Sunday, September 9, 2012

here we grow

Oh my word. 

We have been believing God for some pretty big things around here and, y'all, we are so excited to share what He's been up to.

First of all, if you haven't already heard, No.41 has funded our first full year of meals for our first local school!! Meaning, the girls have sold 250+ bags and, in turn, provided a hot, healthy school lunch to an entire secondary school, everyday, for an entire year! We will begin providing meals when the new school year starts in January. Holla!

Second, last week, we enrolled sixteen girls in university! That is half of our little muffin heads!

Holy moly.

The average total cost of university is $1,500/yr, per girl and His Chase is so graciously helping with the funding. We could not be more thankful. Six of our girls are at universities out of town, all over Rwanda, and ten are studying here in Gisenyi. Although school is now their number one priority, we are excited that these (10) girls will continue working, limited hours, at No.41 and will be able to contribute to their education. That's huge!

Third... we are expanding! As in, we got a specifically designated workspace for No.41!

A few months ago, our landlord decided to build a house in our backyard. Typically, that might be weird, but we snagged that puppy up and we should be able to move in on Friday! Space has become a major issue for us, which is crazy when I think back a few months, to just me wondering what in the world I was going to do with this huge 5 bedroom house. Six months, 32 employees, 10 sewing machines, and nearly 20 house guests later, we are out of space.

Which brings us to, number four, we are letting go of the bead making, buying 22 new sewing machines, bringing back our favorite teacher, Medi, and every girl will now be sewing!

With the new house, solely dedicated to working, we will have space for 32 machines! Everyone is stoked about this. This means more bags for y'all and more money for the chickadees. (The girls make a commission on what they sell and we have always sold more bags than beads.) Glo.ry!

Now, here's where you come in. We will be launching a major fundraising campaign later this month, where we are going to break down all of the ways you can be involved, but in true No.41 fashion, we have gotten way ahead of ourselves (or way behind, if you're not into looking on the bright side).

Soooo, if you would like to contribute to the university fund, or help cover house expenses (rent is $140/month), or purchase a sewing machine ($150) please follow the link on the top right hand side of the blog (second photo down, 'donate here'). There is a drop down menu with my name (tara clapper, nice to meet you). His Chase has recently updated their giving provider, so if you have donated before it doesn't look familiar, don't worry.

Y'all there aren't words for what is happening here. And none of this is possible without you. Thank you so much for your prayers, your love, and your support. We truly are changing our small little corner of the world.

Stay tuned for much more, coming very soon!

PS all of the photos are taken by, the very talented, Alison Holcomb. A couple of them are outtakes from a recent photo shoot for the website. We can't wait to show you more! To check out Alison's view of our little world, you can visit her here.