Impact Rwanda

July-December 2016

Lauren+ Date Archive, Impact Rwanda, July-December 2016

Overview

Impact Rwanda takes a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the desperately poor and vulnerable people of Rwanda by engaging with spiritual and physical health, and education and skills training.

Impact Rwanda’s focus is on women, refugees, and at-risk youth and children.

Detailed Implementation Plan

Komeza Women’s Initiative

Two training sessions occurred in the past six months. The first session was on team building (which is critical, as the women work very closely on a daily basis in their roles at J. Lynn’s). The second session was conducted on identity, and focused on who the women are in the eyes of their family, community and most importantly — Christ.

At the end of November, Impact Rwanda decided to close the second J. Lynn’s. The three women who were hired for this location will continue to work for J. Lynn’s, this time at the original Kicukiro location. We are thrilled to have them on board here! It will be absolutely wonderful to have extra hands to help with serving customers and preparing the food and beverages.

Community Bible Church

The Community Bible Church continues to gather several times a week to create a congregation of authentic Christ followers. We continue to meet in a house, and the congregation is quickly outgrowing the space.

CBC gathers every Sunday morning for a time of teaching and fellowship. There are prayer meetings that happen every weekday morning and bible studies on Wednesday evenings. The Wednesday night study has become a popular and powerful time for members of the congregation to come together as a community to read scripture, ask questions, and wrestle with it together.

CBC commonly hosts ‘holiday programs’ for children and youth who are on school holidays. Approximately 60 children and youth from the congregation and nearby community met on the last Saturday in November to have fun and learn about the Lord. The Forge interns, Jane and Jenn, were so happy to take part in this program! They had the opportunity to lead the female youth in learning about their identity in Christ!

Children and Youth at Risk

The Children and Youth at Risk initiative continues to walk alongside 15 children, youth and young adults by providing support that helps them meet their basic needs. These needs include assistance with school fees, medical care, food and a roof over their head.

The Kiziba Refugee Education Project & The Kiziba Community Library

The solar lights that were installed on the Kiziba Community Library in early 2016 have enabled the library to stay open beyond dark. Each month since the installation of these crucial lights the library has experienced growth in the number of visitors attending the activities. We are thrilled to see these numbers grow, as it means that more individuals are safe and engaged in learning. It also means that fewer Kiziba residents are wandering the camp, interacting in activities that may be detrimental to their health and wellbeing (such as doing drugs and drinking.)

The partnership with Kepler University has strengthened the English Club! The non-profit university once again provided the club with an native English speaking intern to teach the classes for the Autumn semester. Attendance to learn English has grown significantly in the last year, to nearly 120 students!

Looking Forward

After a short hiatus, we plan to once again begin the popular theology classes at the Kiziba Community Library. We are looking forward to restarting this program in the new year. Please pray that God will use this class to not only bless the students but also the broader Kiziba community!

In 2017, the formal Kiziba Secondary School is expecting a total of 500 students to register in classes. Since the school has become official, we have shifted our focus from supporting the teachers through supplies and incentives to providing the students with school supplies. As a result, we hope to provide each student with school supplies in the new year.

The hope is that we will be able to raise funds to bring laptop computers and internet to the library in 2017. These types of technology are critical in isolated regions such as Kiziba where access to the world outside the camp is limited. Through providing access to these pieces of technology, we hope that attendees will be empowered to conduct research and cultivate knowledge and skills that will help them one day pursue their education or get a job to provide for their family!

Stories of Transformation

Modeste was 2 years old when his family was forced to leave their country (Congo) and become refugees in Rwanda. His father, a Catholic clergy member, stayed behind looking after the parish after all priests had left. Two years later he joined his family in the Kiziba refugee camp in Rwanda. However, his father was not the same man they knew. While still in Congo, he had witnessed his two brothers being killed, and he himself was seriously beaten and somehow managed to escape. For the remainder of his life, he was extremely traumatized and could not do anything because of his injuries. In 2002 Modeste’s father died and his mother became a widow with 5 children to raise by herself.

In 2009, Modeste was selected as one of 22 students sponsored by Impact Rwanda to finish their last three years of high school in boarding school outside the camp (at the time, school in the camp ended at grade nine). At the end of high school, Modeste graduated with grand distinction; he received a government sponsorship for half of his university tuition and Impact Rwanda paid for the other half of his tuition, plus his accommodation and food throughout university. At university, Modeste studied crop science and specialized in horticulture. Modeste has always done well in school and in July 2016, he graduated as an engineer in horticulture.

Modeste is a refugee from a country he does not even know (he was only 2 when he left Congo). His family has lived in the camp for 20 years now and the hope of returning to Congo is long gone — but his achievement is the beginning of hope for his family. Three months after he had finished university, he started an internship with a company (strongly supported by the government) that is growing varieties of roses for export. The company is doing well and so is Modeste. After only three months of his internship, Modeste was put in charge of production and post harvest, working with no supervision. He is very much appreciated by his employer and he has high hopes of getting full time employment after his internship ends in April 2017.

Modeste came to our home accompanied by his mother to thank us for what we did. I got to meet his mother for the first time and I could see the resilience in her eyes. She is strong. I thought to myself, this is why we do what we do and stories like Modeste’s is what gives us the courage to continue. Modeste’s story is not over yet! We continue to pray and see what God is going to do in his life and we cannot be any prouder of him.

Partnership Community

Rwanda Rocks (OmniPeace) and Impact Rwanda have forged a partnership in the Kiziba Refugee Camp! Rwanda Rocks will use the Kiziba Community Library as a hub to host music lessons for children and youth starting in the new year. Opportunities to explore music are extremely limited in the Kiziba community. With the introduction of this partnership, and the Rwanda Rocks organization, children will have the chance to learn a new and exciting skill such as how to play the guitar or how to sing! Our prayer is that these students will experience enhanced levels of hope for their future through this unique opportunity. These lessons will take place 6 days per month and will open up opportunities for students to learn how to play a variety of instruments.

In October, members from Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church and Woodside Bible Church braved the elements and rode in the Ride for Refuge on our behalf. Thank you for your commitment to Impact Rwanda!

The Forge interns, Jane and Jen, visited Rwanda for just over two months this Autumn. Together they learned about Impact Rwanda, conducted an evaluation of the program, and helped plan for the next program cycle.

Financial Information

Total Income 2016 $152,163
Total Expenses 2016 $150,054
Overall 2016 Budget $243,345