Catherine Booth Preschool term 2, July 2012

I visited the End of Term 2 Celebration at Catherine Booth in July. The Section Officer had prepared a program and some refreshments for the children.
The children presented items such as English vocabulary, poems and rhymes.
Then it was time for the teacher to give out transcripts to all children.
Each child was called to come forward to receive her/his transcript.
One parent gave a short speech on behalf of all parents, a representative from local government likewise and I concluded the Celebration by thanking staff and donors, parents committee and community for the commitment of wanting education for their young children.

Afterward we asked the children to line up for a photo to show to you sponsors and donors:
We are happy to see these children in school, only 6% of all children in Rwanda go to preschool.
Every family has to pay for early childhood education and thanks to you these children can attend  a very nice and well equipped preschool.
Photos: Carolina Tuftström
Photo shop work: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Photos can be used by permission and by recognition of the photographer next to the photo

-Now they can see my child goes to Salvation Army Preschool!

Early Monday morning we left the capital of Rwanda to go to one of the rural places where the Salvation Army operates. A sunny day, a beautiful scenery and dry roads made it all quite pleasant.
We; that is me, Sponsorship Secretary Major Anna-Maria, volonteer Ms Carolina, our photographer for the day, Mrs Wendy, our Statistics Secretary and Editor for the Command News letter and the Section Officers Captains Theobold and Serafine.
We went out early in the morning to Rutobwe preschool to meet parents and local government, to inform them of this terms program, tell a story from Salvation Army history and to have the local government there with us to celebrate this day. 

When we arrived at Rutobwe Corps we were invited in for a nice cup of tea in the Corps Leaders home where we also did the finale preparations for the meeting. We could hear the children repeating something that the teacher was saying from the classroom next door and soon went out to greet them and the parents that had come for the meeting.

I said Hallo to the children and they said in English: Hallo teacher! How are you? I am fine!
and I said that they did really well and I am happy they are doing their English class.
Then I told them about me going to school also. They did not believe me, but I told them that I go to Kinyarwanda class. And then I started counting in Kinyarwanda: Rimwe, Kabiri, Gatatu, Kane... and they then helped me when I "stumbled" for the numbers 7, 8 and nine.
So then I asked them to count for me, but this time in English. They did very well!
Then they went to have porridge, sitting outside the Corps building on the stairs, they all received a big cup of porridge. Volonteer Carolina asked them to pose for a photo afterwards.
Meantime we started the parents meeting. I asked them what they know about The Salvation Army and they did not know much, only that we have a church here in Rutobwe and that we support the families to give the children education.
I told them about the time when William Booth as pastor came back to church with people who had answered God´s call for salvation and how they were not welcomed in the church.
William then had to choose of being a well paid pastor in a nice congregation or to leave with the new flock of sheep, vulnarable people that later would be the beginning of The Salvation Army.
I told them that the mission of The Salvation Army (which now works in 125 countries) is to always preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs without discrimination...
I try to always tell one Salvation Army story when I meet with parents and local government because I think sometimes we take for granted that people "know" what we are...
This day we had invited the local government as we always do and the Executive Officer for the sector came to join us.

Captain Theobold was also my interpreter for the day. Thank you for that help! I would not be able to do my work without them. Together we shared information and message to the parents, we informed about the drawing competion that is going on during September, showed the brand new Salvation Army Preschool Diplomas that all six year olds will get in the end of term 3 when they "graduate" from preschool. The parents and the government want all children to go to preschool and they also say that without a diploma from preschool the child will not be allowed in to Primary school. I do not know how that can work, but I was happy to show that our children will be able to show both transcript and diploma when they go to their new school. Also we gave the Parents Committe some time to share joy and challenges of having that responsibility of being a Committee member, and to listen to what they wanted to share with the parents, local government and us as administrators of the school.
But I promised something to you and I will keep that promise. This Monday was the day of the
TOTAL MAKOVER... the day of the arrival of school uniforms...
All preschool children that did not have uniforms were to be given that this day and you could almost touch the anticipation in the room.  Captain Serafine and some salvationists have made uniforms for all children and first there was a bit of a chaos, no not really, but a little trouble matching shirt and skirt/shorts with the right child. Captain Theobold, Mrs Wendy and Ms Carolina helped finding the kits.
 They then handed them to Captain Serafine that called out the name of the child and gave me the uniform as I was to give them to the children as representative for the Sponsors that have made this possible.

At the start the children were shy to come forward, but with a smile and a happy face this shy girl walked slowly towards me, stopped and wondered maybe if she dared to greet me.
We shook hands and I gave her the clothes and then asked her to go to change into her new clothes.
Some children had their parents in the meeting and one father said: "Now our neigbours will see that my child goes to preschool" and looked so proud and wanted to be in the photo with his daughter
He was so proud!
I love this job, kneeling in front of a child, shake his/her hand and see their expression when receiving the uniform, holding it as the big treasure as it is and not wanting to let go of it.
One boy came to get his uniform, shook my hand with his head looking down in the ground,  a bit afraid or shy...
but when he had received the uniform he turned around and ran out to change clothes, he was sooo happy, and his face was shining of the great smile on his face :D
-"It is important to say thank you, say thank you to the Sponsorship Secretary..."
Oh, I almost forgot, we also made home work and communication bags for all children by "Igetenge" material.
(Igetenge is a womens clothing here, it looks like a big piece of material, like a sheet that women wrap themselves in) The Womens Ministries sell them in Trade department and I bought many from them to make colourful bags for the children. Now they can bring home the notebook without getting them dirty or damaged (I hope) and the teacher can write notes to the parents.
So are you ready to see the before and after picture of the total make over? Okey, here they come...
Don´t we look smart? Can you see how proud and happy we are? We are very proud of being part of The Salvation Army, thank you all donors for this, we are thankful for your support. Without you we could never have done this, without you the Salvation Army in Rwanda and Burundi Command could not run this preschool. Thanks to you they will be prepared to go to school, these children will change the world - they will help themselves, their parents and Rwanda by getting an education and bring hope for a brighter future...
So again, thank you!
It has been a long day and it is time to go home. We want to wave good bye to all of you! BYE!
And then all went home... or not... the children did not want to go home, they wanted to stay, but after yet another hour they started to leave for home. They all looked so nice and I remembered the words of the proud father; "Now my neigbours can see that my child goes to preschool". Yes you can really see that now, and the children will be recognised by the community as Salvation Army Preschool children...
And you do see the beautiful scenery, don´t you? I´m amazed of it, but for the children this is an every day view and not as exciting as a car...
Did I mention I think this is a very beautiful place? ;D
Now it was time even for us to leave so the boys had to climb down from the car.
We were very happy with the outcome of the day and started our journey back to the city of Kigali.
Well, we did make a stop... just one more photo of the scenery...
and one more, just one more... and here you can actually see the small etages of farmlands that the people here farm to grow food to support the families. If they are able to grow more than they need themselves they change goods with each other or sell it on the market to get some money so that they can pay for things they need that need the currency of money to buy.

/ Anna-Maria and Carolina
Photographer: Carolina Tuftstrom
Photo Shop work by: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Photos can be used by permission and by recognizing the photographer next to photo

What a joy!

We have had a very nice day in Rutobwe today and as I promised, we have lots of photos to show. Tomorrow is a very busy day, but we hope to have them here on the blog during this week at least :)

Just as an appetizer: This is the before picture:
See ya!
/Major Anna-Maria

Parents meeting

Saturday and it is a beautiful warm sunny day at the house. Today I will do some last minute planning for the visit to Rutobwe Preschool on Monday. I am so excited! We have been blessed with a donation for school uniforms for the new children and during August Section Officer and a salvationist from the Muhanga Corps has tailored the beautiful navy colored shorts and skirts and marron and yellow shirts for the children.
Wilhemijn, NL serving in the Salvation Army IES (International Emergency Service) visited the refugee camps in Rwanda for DRC Congo refugees, shows the shirt that our preschool children wear to school 
So on Monday when we have invited to a meeting with the parents, local government and teachers we will proudly hand them over to the children. Volonteer Carolina is coming with us so I expect to have lots of photos to share later on.

An ordinary day at work?

(Yesterday and the day before I tried to publish this post, and did indeed manage to do so, but not with the photo. So today I try again, better luck this time :) ...)
"-So tell me about an ordinary day at work" I was asked by a colleague for an interview in the Swedish issue of The War Cry...
I smiled when I read the question - an ordinary day, what is that? I am grateful and happy to announce that there are no ordinary days at work here, everyday is an open book. I might have planned to write a project Concept Note on the database, only to find we do not have internet access and maybe not even electricity, so then the planning has to be rearranged. Another day I have arranged with the driver to go shopping for preschools during the day and after four hours coming back to the office with some pens in a bag. At home, in Sweden that is, I´m used to go into a shop and get all the supplies I need, pay and go home with my goods within an hour or two. Here in Kigali, I must plan for many hours to be able to do the actual shopping, take at least a whole day to go out to many very small shops and see if they have the things I need. I have to bargain for every little pen, and for a person with a business mind that would be fun, but for me it is a really hard thing to get used to.
Today ( and all the other days this week) the people in Projects and Sponsorship Departments try to finish all the project ideas that we have, to put them on the Salvation Army database for international development projects. What would take three hours in Sweden takes two days here...
so now I am happy that I have started to write down some ideas and that the internet is working, we have electricity and the sun is shining and I have just had a cup of tea :) and now I will publish this blog post...
waiting for the photo to upload... still waiting...
... still waiting...
ok, no photo...
That´s life in Rwanda  Hakuna matata!
(YEEEEEEAH, SUCESS! :) Today the internet managed to upload! Happy happy!)

Calendar photos / Kalenderfoton

Ok, here are the originals for the Sponsorship Calendar. They are perfect to use in activities (see Sponsorship News September 2012) and are free to share within the Salvation Army (copyright). Just be sure to credit the photographer!

Above: Rukoma Peace and Reconcilliation project. Finale Celebration   Photo Anna-Maria Tuftström

Above: Rukoma Peace and Reconcilliation Project  Finale celebration   Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström

Above: Rukoma peace and reconcilliation project Finae celebration Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström

Above: Rukoma Peace and Reconcilliation Project   Finale Celebration   Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström

Above: Rukoma Peace and Recocilliation Project Finale Celebration Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström

Above: Rukoma Peace and Reconcilliation Project   Finale celebration   Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström

Above: Rukoma peace and reconcilliation project Finale celebration. Salvationist Francois Nsengimana is pepping the audience. Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström

Rubirizi Parents Committee Preschool sponsored and administrated by the Salvation Army Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Rubirizi  villagers   Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Rubirizi preschool, teachers Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Children at John Gowans preschool in Rwimiyaga, sponsored and administrered by the Salvation Army Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: John Gowans preschool, Rwimiyaga Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Sunday school meeting  Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Mudbricks drying in the sun. Projects Officer major Robert Tuftström and Projects Administrator Mr Francois Nsengimana in Rubirizi Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Rubirizi Major Robert and Mr Francois   Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Catherine Booth preschool in Kayenzi, run and administrated by the Salvation Army  Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: Children at Catherine Booth preschool with Sponsorship Secretary major Anna-Maria Tuftström 
Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: The cook, Mrs Rahab at Catherine Booth preschoo in Kayenzi  Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Above: On our way to Burundi for Peace and reconcilliation project in Bujumbura Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström

Above: Final celebration weekend for peace and reconcilliation project, Bujumbura, Burundi
Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Above: Children and major Robert Tuftström watching the football game at the peace and reconcilliation final celebration weekend in Bujumbura, Burundi Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Above: Memorial day for genocide Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Above: water containers Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Above: Gituro parents committeee preschool. Trying to squeeze in 100 preschool children in a photo...
Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Above: Children needs toy to develop... so the adults need to try them out too ;D Rutobwe preschool  Photo: Anna-Maria Tuftström
THE END... for now anyway :)

Why a blog?

Hi! Here you can find some material that can be of use in your work. The internet and the platform we use here in Rwanda is not functioning all the time so we will try an alternative way to share photos and Sponsorship News. This blog will be open for anybody too see. Photos are mostly taken by Carolina and Anna-Maria Tuftstrom and we want it to be acknowledged if you use them, so check for photographers name in context to the photos...
We will upload the things that are asked for and then you yourself can download them to your computer.
So just try to remember the address:
Rubirizi Village June 2012 Major Anna-Maria Tuftström visiting the new preschool   Photo: Carolina Tuftström

Material - Downloads

+Sponsorship news
Sponsorship News No1 June 2012.PDF
Sponsorship News No2 Sep 2012.PDF
Sponsorship Calendar 18 Months oct-mars print.PDF
Sponsorship Calendar 18 Months oct-mars Screen.PDF

Pictures o specific schools/events can be uploaded, just send a mail to Major Anna-Maria/Ami! /Carolina Volunteer


Sponsorship Kalender 18 månader oct-mars skärm.PDF
Sponsorship Kalender 18 månader oct-mars Utskrift.PDF
Bilder på specifika skolor/events kan laddas upp, skicka ett mail till Major Anna-Maria/Ami! /Carolina Volontär


Hallo! Muraho!
My name is ____ and I live in Rukoma, kilometers north of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
I was given the opportunity to participate in a sponsorship project. I was able to go to school and the Salvation Army paid my tuition and school supplies. Now, I have finished school - I attended the Building and Construction class. Unfortunately we are many young persons that are unemployed and I am one of them. I hope to find a job so that I can support me and my family.

The Sponsorship Team

Projects Administrator, Francois NSENGIMANA
(May 2010 - )
Greetings to you!

I am Francois NSENGIMANA, The Projects Administrator for Rwanda and Burundi Command. I am in charge of administration
of Mission support projects, community development projects and emergency projects.

Through "Faith Based Facilitation" tools, projects are identified, managed and implemented in order to achieve maximum positive results. All  projects are anchored
in the community for a long term
sustainability purposes

Let us all try our level best and move more rapidly towards the best changes we wish!

"There should not be a worse community unless no bright people"

Project Manager , Mr. Innocent Byiringiro
(February 2014-  )
My name is Innocent Byiringiro .
I have been working in Projects Department Rwanda and Burundi Command since February 2014 .
 I thank the Lord for everything that is happening;  to meet community needs in
this command and I am here to give my contribution.
I wish to do my best to meet the goal of projects in the Salvation Army.
Sponsorship Secretary, Captain Violet Nyongesa
(15 June 2014 -)
Hi! My name is Captain Violet Nyongesa and I am the Sponsorship Secretary. I arrived on May 1 2014 to Rwanda and Burundi Command.
I feel good to be here in Rwanda and Burundi and especially with my friend, Major Anna-Maria, she has made me feel good about having this appointment. 
The best thing about my job is to meet the needs of vulnerable children, families and the community
Sponsorship Secretary, Anna-Maria Tuftström
(March 2012-June 2014)
My name is Anna-Maria. I am the 'Sponsorship Secretary’ which means I'm responsible for sponsoring activities in the Salvation Army Rwanda and Burundi Command. I came here in March 2012 and will be here for two years. My work includes ensuring needs, plan and implement projects that can contribute to children's development, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, socially and physically.

The best thing about my job is that every child that is helped just might change the life and future for the whole family and the world because we were there and helped in a difficult situation!

Projects Officer, Robert Tuftström
(March 2012-June 2014)
 Hi! My name is Robert Tuftstrom and I am the Projects Officer. I´m in charge of identifying, planning and executing projects in Rwanda and Burundi. A project can be about putting up a Vocational Training (hairdresser, tailoring, carpenting, cleaning...) for vulnerable unskilled people. It can be to provide sanitation and clean water; to drill a waterhole, put up water harvesting systems or build toilets. A project can also be to assist the community with youth projects, sponsor preschool projects. We always do this work in cooperation with the village and the local government and Salvation Army.

Volunteer, Carolina Tuftström
(March 2012-June 2013)
My name is Carolina, I´m here in Rwanda as a volunteer for the Salvation Army Rwanda & Burundi Command.
My work includes making, keeping and running this website, being the photografer when we visit the preschools as well as helping wherever I am needed.

The best thing about helping as a volnteer is that I get to meet all of these children and help giving them more smiles and a bigger chance in life.
I’ve always loved children <3

Catherine Booth Preschool (Kayenzi)

-What do I do?
-You jump! - We jump!
I am attending English class with teachers Marthe and Francoise. Mrs Marthe says the words and does the actions and the children respond with the same action and try to fill in the proper verb. The building is a nice and appropriate school building filled with blackboard, charts, chairs and all that they need in their daily school ife.

The preschool has been operating since 2003 on the Salvation Army compound at Mataba village, Kayenzi. The families are mostly poor subsistence farmers but are eager for their children to receive education. There is a Parents committee which determines the school fee to be paid for each child and other matters relating to the school. The parents have also purchased uniforms for their children. Around 30 children attend this preschool so the current space is sufficient.
Ongoing and future Projects: -Pig Project "Uniform and School for a pig"

Most of the children wear school uniform, but I learn that some cannot afford to pay the fees nor the uniforms. The Section Officer, Captain Jean Damascene tells me of an idea he has; to help the poorest families by providing them with a piglet to care for during a couple of months and then when he sells it, he can give them the profit so that they can pay all neccessary expenses. It warms my heart!
-Health Care Programme

We talk about the school and about challenges and I can see a well administrated school. He informs me of the preschool administrator meeting with the local government. They have told him that it is possible for the Catherine Booth Preschool to become a government approved school if there is a Health Care Programme for the children. We decide to write Concept Notes for both these projects.


This is a project that has been ongoing for a while and we are now in need of starting a new nutrition programme!
In the nutrition programme we give the children porridge once a day filled with extra nutrition, the parents are very happy with this as they now feel that their children will get some good food atleast once every schoolday!

Wishes and dreams:
Our dream is to become a certified Preschool with government standards!


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