Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Solace Praise Choir

As part of the youth program in Rwanda, a choir was formed in order to give the youth a sense of purpose and also an avenue to meet and support each other. The choir is composed mostly of orphans.
The name of the choir is Solace Praise and they have now released their 2nd album. Both albums are available for sale.
This is a picture of some members of the choir visiting us in our apartment on Saturday the 27th of February 2010.

Visiting Solace UK Sponsored Children - Felis

We visited Felis Mugisha on Saturday the 27th of Feb 2010. He lives with his carer, Rosette Mukakagenza, in Rugando district of Kigali, Rwanda.
His is currently in his 3rd year of primary school and he is doing well in school.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Visiting Solace UK Sponsored CHH - Eugenie

We visited Eugenie Niyonsaba at her boarding school in Nyanza on Friday the 26th of Feb. 2010. Eugenie is the head of a Child Headed Household (CHH).
She was delighted to see us and informed us that it had been a very long while since she had anyone visit her to say hello. She sings in the choir and sang a few songs for us. She indeed has a delightful voice.
She was given £30 on behalf of her UK sponsor to help her out with the care of her home.

Visiting Sponsored Children - Aventen & Alexandre

We also visited Aventen Dushimirimana and Alexandre Rukundo on Thursday the 25th of Feb 2010. They are both cared for by the lady in the picure, Jeanne Mukakaraza. They live in the Kicukiro district of Kigali. Aventen was home but Alexandre was away at boarding school.
Their carer, Jeanne, is currently unemployed and 6months in arrears with her rent. The cost of her rent is 15,000Rwf (£17) per month. Her situation was discussed with her and she was given some money towards her rent arrears.
Aventen was given presents from his UK sponsor along with some jewelery which his carer (see picture) was happy to see!! The jewelery certainly brightened up her day!!!
She was also given £20 from her UK sponsor towards the care of Alexandre.

Visiting Solace UK Sponsored CHH - Jeanette

We visited Jeannette Uwababyeyi, who is the head of a Child Headed Household, on Thursday the 25th of Feb 2010.
She takes care of her 2 sisters and also her aunt who has 3 children. She had to forgo formal education in order to look after her household.
Now that all the children are in school and doing well, we encouraged her to start thinking about herself and education. She was delighted about this and has agreed to enrol in a vocational training centre to learn how to be a seamstress. Solace Ministries will cover the cost of her training.
She received gifts and clothes from her sponsors from UK for which she was truly appreciative for.

Visiting Solace UK Sponsored Children - Yves

We also visited Yves Tuyisenge at his home in Giyensi district on Wednesday the 24th of Feb. 2010.
His mother is currently very ill and he was seen with his neighbour who currently acts as his carer.
He is currently in his 2nd year of Primary school and he is doing well. He was also given presents and sweets. He and his friends want to hitch a ride at the back of our pickup truck!!!

Visiting Solace UK Sponsored Children - Vanessa

We visited Vanessa Ishimwe after the counselling session with the orphans and widows on Wednesday the 24th of Feb 2010. She lives with her mother, Louise Mukarurangwa, and she is an only child. Her mother is currently unemployed but luckily her home was donated to her.

Her mother is currently studing english in order to improve herself. We brought a bag of clothes and sweets as presents for Vanessa. She is currently in her 1st year of Primary school and she is doing well in school.

Counselling of Widows - Solace Centre

Counselling meetings are held every Wednesdays for orphans and widows in order to help them cope with the trauma following the genocide and their current living conditions.
Mama Lambert, a member of staff at Solace Ministries in Rwanda, is in charge of the counselling sessions. She is also a survivor of the genocide and most of her family were killed during the genocide. The meetings are held at the Solace centre in Kigali.
We attended the meeting on Wednesday the 24th of Feb. 2010 and my friends, Jean and Kemi, gave words of encouragement to the people in attendance.
Jean also brought a suitcase full of bras (see picture above) to give out to all the widows at the meeting. Her gift of bras to the widows were very well received and truly appreciated.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Visit to Kaduha - Pig Project

The aim of our trip to Kaduha was to present a donation of £4,770 from Jesus House Church in London for the Pig project in Kaduha.
The aim of the pig project is to provide each family with a pig which will be used for income generation.
The pictures show me addressing the community and presenting the donated cheque for £4,770 from Jesus House to Jean Gakwandi, founder of Solace Ministries.

Visit to Kaduha - Pig Project

We set out very early (7am) on Tuesday the 23rd of Feb. for a 3hour trip from Kigali to Kaduha.
Kaduha is a community composed of about 130 families consisting of 80widows and about 50 Child Headed Households (CHH). See picture of cross section of the families and the houses in their community.

On arrival to Kaduha, we met with the community leaders and the local government officials.
We then had a meeting with the community members at the local government hall. There were about 90people in attendance. See picture above.

Visiting Solace UK Sponsored Children - Justine

We also visited Justine Mugawaneza on Monday the 22nd of Feb at her home in the Gikondo district of Kigali. She lives with her aunt, Mukangarambe, because her mother is too poor to look after her.
Her aunt had 6 children before the genocide but they were all killed during the genocide. Much to her delight, she had a baby boy called Bruce 8months ago. You can see Justine carrying Bruce in the picture. You can also see Justine with her friends in the picture (obviously, they have been watching american music videos!!!!).
Justine is currently in her 6th year of Primary school and wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Visiting Solace UK Sponsored Children - Zuzu

We visited Zuzu Harelimana on Monday the 22nd of Feb.
He lives with his mother, Julienne Nakabonye, the lady to my right in the picture. They live in the district of Kicukiro in Kigali, Rwanda.

As you can see from the picture, they currently live in an unfinished house which she is housesitting while the owner builds because she cannot afford to rent a place of her own. The average rent in the area is about 25,000Rwf (about £30) per month. She will be ejected from this home once it is complete.

Zuzu is currently in his 2nd year of Primary school. He currently has poor vision which results in headaches and poor grades. The charity donated £65 for him to have an eyetest and prescription glasses provided.
He is a shy boy and wants to be a doctor when he grows up.

Trip to Rwanda - 20th - 28th of February 2010

I travelled out of London on the 20th of February enroute to Kigali, Rwanda with Jean and Kemi. We went via Addis Abba and arrived in Kigali the following day, sunday the 21st of February. It was certainly a LONG flight and I was glad to see Kigali airport!!

We were met at the airport by Jean Gakwandi, the founder of Solace Ministries. He drove us to Solace Ministries headquaters in Kigali and treated us to a nice welcome lunch!! We planned our week ahead with Jean over lunch.

We then checked into our room at the Kacyiru Apartments opposite the Solace Ministries headquaters.

This blog will detail what happened during the week visit and you will also be able to watch videos and see pictures of our time in wonderful Rwanda!!!!