Tuesday, April 15, 2014

First Term Wrap Up

     Our inaugural first term of school has come to a close.  The 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide is April 7th, yet schools, businesses and many government agencies do not operate for the month of April, the month of mourning.  The Imana Kids took last week to reflect in bible study and in discussion/reflection groups with James and other deacons from the church.  Many of the older students attended memorial services at the National Stadium.  There are also many free events for the public throughout Kigali and on the radio.  Although most of "our kids" were not alive during the genocide, each of them will tell you how it affected their family.  Each of them carries this in their hearts.  Please know that they are getting even more ministering and love during this difficult time of remembrance.
     Here are a few highlights from our first term:

  • Every one of our Imana Kids had "good" marked for behavior. Every. Single. One.  We are overjoyed at this report.  
  • Teenagers will be teenagers.  Our 16 High Hill kids had lots of complaining initially (uniforms, food, freedom, a universal theme).  Yet by mid February, all of them were quick to say that they didn't want to leave High Hill for anywhere else.  Their complaints were hard for the board at first-we want them to be happy! Thankfully, our leadership team is made up of very experienced educators, parents and social workers that were quick to point out that developmentally, these were normal responses to a totally new environment, people and expectations.
  • Everyone got sick.  No worries! Just average sniffles and colds.  However, poor James traveled from school to school to reassure our kids that they were just fine.  Each of us wants TLC when we don't feel good...to an orphan TLC looks different.  It may look like a panicked phone call to demand a trip to the hospital...because of runny, itchy eyes or a headache.  James has proved himself over and over again to be a man with a heart for these kids. A patient man with a big heart!
  • The top three S3 students are Imana Kids.  The number one student in the S4 class in an Imana Kid!
  • We have a full time volunteer that has completed secondary school and does odd jobs to save money for college.  He currently assists James as a jack-of-all-trades.  We'd like to find a sponsor for him to get a monthly salary from us that can support his dreams to continue schooling.  Let us know if you're interested in writing his story...

     We were naive to think that once the kids were in school, our work as a foundation would slow down.  It is becoming clearer to us that one of our long term goals may include a new physical space to call home.  The Imana Kids mission statement includes providing each child of Kimisagara with access to food, a safe place to live and clean water.  Long term, we envision a space for the preschoolers that has grass to lie in the sun on, space to ride a trike and rooms with a table and chair for everyone.  This is heavy on our hearts and as we pray and seek wise counsel, won't you join us?

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