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!