We are celebrating Itafari’s closing with 21 DAYS OF ITAFARI! This is our final fundraiser!

Now through December 31st I will be sharing stories and personal images of a determined people and a beautiful country rebuilding after a nationwide genocide. The community is committed to rebuilding and sustaining growth for years to come, from building schools, hospitals and creating business from micro-loans. Your donations will go directly towards building the Kigali Secondary School. Our goal is to raise $23,000 by December 31, 2016 because that is the amount raised in 2005 which started the Itafari Foundation. Since November 30, 2016, we’ve raised $7,000! That means we’re only $16,000 away from our goal! Give by December 31st to be eligible for your 2016 tax deductible donation! Pay it forward and learn how you can help here: www.Itafari.org/donate


cutie-carrying-water

21 Days of Itafari: Water is Life

Before children go to school, or play, they will often fetch water. As Rwanda continues to grow as a country the vision is that all Rwandans will have access to clean, drinkable water. Change is happening, growth is inevitable, and countries like Rwanda remind each of us to overcome our obstacles and take nothing for granted.

This picture of a young boy taken in 2009 is an example of who gets the water. Basically, everyone. A large jerry can of water weighs about 40 pounds. A smaller version that a child can carry weighs about 20 pounds.

Water is our life source yet many of us take it for granted. If you needed to walk up to 2 miles just to get enough water to drink for you and your family, you might have a greater appreciation for it.

According to the organization Water for Life (http://waterforlife.org)
• 35% of the population has no access to a safe water supply and almost half of the people in Rwanda have no toilet. This has a huge impact on health and infant mortality in the country.
• 3.4 million people in Rwanda don’t have access to safe water. This is three tenths of the population.
• Over 4 million people don’t have access to adequate sanitation in Rwanda, over a third of the population.
• Over 3,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Rwanda.
Solutions are being found in Rwanda through the government and organizations focused on this issue. And improvements are happening and will continue with your help!

Small acts of kindness achieve tremendous results. Learn how you can help here:www.Itafari.org/donate


Rwanda 2009

21 Days of Itafari: Education

Poverty around the world will not be stopped by aid (charity) or trade (commerce).  Poverty will be alleviated through education.  These children are on their way to school.  To learn math, reading, science, up to three languages (Kinyarwanda, French and English) and their days are long.

Dr. Papious Musafiri, Minister of Education Mission Statement:

“To combat ignorance and illiteracy and to provide human resources useful for the socio-economic development of Rwanda through education and training”

Education is mandatory through 9th grade and after testing, can be completed through 12th grade.  

Mission:  To provide affordable and quality education to the children of Rwanda and other multi-national students.

Vision: To provide the most skillful, competitive citizens who are models of servant leadership in the community.

The Itafari Foundation has been blessed to be a partner with KPS in building the Secondary School which is for the upper grades in school.  We have been successful in this plan and the Secondary school is complete!  Our FINAL challenge is to finish our support for them helping to pay off their remaining loans.  

Any donation you give will go in its entirety to the school.  Gifts at the $75 level and beyond can have a BRICK (an Itafari) placed in a commemorative wall.

Please consider helping and giving a gift through the Itafari Foundation in your year-end giving plan.

Murakoze cyane (thank you very much!)

Mama Itafari


 21 Days of Itafari: Breaking Ground 

 

Rwanda 2007

Kigali Parents Secondary School Ground Breaking with Students

Rwanda 2007

Beautiful students in uniform

Rwanda 2007

Kigali Parents Secondary School Blueprints

A proud day for the community!

On this day in October 2007, we had a ceremony for the ground breaking at Kigali Parents Secondary School for students grades 7-12th.  Kigali Parents Primary School began in 1995, one year after the genocide. Two teachers from Uganda set up school in a brothel with six children. Soon they had over 60 students crowded into that one room.

They persevered and as the children learned, they grew their program and took over more rooms in the brothel. Their dream of educating children blossomed. They acquired  land and slowly built the Kigali Parents Primary School (KPPS) preparing students up to the 6th grade.

Today, 1500 children attend the highest academically rated elementary school in all of Rwanda! The school is simply amazing. The teachers and children demand excellence of themselves to better serve their country and their families.

At KPPS, the children arrive at 6:45am, work all morning, have about a 90-minute lunch, return to school and work until 5:00 pm. They are learning English, French, and Kinyarwanda. They are beautiful, well- behaved, determined and curious kids.

At the Kigali Parents Secondary School’s ground breaking ceremony, the Itafari Foundation presented our first donation toward building the new school. The ceremony took place at the future site of the school itself – nearby, a huge bulldozer was ready to clear the land. The dream had begun.

The children danced and sang – and performed a song for Itafari. The city and district officials thanked Itafari for partnering with Rwanda in caring for the children. Principal Charles thanked Itafari for helping them realize their dream.

It’s a wonderful way to build a school – as needed. Itafari by itafari by itafari.

Consider giving to this project. You can do so on the website here: http://www.itafari.org/donate/


21 Days of Itafari: Land of 1000 Hills

Rwanda 2009

Rwanda 2007

Rwanda 2007

Rwanda 2007

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Rwanda. It is known as the Land of 1000 Hills. It is also said to be the place where God comes to rest at night. I can see why. This is a beautiful country, lush and green. It looks abundant and rich and can deceive you in what it appears it can provide to feed and nourish its people.

Few crops grow well due to the soil acidity and lack of organic fertilizer. One won’t see large herds of animals or livestock. Some goats, chickens, a few cows.

The city of Kigali rests on many of the thousands of hills that fill this country. With over 600,000 people in this sprawling city there are people everywhere. There are relatively few large office buildings and many of the largest are governmental.

Well dressed, or poorly dressed and shoeless, all walk without complaint up and down the hills and streets of Kigali. Many women and some men and some children carry the traditional loads on their heads. But it is not to keep their hands free for other activities. The loads they carry could not be held in their arms because of their enormity and weight.

And those loads may crush a spine over time. Our heads and necks were never meant to carry 50 pounds, but this is often the burden they must carry. And in some ways it represents the burden this country carries to repair its soul.

Some days we would leave Kigali and travel into the countryside to visit families and children. As we traveled out of the city, hundreds of people from many miles would be walking or riding their bikes into Kigali to sell their milk or goods.

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. The majority of the 8 million people live outside the capital, Kigali. The poverty is extraordinary and shocking.

Learn how you can help here: www.Itafari.org/donate


21 Days of Itafari: Women & Children

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Itafari supports the most vulnerable and innocent, women and children, through education, micro-loans, entrepreneurship and training, child sponsorship, goat rearing programs, basket weaving and jewelry sales and more as needs are identified.

Let me introduce you to two groups of children being tended to, who could all too easily fall through the cracks: Ex child-combatants and child-headed households. Itafari is helping them both. I saw children who were used as pawns in Rwanda’s civil war and children who lost their parents and are now solely responsible for their siblings well-being. We choose to help Rwanda, and so we choose to help them heal from their pain and smile again.

We are dedicated to providing education fees, uniforms and books to children so that they can attend school and learn a trade for self sufficiency. And partnering with legitimate organizations in Rwanda who are providing sustainable healthcare services and education regarding AIDS and other diseases.

You can give online through our secure website, http://itafari.org/donate. Thank you for remembering the women and children in your thoughts and prayers and through financial giving

I ask my clients to push themselves hard. And when I don’t ask, or they don’t push, I don’t think the conversations are nearly as interesting to either of us. But to strive and reach and touch the dream is what unleashes joy.


21 Days of Itafari: Tax Deductible Donation

 

Rwanda 2007

A reminder: We are celebrating Itafari’s closing with 21 DAYS OF ITAFARI! This is our final fundraiser! Give by December 31st to be eligible for your 2016 tax deductible donation! www.Itafari.org/donate

Now through December 31st I will be sharing stories and personal images of a determined people and a beautiful country rebuilding after a nationwide genocide. The community is committed to rebuilding and sustaining growth for years to come, from building schools, hospitals and creating business from micro-loans. Your donations will go directly towards building the Kigali Secondary School. Our goal is to raise $23,000 by December 31, 2016 because that is the amount raised in 2005 which started the Itafari Foundation. Since November 30, 2016, we’ve raised $7,000! That means we’re only $16,000 away from our goal!

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” -Oscar Wilde


21 Days of Itafari: Never Ever Give Up

Rwanda 2007

Rwanda 2007

Our challenge is to finish our commitment of $23,000 towards closing the foundation and supporting the Kigali Parents Secondary School. An amazing school that will support the Kigali Parents Primary School (KPPS). KPPS has consistently had the highest scores in the country for their children in the national tests. The highest! What an honor. The school is open to all children, regardless of race or ethnicity.

No matter the obstacles and triumphs we have faced over the past 11 years, brick (itafari) by brick (itafari), little by little, drop by drop we continue to make a large impact in Rwanda. This is why we never give up hope.

BUY A BRICK FOR $75 – your name will be placed on it and in the school. It’s the perfect symbol of the Itafari Foundation and will change the life of a child forever. Forever. $75.

LEARN ABOUT how the Itafari Foundation is helping to build hope in a country

MAKE A DONATION OF ANY AMOUNT – $75 may be more than you can afford. If so, please give what you can. You may also want to give a larger amount. Naming opportunities are available for gifts over $10,000 and other specific amounts can also be designated and acknowledged in the school. Let’s talk about your dreams and the legacy you’d like to leave.

Share this with others, family, friends, loved ones, co-workers.

A unique and personal gift. An incredible remembrance of a loved one. A statement that you believe in the power of education. A reminder to yourself that anything we do, large or small, changes the world.

You can donate online at the website, call or email me! Your gift is 100% tax deductible. Please know that your gift, is a sign from you to the children of Rwanda that we must never ever ever ever ever give up. We are stronger together. www.Itafari.org/donate

 


21 Days of Itafari: Building in the Developing World

Photography by Adam Bacher

Photography by Adam Bacher

Photography by Adam Bacher

Photography by Adam Bacher

Photography by Adam Bacher

Photography by Adam Bacher

For those of you who don’t already know him, I want to introduce you to renowned Portland photographer, Adam Bacher. Adam travelled to Rwanda with me and later on his own to capture the extraordinary lives of Rwandans. Their struggles, their triumphs and their day-to-day lives. Many of the photos I share are taken by Adam. I was honored to work with him. Adam’s love for the Itafari Foundation and the people of Kigali and Rwanda is visible in his work. You can view Adam’s photography here: http://bachersblog.com/category/rwanda. I am sharing just one of his many entries below, showcasing the development and community effort to build the Kigali Parents Secondary School in 2009. It truly takes a village.

Building Kigali Parents Secondary School.

Find out how you can support the Itafari Foundation before December 31st, 2016 by donating at www.Itafari.org/donate. Remember all contributions are 100% tax deductible.

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21 DAYS OF ITAFARI: Brick by Brick, Itafari by Itafari

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Consider honoring your loved one this holiday season with a custom engraved brick (itafari) to be placed in the front of the Kigali Parents Secondary (High) School in Rwanda. Remember your gift is 100% tax deductible. We will give you a beautiful personalized gift certificate. And you know that this brick, this itafari, is a sign from you to the children of Rwanda that we believe in them and that must never ever ever ever ever give up.

Donate a special brick here: www.Itafari.org/donate

 

 


21 Days of Itafari: 10 Days Left! 

Only 10 days until the new year and that means there are only 10 days left to reach our goal of $23,000! Help us raise $5,000 for the country of Rwanda by giving the gift of hope and prosperity. Our latest newsletter has all the details and more here Our Latest Newsletter!

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21 Days of Itafari: What Makes a Hero?

victoria-trabosh-oprah

An excerpt from the Oprah.com article featuring Victoria Trabosh and The Itafari Foundation:

While in Rwanda, Trabosh met people who’d suffered unimaginable losses—a widow who lived with four of her children in a 42-square-feet mud hut, a young boy whose siblings were raising him because his parents had died. Determined to reach out to survivors and their children, Trabosh started the Itafari Foundation after she returned to the U.S. Itafari means “brick” in the Kinyarwanda language reflecting her desire to help the people there rebuild.

Over the past eight years, Itafari has raised nearly a million dollars and most of that money has gone toward helping Rwandans become more self-sufficient—paying orphaned children’s school fees, for instance, or supplying loans to family heads so they can start their own businesses. The foundation has transformed hundreds of lives, including that of a woman named Claudine, who lost both her parents in the massacres. With Itafari’s help, Claudine was able to build a house for her family and send her two children to school. “When someone has gone through a genocide, they need to know, ‘Can you help me with my dreams?'” Trabosh says. “Our work is empowerment.”

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/Stories-of-Selflessness-What-Makes-a-Hero-Book/4

We are so very close to raising our final amount of $23,000 for The Itafari Foundation. Only $3,000 left to reach our goal! WOW. Thank you all for your love and support.

All donations made before 12/31/16 are 100% tax deductible. Give the gift of empowerment by supporting the profound work Itafari does here: www.Itafari.org/donate.