At the (new) beginning PART 1

is a very good place to start... when I arrived in Rwanda, the salvationists in Rubirizi had just made an agreement with the sector and village to try to open a preschool for the children in the village. Aware of the poverty they still wanted to see if it would be possible to pay for teachers to come and educate the young ones.
After a year we can see that they are struggling. We have during this year assisted with books, pens, other materials and a very small contribution for the teachers, as they are not getting all salary from the parents school fees.
Until now the children has been gathering in a mudbrick church, not very nice, but ok for being the every day standard they have in the village. Now we are taking our commitment in this village to another level. This year we will build a small hall for the Salvation Army to be in. 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. 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...
( I have tried to make a sketch so that the contractors will understand what we are looking for...)
For the walls we are still short for money so we will use mudbricks for that. When we can raise enough money for proper  brick walls (approximate US$ 10 000), we can easily exchange the mudbricks for burnt bricks and the building will not have to be rebuilt, only "upgraded".
This means that we can start building in the nextcoming months, we are so excited!!!

When we have our own hall we will continue having the preschool there; only with some changes in number of children/organisation and that we probably will take the school to be a Salvation Army preschool rather than supporting the parents Committee preschool. So now I´m also asking for funding for chairs/benches and tables for the children... :) 
Do you want to sponsor this? Send your gift to the Sponsorship Department at the Salvation Army in your country and state purpose: Hall/ Preschool, Rubirizi, Rwanda

Dolls on the way!

I asked you for dolls... as I said, here you can only find dolls with very light skin color and I want the children to identify with their dolls so... a girl in Sweden asked her mother if she could help by baking and giving her Christmas present to this instead of getting a lot of presents herself...
She and her friends collected money and sold bread and did all sorts of contributions to be able to buy some dolls.
First they thought they could buy maybe four dolls, than they added some more...
and finally they have now told me they are sending 13!!! dolls. Isn´t that fantastic!!! Thank you so much!
Now I will keep an eye on the three packages on their way with the Swedish postal service...
It will take a month for them to get here, so pray that they will arrive unopened and undamaged :)
Again, thank you for sharing these childrens life in Rwanda and Burundi
These photos cannot be shared without permission by Sponsorship Secretary.
Photos and Copyright: Helena Andersson

Mobility equipment to Kayenzi

A child is born.
It cries, it feeds of mothers breats, it giggles and it develops... but sometimes the child is not developing as it should, sometimes the child is born challenged in to this world. As family you can choose to starve the child so it dies, you can give it away or if you are lucky, you can find help, support, encouragement and education to help your beloved young one...
One day in November we went to Kayenzi where the Catholic nuns run a clinic for healthissues. In one part of the clinic, the physiotherapist is helping and educating the parents in how to train their child. With very little resources he teaches and work out with the children.
But I will start from the beginning...
We have received some money for mobility equipment and  also some equipment that was sent here from Sweden in the container that originally was for our luggage coming here to Rwanda. Since there was a lot of space left, we asked for different equipment for mothers, children and especially for challenged children. The Salvation Army in Västerås, FA Bistånd, were willing to supply with material from hospitals and other partners in Sweden.  
So came the day when we finally, after many months of transportation and taxation could bring the things to our place. We set a date to get it all packed to go to Kayenzi Health Clinic for handicapped and challenged children.
There were baby start kits and beds, wheelchairs for children, physio chairs for children and lots of good stuff.
We hired a company to carry/load and take it all to Kayenzi wth a covered truck... I admit there was a moment or two when I thought "how will they be able to put all things on that little lorry and what if it starts to rain... but if you do it the African way, everything goes :)

We arrived with all things intact and here we are together with one of the sisters and some Salvation Army Officers from CHQ and Kamonyi Division
We all took part of the sher happiness on the sister´s face when we started to unpack the baby startkits, Major Robert, our Projects officer shows the clothes, blankets and other things in the packages.
The children meet in a room with cement floor and some mats. They have a mobility ball, some chairs a thick mat and those wodden training thingies.  
When we came with rubber mats, different therapy cushions they were so happy. Let me introduce Eric, when he first came to the sisters he did not move one inch. He only laid on the floor. His mother did not know what to do.
Now he sits and this day, we put him on one of the "sloping pillows". He could look up and see our faces and was so happy. Because of the sloping he needs to "push off" with his feet from the floor which will strengthen his legs and he did that several times, very happy to be able to see what was going on in the room :)
We had a short meeting outside the physiotherapy room where General Secretary, Captain Jean Clenat spoke
One of the sisters "received" the gift and gave a short speech.
When the Salvation Army do projects for the community we always invite and inform the local government, so also this time. The representative thanked for the many years that the Salvation Army has contributed to the Kayenzi people, from building new houses for genocide refugees, to running preschools and this day, giving such beautiful and important gifts to the most vulnerable in the village; the challanged children.
 Here are some photos of the children and their mothers
that were to receive wheelchairs for their children so that they don´t have to carry them the long way between the clinic and the home. This will also help them to come more frequently to the clinic.
A happy Eric and his mother trying out a wheelchair
that they can keep as long as needed.
This little girl has not been able to walk on her own.
This day she tried walking with the new "assistent"
She was so amazed- and her mother clapped her hands
:) of joy. The little girl could take four beautiful steps!
Then she wanted to sit in a chair, so they put her in one,
even though it was not properly unpacked yet :)
I think about how strong the women need to be, carrying
their children all the time and I know this physio
wheelchair will be of great help at the clinic.
Yes, it felt so good to be able to assist with the gifts
getting to the clinic.I ask God to bless them all to make
the life easier for these families, so that they choose
life for their children...
If you want to help vulnerable handicapped and challenged 
children in Kayenzi, turn to your Salvation Army
Sponsorship Secretary and they will help you contribute.
Photos and Copyright: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Free to share within the Salvation Army only after request to Sponsorship Secretary Major Anna-Maria Tuftstrom

Finalists in the Drawing Competition

Sixteen drawings are now in the finale,
eight preschools have entered about 575 drawings... Now Colonel Jamiya, our Command President for Women´s Ministries will be chairman of the work of the jury.
Five jury members will choose the 1-3 place. To make this a fair competition I have erased the name and school in each drawing, so nobody in the jury will know what child has made the drawing or which school the child attends... The winner will be announced in the end of the month :) 
Copyright Photos: Anna-Maria Tuftström
Free to share within the Salvation Army after request to Sponsorship Secretary

Uniform Celebration Day

-Together we save to get uniforms!
When we met for Officers refresher course a couple of months ago, our leaders in Burundi, Section Officers Majors Moureen and Japheth asked the Sponsorship Department if there was any way they could ask for help to get funding for uniforms. They told us how very many, several hundreds of the salvationists and Junior Soldiers in Burundi does not own a uniform. Not because they don´t want to, but because they cannot afford to get one. Many of our members are  poor, if they shop clothes, they buy second hand at the market... I asked them to write a Concept Note, so that I could get more information about the situation. I also said that if we can get this approved as a project, it could take more than a year, maybe many more if a donor would be interested to help out. 
So parallell to writing the Concept Note we encourage the salvationists to start saving whatever they can. Now we have started the Uniform Celebration Campaign... Hopefully, this will help encourage to start saving up for shirt/skirt/pants, epilettes and tie/brooch for both Junior Soldiers and adult Salvationists.
We have made book marks that the slavationist can put in the Bible and every month see how much they can save and together with treasurer/Corps Leader reach for the sky!
For the children, it is not easy to help them, their parents cannot afford buying uniforms, so we hope that a donor will come forward, pick up the Concept Note proposal and want to support the 160 young members that are in the "vulnerable" category. 
Photos and layout posters/banners:
Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Free to share within the Salvation Army. (Please send an email to us for information/permission)


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