Rwanda's national mourning period began on April 7th, with Kwibuka (Remembrance), the national commemoration ceremony. Brigitte and Paterne went to talk to the students of Rugarika to see how they are doing during this period set aside to remember the genocide victims. They had a beautiful visit and took a few pictures and videos to help us feel like we were there too.
Brigitte took time to look at the students reports and encourage them to work hard for a bright future as you can see in the photos above. They had a wonderful conversation and some girls even stood up and shared the strategies they have used to get top marks.
Paterne had a lovely talk with Jean who lives in Rugarika and is raising his siblings. They talked about what GIFTS Rwanda has done for him and his brothers and sisters. You can watch what Jean had to say in the video below. Jean's smile at the end of the video never fails to brighten my mood.
Brigitte had the opportunity to talk to a woman named Cecile who is part of the beadwork group in which GIFTS Rwanda sponsored the fees for the materials and training in 2021. Cecile is speaking to us as a representative of the beading group and she let Brigitte know they need more beads due to not being able to get the beads at the market. They have made many requests to no avail and are hoping we can help in getting these for them which we are able to do because of funds already raised by YOU! Listen to what she has to say below.
Stay tuned for more updates, new project announcements, and to hear even more stories that we continue to share from the people of Rugarika impacted by your generosity.
P.S. Want to add impact to your Inbox?! Enter your information below to receive email updates, inspiring stories, special announcements, exciting initiatives and more from GIFTS Rwanda! You can manage preferences an d unsubscribe anytime.
Meet Esther Mutaremara. She is a beautiful woman who has raised five orphans on her own. Or I should say on her own, with the support of GIFTS Rwanda. Her story is incredible and they would not be where they are without YOU.
Click the video below to hear from Esther yourself:
Remember, this story would not be possible without YOU.
Thank you for your help turning this woman and the five orphaned children she cares for around. When you invest in GIFTS Rwanda, you are investing in Esther and her children, and you are proving that better days are ahead for the people of Rugarika.
Bringing sustainable change to Rugarika will never be easy, but you make it possible. Thank you for your support of our mission.
P.S. Inspire more giving by sharing GIFTS Rwanda website and social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) with your friends and family!
P.S.S. Looking for more ways to make an impact? Become a Monthly Giver! Simply click Recurring under Frequency on our Giving Page located here. Monthly Giving is the most effective way to continue the work serving this vulnerable community and creating sustainable change to raise the village of Rugarika out of poverty. No amount is too small!!
Better days are ahead because of you. We can all use some extra positivity in our inbox these days and I have a feeling this testimonial will do just the trick.
Click the video below to hear from Bernard!*
*We apologize for the music making it hard to hear. The interview is taking place in their church and the church choir is practicing in the next room. I personally find the music and his voice quite lovely. Enjoy!
I hope Bernard's story inspires you. When you invest in GIFTS Rwanda, you are investing in the development of the community of Rugarika, you are empowering the real stories of people like Bernard, and you are proving that better days are ahead for the people of Rugarika.
Bringing sustainable change to Rugarika will never be easy, but you make it possible. Thank you for your support of our mission.
P.S. Want to see more video testimonials and add impact to your Inbox?! Enter your information below to receive email updates, inspiring stories, special announcements, exciting initiatives and more from GIFTS Rwanda! You can manage preferences an d unsubscribe anytime.
You are making the world brighter. Your generosity has brought hope, opportunity, and sustainable change; bringing us one step closer to lifting the people of Rugarika out of extreme poverty. Thank you for making this important work possible. Thank you for being a part of GIFTS Rwanda.
Click the video below to open a feel-good surprise!
The end of the inequalities we are facing in our world today starts with people like you generously helping other people far away, like the dear father in the video above who knows his son has a great chance at seeing his dreams come true as a result of him getting an education, animals for food, milk, eggs, and much more. Thank you so much for being a part of this family and many other families in Rugarika, Rwanda's journey and path to sustainability. We are all so excited, and again are so blessed to have you a part of our team!
Want to see more video testimonials and add impact to your Inbox?! Enter your information below to receive email updates, inspiring stories, special announcements, exciting initiatives and more from GIFTS Rwanda! You can manage preferences an d unsubscribe anytime.
"I am called KAMAGAJU Francoise, I live with my two children, we are so happy because we are helped by GIFTS Rwanda. We get food and health insurance; I got a goat and rabbits and my life is changing due to the help from GIFTS Rwanda. "
Did you know you can buy a family a goat ($60) or rabbits ($54 for 3)? Each animal provides a living, nutrition, and meat for that family. You can provide this for a family with a one time donation, or a monthly donation to go towards the purchase. Learn more about our many animal projects and how you can donate here.
It is exciting to see our projects at work changing lives every day. It's people like you that are helping the people in Rugarika make these real sustainable changes, and it couldn't be done without you. THANK YOU for being a part of our team!
P.S. Did you know you can donate a goat, chickens, or a cow to a family? Learn more about our projects and how you can give here.
"My name is NIYONSHUTI Jonas, I am widower. I lost my wife and she left me children and a small baby, I was obliged to take care of them but I was not able to get everything for my family. Now I am happy and my heart is happy to have got a help from GIFTS Rwanda and my daughter Anitha who helps me to take care of the small baby gets school fees and she is going to continue studying. I will always pray for people of good heart because GIFTS Rwanda is giving me what I have never thought about. Thank you very much GIFTS Rwanda."
GIFTS Rwanda was able to send 32 children to school this school year, including Jonas daughter Anitha. Our goal is to increase this number for next school year. Please help support more children's dreams of an education by giving here.
We feel so blessed and thankful to be a part of these beautiful Rwandan peoples' lives. An extra special shout out to our Rwandan superstars, Paterne and Brigitte and their wonderful and endless energy and work for their people.
Please remember, YOU are the change. THANK YOU for being a part of our team!
P.S. Did you know that just $60 a year or $5 a month will cover the cost of one primary child's tuition, uniform, and supplies for a year? Learn more about our projects and how you can give here.
I would like to introduce you to some of the people you serve. These people are some of the most inspiring you'd ever want to meet. Their stories of integrity, courage, faith, and perseverance are examples for us all. Meet them below...
"I am an old woman and I am poor. I met good people and they are helping me. I live with my grandchildren; children of my daughter. She married a man and they had five children. Because of familial misunderstanding her husband killed her and he is jailed. I decided to live with my grandchildren even though we are poor. We lived a difficult live but now things have changed as I am helped by God who sent me GIFTS Rwanda."
"I am 24 years old, I am a policeman. I come from a poor family that could not pay my school fees and I had no hope to continue my studies. I met GIFTS Rwanda and it helped me and I returned to school and they paid my school fees. I finished my secondary studies in 2019 and I decided to be a policeman as I liked this. I thank a lot GIFTS Rwanda the way it helps poor people and I will always pray for GIFTS Rwanda."
Stay tuned for more inspiring stories throughout this week showing the impact YOU are making to the people of Rugarika impacted by your generosity.
Please help inspire more giving by sharing GIFTS Rwanda's website, FB, IG and Twitter with your friends and family! Additional funds are welcome to allow us to continue this work serving the vulnerable community of Rugarika and creating sustainable change to raise this village out of poverty.
P.S. You may have noticed GIFTS Rwanda getting a new look. Let us know what you think and how we are doing any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Dear Donors and New Friends,
We have filled you all in with what happened in GIFTS Rwanda in the beginning and early years so far, but what about the last 5 years? Let me try and give you a concise summary of what we have been up to and where we are going! What has been most exciting about the last 5 years, is seeing how our hardworking staff in Rwanda, Brigitte Mukanyandwi and Paterne Habinshuti, and the people in the Rugarika village that they work with, continue to come up with some marvelous ideas of their own that we are thrilled to help them with. I should also mention that both have families, and both are full time teachers who do a marvelous job with their students. Brigitte’s husband Jerome helps with the construction of the duplexes, and runs a small chicken business at their house, as well.
Did you know that in Rwanda, a person can get medical insurance for only $2 a year? This gives people access to the clinics and a hospital when a baby is born, if they catch malaria they can be seen and get medicine, shots, and much more. Such a deal! 600 people have insurance so far, and there are plans to cover more people in the near future.
Getting clean water nearby can be very hard for families, some of them even keeping children home to fetch water every day. Brigitte and Paterne are looking into the best way to help with this issue. If anyone has any great ideas or would like to donate to such a project, let us know!
GIFTS helped fund a few small houses early on for families living in very run down dwellings, but soon our community volunteers and construction workers who worked on these told us: “If you built a duplex instead, two families could be housed, and it would be cheaper.” It turns out that this too was a good deal, so much so that we could also provide some furniture and food for the families when their duplex was completed. We are up to 10 duplexes now! Perhaps you’d like to be part of funding another one?
The women of Rugarika are totally on the move, always looking for ways to help their families and friends. We had one group of 13 women who trained in doing intricate beadwork purses. GIFTS sponsored the fees for the materials and training, the women each finished several purses, sold them, and were able to buy more materials and continue to use the money to further their children’s schooling. This group continues to flourish, and is sustainable, which is thrilling!
A strange request came in one day that a group wanted to start up a soap making group. The start up fee was quite low, and we said, “Yes, of course.” Well, who would have guessed that the year after this group began, we would see an almost total shutdown of the Rwandan economy due to Covid 19, and that cleaning well was suddenly very important. The Rugarika soap making group is doing very well, and were able to help many people, thanks to many of you who donated, and the hard work of the people with the little-big-start-up-idea for a brand new business. Great things sometimes come from small beginnings, and this business continues to provide job opportunities for new entry workers, sometimes even for our students.
About 3 years ago the idea to start up a chicken business was mentioned. So was the cost: $6166. Because of the price, we have not been able to get this off the ground. Brigitte and her husband Jerome have a small chicken business, and are ready to help train, and will donate the first 100 baby chickens when this comes to pass. The building seems to be the most expensive part of this, along with special lights, cages, etc. Maybe there's a large extended family out there that would be up to tackling this project?
More and more students are being helped, and this year something exciting was decided. Brigitte and Paterne, asked if the 33 students from 32 families, could each have a goat, 3 rabbits and a hutch, and 9 chickens. Students also get staple foods such as rice, beans, oil, batteries (for light to study), and their school fees, supplies, and uniforms paid. As the animals begin to reproduce, these animals will be shared with others who do not have them. Rwandans are good about caring for their neighbors, for sure! And of course, we said “Yes!” again. Below is news from two of our sponsored students, Patrick and Thabita.
A brand new camera has just been sent to Brigitte and Paterne, and we look forward to seeing even more lovely pictures very soon, and who knows, maybe one of our students, or Brigitte and Paterne’s children will become a great photographer of their beautiful country and it’s landscapes, and the incredible people who have such great courage and love.
There are so many good things going on and things on hold until we raise more funds. Hopefully many of you will rise to the challenge and get as excited as I am for the wonderful families, children, and students in Rugarika, Rwanda.
Sincerely and with great joy and hope,
Sharon (Shari) Shelton
Director of GIFTS Rwanda