation to

Hope Made Real

PO Box 3222

Williamsport, Pa. 17701

Thank you. Mama Arlene


Hi everyone,

The last days of October were very busy for the team from Saint Johns-Newberry UMC, Williamsport and South Williamsport UMC.

The team joined our children in the monthly cleanup day. Umuganda is the last Saturday of the month. This day is designated by the president to keep Rwanda clean. Our hard-working kids taught Tom, Kent and Theresa how it is done. Good work guys.

The ladies did their turn and wrapped and tagged Christmas gifts for our kids.

The ladies did their turn and wrapped and tagged Christmas gifts for our kids.

Lori, Becky, Lynell, Theresa, Kent and Tom added string to crosses to be added to the Christmas packages at worship for the community kids.

Lori, Becky, Lynell, Theresa, Kent and Tom added string to crosses to be added to the Christmas packages at worship for the community kids.

I am grateful for the help we received.


Our partnering with NGO GO ED benefits both GO ED and the Urukundo Foundation.

GO ED volunteers Erin Mackenzie, who intends to be a librarian, worked in our library and Alicia Newmaster worked with the farm manager. Erin is from Messiah College and is an English major. Alicia is from Eastern University and is a museology and anthropology major.

Erin and Alicia enjoy devotions with the kids.

David and company teach volunteers Alicia and Erin to play marbles.

Erin directs arranging books on new shelves in the library.

New shelves to arrange books better


Kids enjoy the game room at the library.

Thank You, Erin and librarian I’rene, for making the library more “user friendly”

Alicia at work. She wanted to experience a farm.


Feeding baby chicks


Gathering eggs

Alicia came to work with two boots for the left foot. Of course, it did not work well. Sent her and a cowboy shopping for a pair of boots with a left and a right foot boot. That was better. She took a lot of teasing. She also spent a week with the cows and another week with the pigs. She is now a farmer.

More Visitors

More visitors

It was an honor for me to welcome a team that included members from both South Williamsport United Methodist Church and Saint John’s-Newberry UMC, Williamsport, Pa., USA . It truly was great welcoming my faith family to Urukundo. I felt right at home putting them to work. I raised my family in South Williamsport, Pa., and lived my later years in the Newberry section of Williamsport. To have both in one team was awesome.

The team consisted of team leader Tom Hirschle, Kent Weiland, Theresa Harlan, Lynell Whitnack and Lori Mahaffey from Saint John's-Newberry UMC. Also on the team were Pete Heilman, Dave Monks and Becky Steppe from South Williamsport UMC.

Their first day began with visiting the opening exercises at the Urukundo Learning Center.


Sorry Lynell is not in the photo of the group at the lake below. Very tough walk to and from the lake. She and I chose not to go. The team plus the girls from GO ED and kids from Urukundo Home.

I had an unexpected pleasure welcoming Collins Oyo from Uganda.


Collins was graduating from a university in Uganda the last week in October 2018. He came to Urukundo to thank and pay honor to Pete Heilman for sponsoring him in education these many years through the Compassion program. He has reached his goal and his future looks bright. Congratulations, Collins. Pete and all of us are proud of you and your accomplishments.

Lynell Whitnack spent her work time in the Sewing Center where treadle machines are still used. These are the kind of machines my mother sewed on. Notice her foot on the treadle doing the work.


She made a bag with the help of manager Theresa and student helper Dismas. A lovely bag in shades of lavender. Colorful and big. She can’t wait to get it home and show it off.

Dave Monks choose to lend his talent mending fences at the pig farm. Necessary work as 30 of our piglets escaped the pen and went to visit the yard at the girls’ home. The kids loved it, but the pigs are not easy to catch and return to the pens. Fences do need to be solid.

He also makes a good horsey.


Way to go, Dave.

Lori Mahaffey worked at the preschool.

Lori also was active in the Mama & Baby Project while she was here. Visiting the birthing center, cuddling Baby No. 1.

Mama and baby at the birthing center. Baby No. 2 and happy mother with Lori.


Lori also spent time at the Urukundo Learning Center.

Busy woman. She is an early riser so she also assisted with breakfast in Mama’s house each morning.

Becky Steppe assisted teachers at the preschool.

Sharing a picture book.


Sitting on the mat is fun for the kids but not so for teachers. We do what works. Hugs and affection work well. Lots of love.

Becky met Emily.

Emily is the daughter of one of our dental hygienists, Theodore Habiyakare. Emily comes to work with her daddy so her mother can attend university. Emily stays in the day care while daddy works.

Theresa Harlan was a helper at the day care.

Pete Heilman in conversation with Kavine and Benate. Activity and coloring books are so appreciated by kids and visitors alike.

Pete with Kavine and Claudine. Theresa working with Janette.

Tom is into music with this young man.

Uno in progress

A lively game of Uno. Who caught who cheating just a bit?

Dave milked the cow. Not sure how the cow felt about that. Dave felt successful. He got milk.

Preparing for Christmas

Preparing for the Christmas celebration is a 3 month project. Gifts are prepared for all children in our family both home secondary  and university kids plus 102 children of the staff and about 400 children from the community. That’s a busy job. I thank Tom Hirschle, Pete Heilman, Kent Weiland,& Dave Monks  now we have a head start. They Unpacked suitcases, sorted, wrapped, counted & bagged making the job easier for us come November.