A Crest for Rubirizi

 A lot of things are happening at Rubirizi during this time. The hall is almost finished, we are soon to build a kitchen - here a kitchen is a mudbrickbuilding with mud floor and a "stove" made by mud where you put in long logs of wood... When that is done, we have received a gift so we can build latrines - also a mudbrick building with small rooms (2 ladies, 2 men I think) with a deep deep hole in the center, where you stand up while doing what you "need to do".
The last couple of days I have been painting...
I made a promise,  said I would help to paint a SA Crest, thinking it could be better than the one in Batsinda. That one we paid lots of money to have an "artist" to paint. Ever since I made that promise I have been worrying, thinking, planning and enjoyed the idea with some anguish :)

Did you know how many different versions you can find on the net when you google the SA Crest?
Many, I tell you!
First I needed to find out what colors to use for the crest; navyblue, screaming yellow, wine red?
Neeeh, I thought, I think I´ll go for a lighter version... made a test in the computer,
made two... and finally decided on a light red/crimson, light warm yellow and skyblue colour.
The S should "of course" bli in red- the blood of Jesus, our salvation; The Salvation Army...
The swords, yes, grey is a good color...
But the cross, what to do with the cross?
Red - no too much red
Yellow - no, enough with the crown and the sun
White - Risk that it won´t be seen-too light?
Black - not ever! Never ever even use the color black in a painting...
Brown - possible- but not too similar as the handles on the swords...
Yes, brown it is, with some grey in it.
And the text? White/black?
And the crown? Black? White? All the outlines? Black? White?
Made several different crests in Photo Shop, with different backgrounds
and coloring of the symbols, with lining, without lining, with perspective
different colors, without... Lots of time, just separating the different symbols...

Should the bullits be black?
Okey, so now I had the colours and no excuse not to put the brush to work...
On saturday I took a deep breath and started... I think it will be good. It is very simple, no perspective in
the motive, no depth or changing in lighter and darker areas, only plain simple colorbook version.
One days work finished.
Second day, it is looking good, the blue needs to be lighter, quickly remixed the colour...
After finishing the first part with the Crest, it was time to go for the second... it will be a triptyk when it is finished...
Jesus with the children. I have googled and looked at a hundred pictures of the search
 words "Jesus loves children"  and "three crosses" to find inspiration.
I will however change some things- the children will be africans, with dark skin and short
black hair. The child in Jesus lap will be wearing pants I think-
I want some children will wear the SA school uniform, because we will have a preschool
in the hall and this will show them that they are loved by Jesus.

I started with the clothes, because I did not know how to "attack" the skincolour. I have never painted black african skin before and I wanted it to be good, so that the salvationists, preschool children and villagers can say they want to have the painting in the hall. But eventually, I had to start doing the hair and the skin.
I started with the hair - and Jesus skin. Then I remixed the colour to do the colour of one of the children. Oupps! Forgot- Jesus has a foot in the picture- and I had already remixed to a new colour... Amateur ;/ 
tried to fix it, not perfect, but ok. ;D
Painted som more hair and skin. Hesitated with the girl to the left. She has long hair. Here, no one has
long hair. The longest hair would be about one centimeter, if you see a Rwandan girl with long hair, she
has had hair extensions made.  Ok, so Jesus loves all children and I want that to be shown also, so I
decided to keep her long hair and make her "European", like me when I was a child going to preschool.
The paint had not dried, but photo was taken and then it was time for bed. Yawn...
Result so far (sorry for the bad light):
Today I hope to finish the second part of the painting and start on the third - the crucifixion and
the resurrection.

More to come... update tonight if internet allows. (see below)

Photos copyright Anna-Maria Tuftström
Free to use within The Salvation Army
Photos No:1,2,3 from search: "The Salvation Army Crest" on google
Update Wednesday May 1 Labour day, National Holiday - Free from CHQ work :D
Time for painting...
Back to the mess in my living room :)
Finished the part 2 "Jesus loves the children" and started on the grave part. It was a bit
tricky to get it painted, big areas to paint and I fell for the temptation to do shades in the
coloring... oupps..
Oh, well, back to coloring book style, stop with the perspectives...

It all took some time to do, so before doing the crucifixion part we went to
lunch out on the town. Turkish iskender kebab, youghurt and tomatosauce-we are very happy 
that after a long time of advertising, now the Turkish fast food restaurant has opened in the
City of Kigali. Then a Latte at Café Bourbon. What a treat!

The painting is almost finished, only the three crosses to paint...
I have put three "amaroma" flowers in the painting because here in Rwanda it is the
"peace flower". It is a very common flower and used for weddings, funerals, as decoration
on the dinner table, when visiting the memorial places for the Genocide in 1994...
everywhere this beautiful flower (lily) is present as a reminder and encoragement of peace.
I also had to paint some grass and the stone that Jesus is sitting on... and a piece of
the pink dress that I skipped unintentionally ;/
and- voila! Done, Completed, Finished!
Now, the question is... should I do anything else for the faces- should I fill in the mouths
and eyes, or just let it be like that???
And I probably will not write anything, I think, maybe a small text in one of the corners just
to tell what words I used or inspiration in the beginning of this project. Joh 3:16...
For so loved God the world that He gave them His only Son
so that they would not perish but have eternal life
Photos copyright Anna-Maria Tuftström
Free to use within The Salvation Army

Teacher´s Training - the very first in the Command

Teachers need to meet, teachers need to talk about how to teach, when to teach, how to teach and play... So after  their requests of this we tried to make it happen. In April we met for the first time in the Command history to a two day Teacher´s Training and Fellowship.
The two days were filled with activities, food and fellowship :)
The teachers got to meet each other, share the joys and challanges as teachers, and to share ideas for lessons that they do with the children.
Seminars, discussions and fellowship filled the time. We talked about...
The Children protection Law that Rwanda has approved as law:
We talked about gender equality, of how we want to treat the children in our care:
We also talked about  how to protect the children and ourselves as staff from physical, emotional and sexual  abuse and violation tpwards children (and of course the same rules are applied for us adults in our relationships to colleagues and parents)
Creativity and Inspiration was also on the program...
We made crackers from toilet rolls and the covering paper from the toiletrolls.
A dove from whatever paper you can find will be a beautiful installation when you hang them all in the ceiling...
We also encouraged the preschools to see what they can do to have a better environment.

                                                                                                                                                          Good chairs and tables, books, routines, health and hygiene... Group activities and changing environment by moving furniture for different activities.
Also to make it nice outside, to plant trees and flowers and vegetables and to learn about nature science.
Some of the teachers do not know so much about the Salvation Army so they got some insight of this church by Captain Dancille.

´They got the history, some teaching and the  Mission as church...
Two Section Officers, Captain Theobold and Captain Jean Damascene had a seminar about the curriculum from Rwanda Education Ministry that we expect the teachers to use.
The time flies and all too soon it was time to leave for home. The participants got a certificate and a book with all documentation from the course to use in their every day life as teachers in the preschools.
Photos and copyright: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Photos are free to use within the Salvation Army. Send an e-mail if you want originals for media purposes.

The Permit and a good Hall in Rubirizi! At the (new) beginning... PART 5

On Friday April 19 we went to see the development in Rubirizi. We are building a multipurpose Hall thanks to donations and we are opening the Hall for a preschool during the weeks. The builder, Mr Joseph has done a good job and we could see that this will be a building for as it is said "many purposes". You can see the building from far away, even from the main road you see it on the little hill between two larger hills.
The building is now almost finished, some decoration work and finishing work is to be done.
The workers are still doing some work, so the school will have to stay on in the other rented room and in the Penticostal church until we can have a Grand Opening with dedication to the Lord.
When that is done, the children will be welcomed to their new preschool building.
The air vent at the entrance is now being "mudded" and then they will bring out the holes from the tiles
so we will have a nice air vent in the shape of a cross.
When entering,  you can see a nice big room, the floor is made of concrete which is good, we did not
want the dirt flooring. In the tin roof, we have asked for "see through sheets" in six places, three places
on each side. For the moment only two are in place, but you can see what a difference that light makes-
it will be a beautiful light in the preschool/church when the work is completed.

We were met by salvationists and contractor, builders and village people. The Village Leader, the man in the orange/black shirt asked if the community can sometimes gather to village meetings in the hall.
Our reply was that everything is possible, we just have to write clear and good contracts/Memorandum of understanding, so conflicts in the future will be avoided. They also asked if it is possible to receive more than 80 children, would it be possible to build aonther small building with two classrooms? There are about 110 children in the village...
In the "wash project" that AUE is sponsoring, there is a water harvesting tank prepared to be given to the community, and because the Salvation Army Hall is the only big building and there is not a Community Hall in the village, it is needed to document how, when and why... the tank is placed at our Hall. This will help avoid conflicts in the future, we do want peace and happy times together, so we will prepare for this in a good way together with the village, cell and sector officials.
We had set up a meeting with the Executive officer and Education Officer at the Sector Office. We have
been waiting for a permit from Sector (for a looong time) for opening and running a preschool in Rubirizi.
We have said that we cannot open until we have that document in our hand, so finally we got it! Hallelujah! 
The preschool has been reported in the local government´s Performance Contract with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, as one of three example preschools already, but now it will be official. It will
involve more inspections and visits from local government to support and check up on the work the
teachers do, it will involve some training for the teachers and the school administrators in the community. This is a good thing.
The Salvation Army is a church, with a clear Mission Statement (see Mission Statement in the blog articles) and running this preschool is the part of helping a suffering world. 
In the hall, there are two windows on each side. The contractor was to put in windows and informed us
that he would put in wodden windows- like small doors, that you open up to let the sun shine in.
We were not really satisfied with that and asked him to look at the budget again if possible.
The Section Officer, Captain Obed had a talk with the man again and after some discussions about the
budget it was decided to change and buy real steel windows (without the glass) instead.
We are happy for that! The windows are important,both for air conditioning and for light, I think :)
Just take a look at the next photo...

Can you see the light?
And that is from one small see through sheet. It will be so beautiful when we get the crest up on the wall... This day the sun was not even shining from blue sky, it is the rain season and this was a typical cloudy rain season day...
There is a small platform, the concrete has only just been put in place and it is looking GOOD!
Can you see how nice the wall is- I think the crest will be very nice on the wall. I have started painting
a crest, it takes time, but hopefully I will finish it in three weeks, tops,  and before the Dedication of the
Hall. I also have an idea of a painting with Jesus and the children and the crosses in the background with the Bible verse Joh 3:16 as inspiration... We´ll see if the salvationists would like to have it in the hall.
In an improvised Village meeting we informed about the building pricess, showed the permit for running a Salavtion Army preschool in the village and present certificates of training for the two teachers. (I will write a blog entry about the training we had in the beginnng of the month.) There was time for questions and we talked with the villagers about the progress and process...
We also took some time to sit down with the teachers to review the term 1 finances, to encourage them
to learn how to work with income and expenses sheets, so they can understand the link between the two... Money is a tricky thing, handling money is an even more tricky thing. We concentrate some training days at CHQ for this during this year, for school administrators and some other invited staff, we want to empower our people!
Please continue to visit the blog and pray for The Salvation Army work in Rwanda and Burundi. All we do is to serve our Lord Jesus Christ in the best way we can - together as ONE in the mission of love with the message of grace.

Until next blog entry; Göd bless and keep in touch!
/ Major Anna-Maria, Sponsorship Secretary, Rwanda and Burundi Command
Photos and copyright: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Photos can be used free within the Salvation Army.
To get originals for printing and media, write a message and we will assist you.

At the (new) beginning PART 4

Rubirizi main street...
In one of these small houses some of the children have spent their preschool time, all crowded
up on benches  - approx 50 children has had their "home" there.
Last time we visited we brought small bottles filled with clean water to all of the children -
You should have seen the smiles on their faces!
Now the Salvation Army Hall is beginning to show. The mudbrick walls are up and the roof
is on... We will make simple windows of wood that you open so that the sun can shine in. To buy four glass windows would be too expensive right now (one  window is app US$ 400)
Project Officer Major Robert and Finance Administrator Mr John went to Rubirizi in March
and looked at the water pump and discussed the water project. We are going to help the
village with a borehole so they will have water at last. Thank you to all of you sponsors,
together we can make a difference for these people and really change their lives.
Just imagine - what if you and I were to walk for 6 kilometres every time we wanted water - and
how heavy it would be to bring it.
When  they left they took a photo of the village and guess what - the big building you can see, that is the Salvation Army Hall! The children will have such an improved environment for preschooling. I feel blessed being a part of this.
Photos and Copyright: Mr and Mrs John and Wendy Evans
Free to share within the Salvation Army, send an e-mail and we´ll send you original size so you can share
these good news.


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