Batsinda; an update

Yes, now the little house is built... ladies, gents and two showers... 
Also, a roof in front of the Hall has been made. It is not quite complete, but on the way
to be.
Photos and Copyright: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Use only by written permission

At the (new) beginning PART 2

Now we are on the GO! We have started taking our commitment in this village to another level. We are now building a small hall for the Salvation Army. As said earlier we will not afford to build it all - the priority is to build a nice and solid foundation with good cornerpillars and a tin roof (You can see the drawing in the last blog on this subject). Mudbricks for the walls are made by the people in the village and dries in the sun.

They will last for several years, but we will need to exchange them for real bricks when
we have enough funding. It will then be good to have the solid foundation, so that we can
 only replace the walls, and not have to build a whole new house. :)  Here you can see how
stones/rocks are put together with mud. Everything is done by hand, no mashines anywhere.
There is no access to water in the village so the workers have to carry water for six kilometres
to make the mudbricks and to make the cement mix for the concrete flooring... Such hard work.
On this foundation there will be concrete, so the floor will be a solid ground and not by mud.
Project Officer and Finance Administrator are looking at the foundation work that the builders have started.
All salvationists and villagers are involved in this project. Some are now employed by
the contractor (who is a salvationist in the village)  so this project also help in doing so.
The villagers are helping as much as they can, they are happy for the hall, especially
because the children will be able to attend preschool in this new building.
There will not be any electricity in the house due to the fact the village is not connected to the power station and also because it is expensive to put in in for future needs. We will have to wait and see for when the day comes with power to the village.
Below you can meet Sylvestre, he has now a building job. He is a salvationist and has finished secondary school. He speaks English, and very good, so he approached us and asked for a job as a preschool teacher. Well, if we get sponsors for Rubirizi, maybe we could give him a job, I have told him to write a letter with Curriculum Vita and if there is need for a teacher somewhere, CHQ will have his name in the files.
 More news will come!
Photos and copyright: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Free to use within the Salvation Army

Calendar for 2013...

I hope you have printed the Calendar for 2013
- Go to Material and there you´ll find a Swedish and an English version of the Calendar with photos from Sponsorship every day life :) We use MEDIAFIRE - Only to download and you have a perfect gift for the whole year - it will last until March 2014!

Share your Christmas Celebration at Rutobwe Corps

Share your Christmas! Yes, share your Christmas with your community, with your preschool families
in your Corps, Share the Christmas Gospel... A child is born...
Last minute planning... for me as the Swede I am, it looks great being able to sit under a
banana tree in the middle of February  :)
Greeting the families - what a joy to see them!
The corps had invited all families for preschool children to a Christmas Celebration.
- Yes, you heard right, Christmas - we have been planning for this since August and due
to circumstances we could not implement this during the Holidays. During February - March
though, we will be able to invite all preschool families to the Corps for a Christmas Celebration. 
I was invited to give a  message for the children and the parents, major Robert gave a
message for the parents of Salvation.
Some parents are shy and shake my hand very carefully, and a child hid in her mothers
arms, afraid of "the musungo" who came to greet her. I always greet all families, thinking
that "next time" they will be more confident in greeting me :)
This day we brought a teachers uniform for Mrs Nadine, our preschool teacher.The section
Officer had chosen a gift for her, a big clock to put on the wall as Christmas gift.
Together the families enjoyed sweet bread and a soda.
So much joy and a great party!
All families also received a small gift. In Rutobwe they had chosen to give a soap, a pen,
crackers and some sweets.Also all children received a T-shirt as a Christmas gift.
This t-shirt can be used as school uniform.
You can see a tiny part of the teacher in her new uniform- it looks like a child uniform
with some small changes.
I brought toys, a stuffed dog, a stuffed pig, two rabbits, three Barbie dolls and a Ken doll,
a very big sport car and five small cars... a whole big IKEA bag full of toys for the preschool.
... and the beautiful dolls from Ida and her friends in Sweden...
De vuxna har ALDRIG sett en docka med afrikanskt utseende!!! Vet ni hur mycket skratt och
fingrande på dockorna som de vuxna bidrar med :) Helt underbart! Och ungarna bara gapar stort
och tittar osäkert på mig " får jag verkligen röra...? Är dem till oss? På riktigt?"... <3
Sorry, I just had to say it in Swedish, it just came out spontaniously! What I´m saying is:
The adults have NEVER seen a doll with an African look!!! Do you know how many laughs and
touching of the dolls that the grown ups contributed with :)
Completely wonderful to see their faces and excitement!
And the kids they look at me with their mouths wide open, making sure if it is allowed to
touch them...
- Is it really Ok for me to touch the doll...? The children handled the dolls like they were
really babies, nice, carefully, slowly taking them up in their arms...
Åre they really for us at the preschool? For real?
We also brought some balls, the children (both preschool children and older children) love
tennis balls and all kind of balls. Carolina showed how to play ball against the wall.
She also taught them a game with a tennis ball in a group of siblings to the preschool
children. They were eager to learn.
The day has come to an end, we are heading home, but not before the traditional
"Oh what a beautiful view we have" photo session :)
Yes, and of course Carolina and I also got a "I love preschool" t-shirt, so we also
wore our "new" uniform :) during the last part of the day... 
... as many of the children did.  All new children were especially happy, because this
means that even they have a school uniform to put on next Monday when they attend preschool.
On the back there is a print from the Drawing Competition we arranged in the Command
during term 3 last year. "I love preschool because..." with some of the childrens comments
from their drawings for example: "I love preschool because... I love my teacher, I want to
buy vegetables to my mother, I want to be an educated dad, I want to be president, I learn
to read and write, Our teacher loves us"...
Photos and Copyright: Carolina and Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Photos may be used after permission by photographer within the Salvation Army

The past and the present

Sometimes what was yesterday becomes tomorrows news... The Salvation Army used to have a Hall/church in Kigali. The government repossessed the land and the hall was taken apart, and put up in Rukoma. Since then the Rwandan salvationists from Kigali been celebrating Christ in a small hall at Command Headquarters. Last year we finally got all permits and approvals for building a new hall on a piece of land that the government supplied us with; Batsinda land in Kigali.
Thanks to our donors we have been building a new hall since September and here is a simple story about this moment in history of the Rwanda and Burundi Command.
Building blocks...
The walls are coming up...
The roofing is getting there...
Electrics...The electric wiring would probably not be approved in my home country, but here there is another standard...
We have two water toilets in the back of the hall by the offices and rinning water. Also there will be latrines outside for the public.
Projects Department on a check-up visit during the construction
Because of the great difference in the landscape, we are forced to build a retaining wall so that
the dirt during rains will not reach the road below. The cost was not in the budget, but there
was nothing to do, we have to build it. 
You can see how it develops during Sep-Feb...
It has been a crazy journey; an African adventure, but now a hall is there and the salvationists that were active in the previous Hall in Kigali - they have also been forced to move to this new area by the government.
Not a bad thing, because the government has helped them by building simple but good homes for them in this new area. It will be exciting to see if they still want to come back to the Salvation Army..
The floor will be made of concrete...
and there will be some tiles...
Inside work and outside work...
The hall was supposed to be beigeish pink with black roof... but here you don´t always get what you order, so the building today is warm sunyellow with lightbrown windows and a very blue roof.
Everything is done by hand, no maschines, not for the concrete, not for anything...
That means that nothing is "perfect" and sometimes even not good. It will take some time to get
everything in order, but no rush, we will get there.
The week before the Opening of the hall we were in the hall for many hours to prepare.
Lots to do from cleaning the floors to putting up the soundsystem, soundchecking with cadets,
to decorate the wall behind the platform. The women in Kigali Home League got to try an electric sewing maschine for the first time (The Project Administrator brought one from IKEA in Sweden)
and we made many flags so that we could decorate above the platform.
They are so proud and greet that they would love to have one! - Electric Sewing maschine, that is - so if you are passing by, please bring one :)
We put up the new mercy seats that the carpenter had finished in a good way by gidance from us.
I made marron "curtains" for them.  
And yes, a painter came and painted the crest on the wall and everyone seems very happy for it.
The painter also painted outside the Hall in marroon color... or not... navy blue it is. 
 Also all rocks and stones in front of the church had to go and the workers were still
building and carrying rocks for many hours. 
On Sunday 3 February the grand Opening of Batsinda Hall, Kigali took place.
The cadets were welcome to Training College by Officer Commanding, the Training College Proncipal received them and now they will be trained to be Officers in the Salvation Army.
Many special invited guests shared this special moment with us. The Swedish Embassy, the Sector, cell and village local government was represented.  We started at 10:00 sharp with the dedication of the hall and cut the blue-yellow-red ribbon before the invited guests were let in to the Hall.
People kept coming in and soon even Rwanda TV was there and made a short story that was showed on the Kinyarwanda news and the French news. Pastors from the local churces and other much welcomed guests blessed us with their presence.
Praise the Lord!
 Photographer: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Photos copyright by photographer
Photos may be used within the Salvation Army after permission by photographer

A baby is born and many more has come...

We just got a new born baby girl! Well, not my husband and I but one of our young Lieutenant couples.
She is so beautiful. Joy is her name.
And when I opened the packages from Sweden I was amazed of the beautiful dolls that Ida and her friends have given to our children in preschool. Thank you so much for them. I showed them to the staff at CHQ and they wanted to bring them home, they had not seen African baby dolls - and they smiled and were very happy to see baby dolls with African looks.
And if you compare the looks of the dolls with our new born baby...
They do look alike don´t they <3
Now I will let the dolls stay in my room for a while and when I go out to preschools that The Salvation Army is in charge of I will surprise them with this gift. ( Maybe I could get a photo of Ida and some of her friends to tell the story of how they collected all this money; baking, saving, selling...  You can always send photos to by using
But there was even some drawing material, pens and crayons - these I will use as prizes and encouragement. For example the Section Officers could give them in the end of the year to a student who has perfomed well. The nice packages will come in very handy for occasions like that... 
And then there was... oupps, no photo - all gone- We ate it all!
-Yes, there was some Swedish candy also for us in the Tuftstrom family and we just loved it.
Have a nice day out there in the world!
Photographs by Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Copyright  by photographer. Free to use within the Salvation Army


About us
RSS 2.0