Drummer boys at John Gowans preschool

Let me introduce the John Gowans drummer boys team!
From early age the children hear beats and feel rythm, being carried on the back of their
mothers, dancing and playing on the drums... In preschool they even have competitions
that you can sign up for.

So did the teacher for John Gowans, he signed up the boys from the preschool.
When I came to visit the preschool in July together with Lt Jean Baptiste, who helped with
the translation,  they showed me their program, they did very well!
So when they asked if we could get some drums for the team, how could I refuse?

Thanks to institutional support, we have some funding for toys and material
and this was a very nice present for them, something they will enjoy for a long time
We can be proud for them and the other children were proud for their friends.

How did it go for the drummer boys?
They won and won again and came to be in the region finale. Now, I don´t know how they
did, I will find out next time I visit them :)
Now the girls want to have a dance team... We have to do something about that, I believe.

When we left to go for porridge I greeted every child in English and they greeted me back.
Hallo, what is your name?
Hallo, my name is...

Then we waited for everyone to be ready to go to the little kitchen we rent where the cook
had prepared porridge for the children. After three hours in school they all long for some food
and we are happy that we can provide it for them. For some this will be the only nutrition of the day.
After having porridge I got to sit down with four children. I asked them what they like in
school, what they play and if they know what they want to work with when they have gone
to school and gotten an education...
No surprise, we had a dancer, a teacher and a doctor among us. Driving a car or a bus
could also be an alternative. Football is fun, singing and praying was also mentioned.
As long as it could be done with friends Everything was fun, it seemed. Favourite food
could be cassava, ubugali, maise and rice.
Well, time to leave, see you next time - and then we will know the result of the drummer
boys competition...

Anna-Maria/ Sponsorship Sec
Copyright: Photos and text Anna-Maria Tuftstrom/The Salvation Army Rwanda and Burundi Command
All use of text and photos allowed only within the Salvation Army

Give me a chance...

... and I will take it!
In Kayenzi, the Corps together with local community discussed what to do for unskilled and vulnerable women. Thanks to a Faith Based Fascilitation (FBF) a small vocational training program came to be. With a woman from the village offering her skills as teacher, fifteen women started learning from her. I think they started out with three sewing machines and a hope for a better life
Now, a year later, there is a new teacher and new students, young and unskilled with
no chance of paying the large school fees for theoretical schooling nor for public vocational
training. Here at the Salvation Army, the project started with one small room, 3x2,5 m.
Today, two more rooms (office and storage have been moved) have been made available
for the young women.
The students here pay 3500Rwf/$US6 per month during 9 months. At a public vocational
training they would pay 10000Rwf/$US16, so this is a wonderful thing for these vulnerable
ladies (salary for a housekeeper is 40000Rwf per month, office staff around 80-120000Rwf
depending on job qualifications).
We are now about to start vocational training programs in other areas so we visit this
training in order to learn from mistakes and successes :)
Jan Janssen is here visiting us during some days. He is here to follow up on the projects
that the Salvation Army in Holland is sponsoring in Rwanda.
It is a good help to meet sometimes to talk and evaluate so we welcome him to see for himself
some of the projects that are on the agenda right now and for the future.
It is so nice to get visits from The Salvation Army representatives from all around the world,
to see needs and plan for good empowering projects; with the purpose of giving a better
chance in life, whether it be possibility to livelyhood, ability to read and write or getting
clean water...
Just so you know - they wish for a electric sewing machines; 100000Rwf/$US165 and a 
professional computer sewing machine so they can make embroidery and traditional sewing
on the traditional clothing. I estimate the cost from 500000Rwf/$US850 - 1000000Rwf/ $US16500
depending on quality.
Anna-Maria/ Sponsorship Sec
Copyright: Photos and text Anna-Maria Tuftstrom/The Salvation Army Rwanda and Burundi Command
All use of text and photos allowed only within the Salvation Army

How do you want your hair, mama?

Soon, very soon, there will be a hairdressing saloon in Runda, Kigali. For many years this
was a "Concept Note", a project looking for funding, but this last year it was approved by
a donor country in The Salvation Army. The building is now under construction and on
Monday Oct 8 2013 we went there to have a look at the progress.
Together with us from the Rwanda CHQ Project Office, Jan Janssen from the Holland/
Netherlands Project Department, came to see this and other projects.
Below, from the left: Lieutenant Jean Baptiste, Corps Officer at Runda Corps, Mr Francois,
Project Administrator, Project Officer Jan Janssen, NL, Project Officer Major Robert Tuftstrom
(I hope you saw the wonderful view behind the house...)
The children in the area had to walk for a very long distance, all the way to Kigali to be able
to do the mandatory haircut for school each term. This was dangerous and expensive, and
the community asked if someone could open a saloon closer to the village. The Corps Leader
than asked CHQ Projects Department if we could do a Salvation Army project, building one
in the village. This was some years back, but now we are on our way.
When the saloon is complete, with water, furnishing, equipment etc  a hairdresser will be able
to get his/her livelyhood through this saloon.
Some of the local children were very curious and came to join us :)

The hairdresser will at the same time be a teacher, training others to become hairdressers,
so that this project can be a small vocational training of hairdressers.
Today we looked at the doors, windows, the ground, the concrete quality, the water system
and everything that needs to be in place properly.

The building will be on the Salvation Army land, very close to the hall and Officers Quarters.
The Salvation Army Hall is also the place where the Parents Committee Preschool meet,
so they will have a very short walk to get their hair done :D
Well, I think we are done for this time. Next time, we hope to enjoy a complete saloon in function.
Until we meet again, bless you, dear reader!
Anna-Maria/ Sponsorship Sec
Copyright: Photos and text Anna-Maria Tuftstrom/The Salvation Army Rwanda and Burundi Command
All use of text and photos allowed only within the Salvation Army


Runda Parents Committee school

Some twenty minutes outside of Kigali, capital of Rwanda, we find the village of Runda.
Here the Salvation Army started some pioneer work in late 1990s.Today the Salvation Army
officers,  Lieutenants Jean Baptiste and Mary Rose are stationed here.
They are just starting their own little family, here you can see Joy, their first born.
Through Faith Based Fascilitation programthe Corps asked the Community
what was needed in the area, and the response was loud and clear:
-" PRESCHOOL, we need to give our children a better chance in life, so we want a preschool"
The villagers, leaders and the Salvation Army then started a preschool, based on the parents.
They are in charge of paying the two teachers, Jeaninne and Francoise a small salary and
do that by all families agreeing to pay school fees.

The preschool meets in the Salvation Army Hall since that is the only good hall with enough
space for 55 children in two classes, P1 and P2. The committee asked to wear the Salvation Army
school uniform, so they pay for fabric and goes to a tailor to have it made. Some children
cannot afford this, so they will not be wearing it. At Christmas 2012  we were able to give all
preschool children in Rwanda a T-shirt,  "I love preschool" thanks to a "Share your Christmas"
project from Sweden (see other blog entry) and many now use it as a school uniform :).

27 six year olds will now leave preschool with a diploma and start Primary school in January,
so then new children will start to fill up the gap.
Here in Runda, we have no sponsorship to offer.
The families do a great job, they do whatever they can to give some extra funding for pencils
and books to write in and some material, but they cannot afford to give porridge or food
during the day. This and school uniforms are their biggest challanges, they say.
We were very happy for a big Christmas gift last year from US, that made it possible for
the parents committee to buy a black board, material and toys for the school.
If you know that you would like to help this school, contact the Salvation Army Department
for Sponsorship in your country. They will assist you to help this little preschool.
Just to give some estimations I can inform you of some costs. Maybe you can collect some
money in the lunch room at your work or make a Collection at school or put a jar on the
kitchen table putting all "small coins" in there and save up. You can also become a regular
sponsor, on your own or with a bunch of happy people helping together :)

What your gift could achieve here and now…

A note book, pencil and crayons                              2.50
A piglet                                                                     25
Porridge, 1 month, 1 child                                        10
A school uniform                                                      9
Childrens books in English                                      5-15
A cook, 1 month / 1 year                                         50/ 600
A teacher, 1 month/ 1year                                       58-75/ 696-900
Rent for kitchen, 1 month/1 year                             33/ 400 
A church/school building in a rural area                  4600
(mud bricks, no electricity, only latrines)
A school building in a city                                         250 000 
(burnt bricks, special regulations about electricity, sanitation etc)

To these costs we always have to add banking fees- banks will charge for sending/receiving the money here, usually between $US 20-30. It is wisely to ask for assistance from the Sponsorship Department in your country, so they can send a larger sum, otherwise gifts can be "lost in fees"

Anna-Maria/ Sponsorship Sec
Copyright: Photos and text Anna-Maria Tuftstrom/The Salvation Army Rwanda and Burundi Command
All use of text and photos allowed only within the Salvation Army


Play time at Catherine Booth preschool

We visited Catherine Booth preschool yesterday - oh, what a joy! They were singing the
number song when I came, "one and two and three..."
The Children had some time for outdoor playing so they ran, played with toys
They used the swing and climbed the new wooden balance play equipments.

So of course we did a photo shoot :)  Smile!
The tricycles areused with much laugh and happy faces.

All Children want to use them... so a couple of minutes each, then they switch driver...

Some of the girls showed me their Babies and pretended to be mothers.
Please, me too, take photo of me too! Look at my baby :)

In two weeks this school year will be over. In Catherine Booth preschool we have 27 
six year olds that will "graduate" and get their preschool diploma.

In January they will go to Primary school and we will receive new three-year
olds to the preschool.
Have a wonderful day, all sponsors, we thank you for all the new playground
equipment and toys!

Anna-Maria/ Sponsorship Sec
Photos and text Anna-Maria Tuftstrom/The Salvation Army Rwanda and Burundi Command
All use of text and photos allowed only within the Salvation Army


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