In just a few days, I leave for my sixth trip to Rwanda in just over three years. My first trip was with World Vision. From that trip came the idea of forming our own foundation which could work with organizations in Rwanda searching for international partners to further their mission and goals of helping their own people.
As many of you know, our initial goal when we began was to raise $50,000 in our first year. We did not accomplish that goal. We raised $110,000! Through the efforts of ordinary men, women and school children in the United States, we have raised over $225,000 in just over 3 years!
Our programs cover the following areas:
- Child Sponsorship
- Goats for Child Headed Households
- Building the Kigali Parents Secondary (High) School
- Entrepreneurship through selling the beautiful handmade baskets of Rwanda at our pay it forward events
None of the funds raised are used to fund my expenses or cost of these trips. Donations are designated for individual programs and needs. During my trips I monitor the programs, meet with the directors of the organizations with whom we partner, meet with the 160 children who now are sponsored by our generous donors. I’ll also look to further our understanding of what is needed and necessary, and look at ways you the donors can make an extraordinary difference in a country where the need is great and the determination to succeed is greater.
Follow my blog for interesting, inspirational and uplifting messages. Donate. Buy a goat for $25 (we have beautiful certificates to send for gifts); buy an itafari (BRICK) for $75 which will be inscribed with your name and placed in the school on the wall or courtyard; fund a microloan for someone in Rwanda looking for a hand, not a handout. Major gifts can make a major difference and will be used wisely in conjunction with your wishes.
When I return, consider holding a Pay It Forward event where you bring a group of friends into your home and we come and present the incredible story of a country that will not be defined by its genocide but by the strength and resilience of its people.
Margaret Mead said it best:” Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. “
I’ll send infrequent messages during the 26 days while I’m away. I leave it to you to check the website, go the blog, and share this with your friends. Please email me directly; I’ll respond from Rwanda. Together, we are working to rebuild the country of Rwanda itafari (brick) by itafari (brick) by itafari (brick). I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
I’ll return to the U.S. on 22 October with new ideas, new inspiration and new resolve. My best to you always.
Murakoze cyane (thank you so much),
President and Co-Founder