Monday, November 10, 2014

We're in! Are you?

Hey there!

I'm going to assume that since your here today, you know a bit about what we do at No.41. Or that someone you know shared with you a bit about what we do and here you are. So, thanks!




We've got a great opportunity on our hands to feed 500 new students next year and we need your help.

I wanted to take some time and share with you why we do what we do. And why you should, too.

I'd love for you to know exactly what this means not just to the students, but to their families. And for their future. And for the future of Rwanda.

Nearly every country around the world has a school feeding program, and each day at least 368 million children from kindergarten to secondary school receive food at school. This massive figure indicates that governments recognize school feeding as an essential tool for the development and growth of school children, communities, and society as a whole, and as a social safety net. (via. World Food Programme)

So what are the benefits?


A meal gets students to school and keeps them there. There are a wide range of benefits associated with the school feeding, many of which extend beyond the classroom:
  • Safety Nets: School meals acts as income transfers for the household, helping families to educate their children and protect their food security in times of crisis. School meals support healthy development so children can become healthy and productive adults, breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty in the world’s most vulnerable areas. 
  • Nutrition: In poor countries, school meals are often the only regular and nutritious meals a child receives, acting as an investment in the child’s future. Without them, hunger and micronutrient deficiencies can cause irreversible damage to their growing brains and bodies. 
  • Education: A daily school meal provides a strong incentive to send children to school and keep them there. They allow children to focus on their studies rather than their stomachs and boost their education by increasing school enrollment and attendance, decreasing dropout rates, and improving cognitive abilities. 
  • Local Agriculture: Most food is procured locally, which benefits local farmers and the whole community while enhancing the sustainability of the program and makes healthier food baskets.
What does this mean for you?

I think it means we have a responsibility. Those of us who know nothing about the true meaning of "starving", have an responsibly to live a bit more simply, so that others may simply live.


You already know that we are feeding 1,200 students and teachers, every day, whose whole world has been changed by a feeding program we started at their school.

And now we've met some new students in Rwanda. They are hungry and their parents are trying, yet struggling, to feed them. We have the opportunity and the honor to partner with this school and their parents to make sure they get at least one hot, healthy meal every day.

I'm asking you to partner with us. We can meet this need. We can change their world, too.

Will you make a donation today, no matter how large or small, because where you live shouldn't define how you live? And no matter where you are, food should never be too much to ask?

To get started, we need 250 brand new sponsors at $10 a month. We are about 10% funded.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Around the House:: Baby Steps

video
This video of Tarison is a little over a year old. Now, the little man runs all over the place saying things like, “Mamma, coming”, “Hello, birds”, and our favorites “No” and “Stop.”

I love this video for so many reasons! First, it makes me stop and think about all that has happened here in the past year. Tarison is no longer a baby, but a very funny and active 2 year old. Secondly, you might not recognize all the voices in the background but they are some of our regular people, our family, Tash, Muhoza, Flora, and Fanny. Thirdly, and most importantly, I hear the sounds of encouragement and excitement coming from everyone in the room. 

I believe that when someone tries something new, grows a bit in an area, or is willing to learn something new our reaction should always be encouragement, excitement, and clapping. Just like when a child is learning to walk they are encouraged and cheered on to keep going and keep trying, I believe we as adults do the same thing or at least we should.

At 41 our ladies are making some baby steps of their own! They are realizing the importance of what they have been given or shown and are starting to take ownership of 41. As we all know being a leader among our peers isn’t always easy but being a leader when you have been told that you are not important, you lack resources,  or you don’t have a place makes it seem impossible. Some of our girls have had quite intense pasts and believing that they have value and something to give can be difficult. Despite this, some of our ladies are coming together to form leadership and responsibility teams. 

We sit every Friday and talk about the past week. Two weeks ago I was asking if they had heard or thought of coming up with an investment/small loan community among themselves. They told me that they had one in place for about 6 weeks! I was told who the president, secretary, and treasures were and how the system works. I was amazed! They told me that Tara had talked to them about this a long time ago but they hadn’t been ready to start one until 6 weeks ago. 

At that same meeting I was informed that not only do they have a small loan system set up they have managed themselves into responsibility teams for our daily operations. Normally, when a new order comes up I will meet with Xavera to discuss design, needed materials, etc. but she informed me that I would need to meet with the “design team” also. They explained that each lady was responsible for a job that contributed to the sewing project and that there were consequences for missing meetings or their assignments. Now, it’s been only 2 weeks but I haven’t, one time, had to ask if someone was doing this or not doing this, they are managing themselves! We are so proud of these baby steps that they are making and, more importantly, that they are realizing that they have value, what they are doing is valued, and that what they are doing should be done well.

So yes, we here at No.41 watch as they take these baby steps, clapping, cheering, and excited to watch them grow.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Around the House

Here is the first of a new series, straight from Amy, of stories about what’s happening at the No.41 house. The stories may be short, funny, deep, or random, but hopefully they will give you a little more insight into life here at 41.


What I pray and hope that we at No.41 are about is expressing to each individual here is that ‘you are known, you are loved, and you have a purpose.’ To be people that echo this message from God to every woman sewing, every employee working, and every child eating. It’s not always easy, in fact it’s pretty hard most of the time, but if this is being expressed well, it’s worth it.

Let's talk about Jeanette!


She is pretty much our second in command in the sewing house. Her ability to help out whenever there’s a need, her happy attitude, and her willingness to learn new things have made her a leader. She came to Jean d’Amour and I in June expressing an interest to go to driving school. Having a driver’s license here can open up new employment opportunities. As much as I would be sad if she was to leave 41 if she finds a job driving, I’m excited that she has the courage to say this is something she wants to learn how to do. So, she has been taking driving classes and sewing at No.41 since July. To me, this is the effect of seeing a person, loving them, and telling them they have a purpose. Jeanette will finish driving school at the end of September and we’ll see where her dreams will take her. Xavera says she dreams of owning a car and will let Jeanette be her driver!!


We are making beads again!! The ladies are busy making beads (one of their least favorite things to do) for some new bags we are working on! I spent a couple hours with them one afternoon making beads and it’s no joke. Look out for some new lovelies with these handmade beads coming soon!


xoxo, Amy



Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Power of Ten

"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." -Socrates


I don't think it's a stretch to say that our ladies have found their flames working at No.41. They are learning just how dearly loved they are, not just by us, but by their Heavenly Father. They are learning that they were created to burn bright in this world, for themselves and for others.


For our university girls, the chance to study has given them an opportunity to rise above; above their circumstances, above others opinions of them, above societies expectations, above anything they ever dreamt possible.


Sponsorship makes this possible. You make this possible.


I'd like to take some time and introduce you to each girl and share a bit of her story. We, wholeheartedly, believe that when you educate a woman, your support trickles down to her entire family and into her community. An educated woman carries a lasting impact for generations to come.


University sponsorship is $2,400/girl, for the entire year! That covers the cost of enrollment, school fees, boarding and dining, uniform, and materials. We are looking 10 sponsors donating $100/month.


First up, Miss Angel. It's difficult to sing her praises loud enough. There are big, big things in this young lady's future. Angel grew up an orphan but, rather than entering the orphanage, she was raised by an elderly aunt. Angel is now returning the favor, with the money she makes at No.41, she is the main financial support and care giver for her aunt. Angel never expected to have the opportunity to study in university, she says she doesn't have enough English "to describe her feelings of thanks". She is entering her third year at RTUC in Gisenyi and is majoring in Travel and Tourism Management. It is her big dream to be a stewardess for Rwandair. 



Rosine is the oldest of six children and the mother of one. It is impossible to talk about Rosine without mentioning her infectious giggle. Rosine, always classy and impeccably overdressed, is no stranger to hard work, she watched her single mother struggle working multiple jobs, to raise her and her siblings. She wanted more for her life and her son. At 29, her hopes of attending university we dwindling, until her aunt, who works at the Noel Orphanage arranged for her a job at No.41. Rosine is entering her second year at ULK in Gisenyi where she studies Economics and Business Management. She dreams of managing bank one day.
"I am very grateful to study at university; I thank God every day for the chance. When I have a degree, I will be a strong woman, I will have value in my family and my country." 

Clementine and her family understand how painfully important an education is; they made the difficult choice to send Clementine to the orphanage, when she was just 10 years old, in order to give her a chance attend school. Starting late, school was struggle for her, but she graduated secondary school before becoming, unexpectedly pregnant. She started working at No.41 to help provide for her son Clement, and we adore her around here. She is a hard worker and always has a smile on her face. Clementine's big, but seemingly unattainable, dream was to go to university and become a social worker, and now that's exactly she's doing.


Sandrine is the oldest of 7 children, and the only one her parents could afford to put through school. Her father is the gatekeeper at Noel, and that's how she came to work at No.41. She is quiet, yet confident and so thankful for the opportunity to work and continue her studies. It's been inspiring to see her confidence grow as she chases her dream. Sandrine will be the first college graduate in her family. Ever. We are SO proud of this girl. Sandrine is in her third year and working toward her degree in Hotel Restaurant Management.


Oh, Fanny. We talk a lot about her, as she has been living in the No.41 house for about two years. Fanny grew up at the Noel Orphanage, where she attended boarding school and graduated secondary (high school) at the top of her class. Shortly after starting her job at No.41, Fanny got pregnant and was asked to leave the orphanage; she made the decision to stay and work, in order to better herself and the future of her unborn baby. It has been a joy and pleasure to see Fanny come alive. It isn't always easy, but she is getting her footing and charting a new course for her life. Because of her income at No.41 Fanny is able to support herself and her son, Tarison, who is now 18 months old. Fanny is entering her second year in university. She continues to work at 41 and has replaced fear of the unknown with dreams and a desire to achieve.

Like Angel, I don't have enough English to say just what your sponsorship means in their lives. And it's not about the money. The money, while it's necessary, comes second to the love, hope, and confidence these girls have knowing that they matter to someone, all the way across the world. Our girls are dreaming, for the very first time, because of you. They are striving. Thriving. And succeeding. Thank you.

If you would like to sponsor one of the girls, please click here. We are looking for TEN $100/month sponsors, but, of course, you are welcome to donate in any amount. If you're not able to financially support one of the ladies at this time, we would be ever so thankful if you would share this post with you friends who might be! The button is right below. :) Thank you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet Catie!

Happy Back to School! I love this time of year. All the cuties all dressed up for first day photos, holding chalkboards to remind us all just how quickly time goes by and babies turn into real people. I die over all the school supplies. Lord knows I don't need or use them, I just love them. I bought myself a new notebook and "borrowed" my 412th Lifechurch pen for the occasion. But I digress. 

I'm so excited to introduce y'all to our latest addition to the No.41 Campus Rep Team, Miss Catie Warrick. Catie is a firecracker and when I met her at HopeSpoken, I knew our little tribe needed her. Y'all are going to love her! So.... meet Catie!


Hey y'all!! My name is Catie Warrick and I've been given the amazing privilege of being the newest Campus Rep! I am a free spirited glitter fanatic that enjoys full on jam sessions, spontaneous dance parties, and sharing my heart for Jesus. Mix those together and you have the best time EVER. I love the work God's been doing in the hearts of those No.41 employs and I CANNOT wait to get started on this journey! I live in Austin, TX with my sweet and extremely sassy Chihuahua, where I spent two and a half years at the Art Institute studying Fashion and Retail Management. As of now, I am attending Austin Community College where I'll get to show off my beautiful bag and rock everyone's world with No.41 merchandise! (:

I believe with all my heart that teaming up with this organization is what God's destined me to do during this chapter of life, and hopefully even for the long haul! A verse that truly motivates me to work with organizations like No.41 is John 20:21.



And Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the father has sent me, I also am sending you.”

Good stuff, right? I even have a necklace that says, “sent” that's never removed my neck.

I attend Wells Branch Community Church here in Austin and we're doing work in Tanzania, so it's the coolest thing getting to love on these neighboring countries at the same time! I still remember when I began to follow No.41 on Instagram, when the Hopespoken team had featured their “swag bags”on their profile. The love fest instantly began and I was hooked! I hope to do genuine work for this team of amazing human beings. They have a heart for serving people, and the world is better because of their willingness to let go and be used for the kingdom. The adventure awaits!


I also have a blog! Visit www.hopewithoutwavering.com for more on who I am and how I'm striving to change this world for good!

If you're interested in being a Campus Rep or hearing more about it, click here or email tara@no41.org for more deets. Happy Tuesday, lovely!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What You May Not Know

"You cannot give dignity to people. You can only affirm it"

Alison Holcomb Photography
We talk a lot about the ladies in our program. Of course, we would, they are the heartbeat of what we do. They are the reason why. It's impossible not to be inspired by the hope and purpose they have found and by the change they are affecting in their community. 

We could talk for days about students in our program. They are like our hands and feet. Walking, talking examples of measurable change. I don't think any of us could have imagined what a $0.25 lunch, every day, could mean to a student and their immediate family, in daily life and for the future. The life changing ripples are just beginning. 

But...

What you may not know, is that we have a small, but mighty, group of men in our program. They are the backbone of what we do and they are feeling the change, as well. I won't pretend for one second that, if we didn't have Jean d'Amour, this program would still be running. It just wouldn't. He came out of nowhere and, with quiet confidence, leads the way in every decision we make regarding the feeding program. He cares about the students and their well-being, first and foremost. He wants to see them succeed, meets with them often, gives them opportunities to lead, and gives them a voice in menu selection. JD and his hand selected team of cooks show up at the school, bright and early, and seamlessly execute the feeding of 1,157 students, every single day. I could go on and on. And on. But I'll let them talk, for now...

Alison Holcomb Photography
"Before I had No.41 I was having to change jobs and I worked too hard to feed my family, pay my school fees, and pay rent; it was a struggle to survive. When I arrived at No.41 my life changed. I have known more people through No.41, and many people now know me. My brain has been widened, I have learned how to work hard, interact with other people and my English is improving daily.

I want Americans to know, my dream is to be a professional manager and to help other people to raise their level of study and improve their lives. I would like them to know that my confidence has greatly increased, before I did not know how to interact with people, I did not know what it was to feel confidence around people.

What sponsors are doing for Rwandans is great. Before No.41 in Rwanda, and especially Kanama Catholic, many students did not study or have lunch. Not all students came here just to study, but so they could have a hot lunch. By buying bags and sponsoring students for lunch, they are doing great great things."


Alison Holcomb Photography
Name: BAMBANZE Fabian
Age: 56
Occupation: Head cook
Favorite food: Beans and potatoes

Fabian was married, but is now widowed. He is the proud parent of 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys) and has 5 grandchildren. Before No.41 Fabian had worked at another local school cooking lunch, but had been most recently unemployed. Fabian is very hardworking and trustworthy, he goes above and beyond to ensure the students and teachers are fed delicious hot meals everyday.

Fabian’s big dream is to find money to buy a cow (300,000RWF or $450) to help him survive when he retires.

When asked if he would like to tell people anything about his life now in Rwanda, he says: ‘I thank them, they send us No.41, that provides me a job and helps me provide education so my children can study well. Just, please, thank them.’



Alison Holcomb Photography
Name: UWIZEYIMANA Theogene
Age: 37
Occupation: Cook
Favorite food: Beans and sweet potatoes

Theogene is married and has 3 children, 1 girl and 2 boys. Before No.41 he was a farmer, he is very grateful for a stable job.

Theogene’s big dream is for the project to continue, he hopes that the money he earns can be used to buy cows and goats that will help him make his soil fertile. This will allow him to grow a garden and feed his children and pay his children’s school fees.

When asked if he would like to tell people anything about his life now in Rwanda, he says: ‘Thank them for bringing us No.41, it provides our families food and our salaries help us to pay school fees for our children. I wish that the project will continue, be proud and increase so other people can gain jobs like I did and their families can be healthy and happy like mine is now.’




Name: UWIZEYIMANA Placide
Age: 23
Occupation: Cook
Favorite food: Corn and potatoes

Placide is young and as of yet does not have a wife or any children. Placide completed his primary school education, but unfortunately did not progress to secondry school. Before No.41 he rode a bicycle to transport people and goods.

Placide's big dream is that No.41 is sustainable so he can save money to buy land and 2 cows to help his family while he continues to work here.

When asked if he would like to tell people anything about his life in Rwanda, he says: ‘I am very thankful for the people that provide No.41, it is a big part of my life.’

Alison Holcomb Photography
Nelson Mandela said, "As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." and I would say that's exactly what is happening in our little tiny village, in a little tiny country, all the way on the other side of the world. Some of the brightest lights I've ever had the privilege of knowing, are learning what it means to shine and fire is spreading.

If you would like to help us fan the flames in Rwanda, there are a number of things you could do. The easiest thing is sharing this post, or a photo, or story you may have with your friends and tag us on Facebook or Instagram. We would love that! Next, you could check out the shop and see what's new! By purchasing from No.41, you are not only supporting the women with employment, every single purchase provides meals to students in the feeding program. The best way you can help us continue to grow and love this community, is sponsorship. There is a one-year student sponsorship in the shop, or you can sign up to sponsor monthly for just $5. If one of the cooks, above, strike your fancy, we are also looking for sponsorship to cover their salaries. It's just $50/month and you can also set that up, recurring, here. Lastly, if you are interested in hosting a trunk show or hearing more about our Campus Rep program, please shoot me an email tara@No41.org.

Thank you for all you have done for us and all you continue to do. We are creating change and we couldn't do it without you.

"Do your little bit of good where you are, it's those little bits of good, put together, that overwhelm the world." -Demond Tutu

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Student Sponsorships. Round 4.

Tash, our favorite videographer is back in town and, this morning, we woke up way too early and headed to the school to get some footage of the morning routine. Morning starts at the crack of crazy for the cooks, as they arrive at 6am to begin to prepare the food. All the students filter in around 6:30, gathering on the sports court to pray, sing the National Anthem, and listen to the day's announcements. Tash was down on one end of the court recording and Jean d'Amour (our Project Manager) and I were on the other. JD grabbed my arm and said, "Eh, Tella, No.41 feeds many people." He said it with such pride and I teared up as we both stood there taking it all in; this thing we have worked so hard on, and get so wrapped up in, and so frustrated by, this thing is real. And so much bigger than we ever dared to dream.

So much has happened over the course of two years, but there is still so much more to do. This feeding program is changing lives and growing like a weed. JD is approached all the time by the other schools in our area, asking when we will come to feed their students. The answer is, as soon as we can. 

It costs just $5/month or $60 for the full year to feed a child a hot, healthy lunch every day at school. So far, we have introduced you to 26 students and 16 have been sponsored! Today we have 10 more.  If you would like to sponsor one, (one-time or recurring) you can do that here.

These are not just "students" to us. These are real people, with real stories. They are being affected by real change, lasting change. We want to make that real for you, too. Please make a note on your donation form on the students name you would like to sponsor. They have each hand-written a thank note for you. 

This is how you change the world for one.

Name: UMUTONI Denyse
Age: 16
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English
Favorite food: Potatoes
Denyse has a younger sister of 8 years, she loves basketball and plays during any spare time she has. Denyse dreams of becoming a journalist.


Name: MUKAMDAHIRO Bellinide
Age: 18
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English
Favorite food: Fruits
Bellinide would love to work in the tourism industry, and dreams of travelling around America.


Name: MUKESHIMANA Mediatrice
Age: 19
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English
Favorite food: Omelette
Mediatrice dreams of becoming a journalist in America. She also loves to dance, especially to Rihanna!


Name:NYIRAMUTUZU Hortance
Age:19
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English, Swahili and KinyaRwanda
Favorite food: Chicken
Hortance aspires to become a minister in Rwanda, and would love to eventually live in America.


Name: HABIMANA Patrick
Age:18
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English, Swahili and KinyaRwanda
Favorite food: Chicken
Patrick is one of five siblings and hopes to graduate school and become an entrepreneur.



Name: MURURUNEKWERE Giselle
Age:18
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English, Swahili and KinyaRwanda
Favorite food: Chicken
Giselle would like to work as an aeronautical engineer once she has graduated high school. She enjoys listening to music, especially Rihanna.


Name: DUSLTIME Jean deDier
Age: 18
Grade: Senior 5
Favorite subject: English
Favorite food: Beef
Jean deDier aspires to become the ‘best journalist’ once he has graduated high school. He has 3 siblings who he loves dearly and enjoys praying in his spare time.


Name: INGABIRE Vestine
Age: 18
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English, Swahili and KinyaRwanda
Favorite food: Kaunga and Rice
Vestine loves music, dancing and Jay Polly! She aspires to become a journalist in the future.


Name: NSABIMANAJI CLAUDE Syekk
Age: 19
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: English
Favorite food: Bananas
Syekk aspires to become a lawyer after completing school and university. In her spare time she enjoys playing football and supports Manchester United!


Name: MUHIRE Charlotte
Age: 17
Grade: Senior 4
Favorite subject: KinyaRwanda
Favorite food: Rice
Charlotte hopes to become a journalist so that people can become aware of events around the world. She enjoys playing with friends at the weekend, and her favorite color is white.

If you would like to sponsor one of these students, for $5/month or $60/year, you can do that here. Please make sure and make note of which student you would like to sponsor. Thank you SO much!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Student Sponsorships. Round 3.

It's Round 3.
And we are sitting at about 10% on our goal to 50 students sponsored this week.

"You know the drill. Get going." -Megan
(and just in case you don't know the drill yet, it's just $5 a month to provide a student with a school lunch every day and a solid education. Donate here and don't forget to tell us who you would like to sponsor. They have a hand written thank you for you.)

Name: ITANGIWIBHBITH Emma
Age: 22
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: Mathematics
Favorite food: Potatoes
Emma dreams of finishing school and becoming a doctor.


Name: ICYIMANIZANYE Charlotte
Age: 21
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: Biology
Favorite food: Kaunga
Charlotte would love to study at university in Kigali, and one day dreams of becoming a doctor.


Name: UMUTONI Monique
Age: 20
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: Chemistry
Favorite food: Rice
When she has finished school, Monique hopes to work in medicine.







Name: MUSHIMIYIMANA Hadidja
Age: 20
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: Chemistry
Favorite food: Rice
At the end of this academic year Hadidja hopes to graduate school and start training to become a doctor.


Name: MUMEZTZRO J.M.V
Age: 21
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: Economics
Favorite food: Potatoes
J.M.V has a passion for economics and can not wait to graduate school and become an entrepreneur.


Name: TUYIZERE Jules
Age:22
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: History
Favorite food: Sweet Potatoes
Jules dreams of moving to Kigali and becoming an entrepreneur.


Name: BITEGETSIMANA Edmond
Age: 22
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: History
Favorite food: Kaunga
Edmond aspires to become a solider once he has finished his studies, he wants to make his country proud.

Name: NZAMBAZIMANA Innocent
Age:24
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: Chemistry
Favorite food: Kaunga
Innocent adores a Rwandan music group called Dream Boyz, he hopes that one day he will be able to see them in concert. When he finishes school, Innocent hopes to become a solider.


Name: TURIKUMWENIMANA Appolinaire
Age: 20
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: Geography
Favorite food: Potatoes
Appolinaire would love to pursue his passion for geography and become a geography analyst upon completion of school. Appolinaire is outgoing and loves to dance, especially to Chris Brown!


Name:IUBAHA-MAPENDO Lydia
Age: 22
Grade: Senior 6
Favorite subject: History
Favorite food: All kinds of vegetables
Lydia hopes to study law at university, and one day dreams of becoming a judge. She loves to sing, especially in the school choir, and her favorite music artist is Miss JoJo.

SPONSOR HERE. THANK YOU!!

Student Sponsorships. Round 2.

Here we go with round two of student sponsorships! 

All of the interviews are being done by our intern extraordinaire, Megan. Megs is from the UK, in case you couldn't tell, yesterday, from some of my missed spelling changes: programme. whilst, favourite... :) Anyway, this was such a fun day! During lunchtime, the kids wandered in slowly, at first, not sure what was going to be asked of them. I took their photos and they giggled as I tried to make them smile. (Smiling for photos or even looking at the camera it not really a thing here.) After photos, they lined up with Megan. She keeps pretty much everything light and fun and it was so cool to see the students open up and relax. It appeared that they had never been asked such simple questions before, they laughed as they thought carefully about each one. 

Maybe I'm one to make things flowery, or imagine a moment in my own head, but I will remember this day forever. I will remember that it's in the tiniest of gestures that we have the ability to make another person feel known. Appreciated. Seen. We talk a ton about the students in our feeding program, but it's rare to get the opportunity to really talk to them. 

Starting the feeding program was really birthed as a way for the women at No.41 to give back to their community; to know that their life had worth, meaning, and purpose, but I had no idea the blessings that would come as a result of a $0.25 meal received by the students. I wish there was some other way to say it, that wasn't so cliche, but their. world. is. changing. And the joy and hope is contagious.

It's just $5/MONTH to sponsor one student for a hot, healthy meal every day! Just $5! And you can do that quickly and painlessly here. Let us know who you would like to sponsor, we have a handwritten thank you from the student to send you.

Thank you for changing our world!


Name: MANIRITO Jeanne
Age: 21
Grade: Senior 6 (12th grade)
Favorite subject: Mathematics
Favorite food: Chapatti
Jeanne wants to work in medicine and find cured for bad diseases.



Name: HAKIZIMANA Patrick
Age: 22
Grade: Senior 6 (12th grade)
Favorite subject: Biology
Favorite food: Rice
Patrick loves biology and hopes to inspire others, through teaching, so that they love biology as much as he does.



Name: NZABONIMANA Jean Pierre
Age: 20
Grade: Senior 6 (12th grade)
Favorite subject: Geography
Favorite food: Potatoes
Jean Pierre is the youngest of 9 siblings and hopes to become a professional solider.
"I want to thank the program as it helps us to increase our standard of living and learning."



Name: MUSHIMIYIMANA Christian
Age: 17
Grade: Senior 6 (12th grade)
Favorite subject: Biology
Favorite food: Rice
Christian is serious and determined and dreams of becoming a doctor so that he can save others.



Name: TUYIZERE Amani
Age: 18
Grade: Senior 5 (11th grade)
Favorite subject: Geography
Favorite food: Kaunga (corn maize)
Amani lives over 50km from school, but during term time he rents a floor space near by so he can eat a hot lunch, enabling him to study successfully.




Name: BIZIMANA Osward
Age: 19
Grade: Senior 5 (11th grade)
Favorite subject: English, Swahili and Kinyarwanda
Favorite food: Meat

Osward’s favorite sport is football, he plays as often as he can. Not only does he love English football teams but he also dreams of visiting England one day as a tour guide!


There are still several students from yesterday's post available for sponsorship, as well. Don't forget to leave a note with the students name that you would like to sponsor, they have a little something to send you. Donate here.