Preschools Updates in Rwanda

Rwimiyaga,John Gowans Preschool children playing on their swings given by our donors. Much appreciated by the government sector and the parents.
The Corps officer for John Gowans Rwimiyaga uploading the food for the Preschools. The School is sponsored by the Netherlands territory
The second Picture is for Catherine Booth preschool sponsored by AUS territory children receiving food form the Salvation army. Sponsorship secretary Major Violet Nyongesa handing the food to The school Administrator Captain Mudenge
Rwanda have 9 Preschools that are running now. 5 of them being sponsored and 4 none - Sponsored but being supported with small donations to keep them going. The 4 none Sponsored are  supported by the SAWSO and from AUS .
The third picture are the children from Rutobwe Preschool sponsored by AUS territory playing
Still Rutobwe preschool receiving their food from the salvation army and the children plus parents are very much happy and they do appreciate for the work the salvation army is doing.
The Sponsorship Secretary has just arrived at Gituro  Nyagatare and the School Administrator is uploading food for the Preschool
Still Gituro Preschhol Now food has been uploaded.


The Party celebration mood after being given their $100 from USC territory from SAWSO
The Children happy holding their drinks and biscuits and thanking God for the Sponsors who have made them celebrate Christmas.
They are now sharing the food together and they feel happy  to be in the salvation army.
Parents trying to serve the children and the Parents plus their teachers.
The parents are ready to celebrate with the children as we can see, they are eating together with the children. Thanks to our donors who have made our Children put a smile on their faces. god bless you all


On 10.11.2016 we had Preschools reporting with the Schools Administrators. These were Lt Xavier from Nyagatare Gituro preschool, Corps from John Gowans,Lt Jean Bosco from Rutobwe,  Lt Baptist from Runda and Corps leader from Rubirizi Preschool kayonza. We were checking on how the Preschools had done the term Three as compared to other terms. We looked at Finance, Bank slips, bank statements. Narrative report budgets school time table and minutes book. Those checking were Mr. François, Finance Secretary, sponsorship Secretary and education Coordinator. The general secretary was also present for a word of encouragement.


This year we were very much privileged to have a donor who donated toward the constructions of Rutobwe preschool Classrooms and toilets for the Children and the teachers. We just say thank you to Mrs. Barbara Griffiths and the husband and all those who supported the project though we still need to add other two Class rooms worthy
10,000,000 Rfw, equivalent to $14,286. We need to have Classrooms to all our preschools in Rwanda and Burundi Command so that the Children are comfortable to learn well.
Rutobwe is situated in a hilly place and digging deeper for the foundation was not easy but we thank the Dc, Kamonyi Division the corps officer for Rutobwe and the constructors for job well done. God bless you all on behalf of the Officer Commanding Lt Col Seth Appeateng Rwanda and Burundi Command.

Preschool reporting 14.11.2014.

During reporting there is the sharing of bread with tea together.
Preschool Reporting going on with the Education Secretary Captain Dancille Mukafuraha and Finance Secretary Captain Leonard Nyongesa with the Section officers. We were checking on the following: Budget term 3 review, Budgets for 2015,Term activity, Financial Report, Attendance Records,  Class Diary, Receipts books/balance sheets and all documentations. It was properly done and I say thank you to the Section Officers. Only one section Officer who did not turn for reporting for Gituro and John Gowans preschool.
Finance Secretary with section officer Kigali checking books for Rubirizi Preschool. Finance secretary was of help to us to assist in Finance journal.
Education secretary going through the books of Catherine Booth kayenzi with Section Officer Captain Damascene
It was on 14.11.2014 when the section Officers came for preschool reporting 3rd term. The general secretary was the guest to speak to Section Officers. He gave an encouragement form the book of 2 Corinthians 8:1-5,empasizing on giving themselves to God and taking good care of the children. There is always a blessing when taking care of the poor.

Preschool term 1 report 25 April 2014

Section Officers for Rutobwe and Catherine Booth preschool do their reporting at CHQ,
narrative and financial for the sponsored preschools
1. Every end of term I gather the Section Officers to do their reporting. We go through all
administration, teaching Finance Administration. Today was my last time to do so here in
Rwanda. Both Robert and I are so happy for all the capacity training we now see the result of,
2. Yes, and we do treat ourselves to tea... and lunch... and some laughs are neccessary
when doing finance... I do believe all officers know what I mean, haha ;D
3. I´m handing over to Salation Army Officer, Captain Dancille, who now will be in charge
of the new Education Department and we hope that a new Sponsorship secreatary will
come to join the Project and Sponsorship team.
4. Major Robert is the best teacher and so good at understanding numbers, expenses
and income, deficiancy and gain... I´m so glad he can take part of this part of my work.
5. Receipts, vouchers, income/ expenses sheets, support documentation, bank statement,
cash/ bank balance... so many things to do, but it helps us build transparency and
accountability. Don`t give up my friends, you are doing good
6. Toothbrushes to Rutobwe preschool Health program. The Children are taught hygiene
and health and it has great impact even on attendance, the children are healthier...
and they teach their families what them themselves learn in school. The same mini project
is going on at Catherine Booth prechool, now they have a wooden shelf where the tooth brushes
are personalised and each brush has its own space :)
Thanks for all beautiful tooth brushes we received. We need lots more, so if anyone has
connections within the dentist field, please send us some more. The health and hygiene
projects are definetely a hit!

Copyright text and photos: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
can be used by permission for Salvation Army Media (send an e-mail to us and we´ll get
you original size)

Teachers' fellowship 11 Dec 2013

The theme was...
transparency and accountability; how to ensure financial accurancy...
and of course to enjoy Christmas; enjoy each others company, give information, share
a meal together and assure our teachers they are doing a great job and give them a
Christmas gift; a calendar for the year 2014.
Role play; to practically do the financial administration...
and how to write receipts, how to save and document bankdeposit slips/TSA receipts for
the report and so on...
Lunch conversation and sharing together
The Christmas gift is handed to the teachers by the Section Officers present.

"How to do Teachers evaluation" with Captain Dancille, new appointed Education Officer
and "How to fill out the Registration Card" together with the parents when meeting,
Major Anna-Maria
Filling out the registration cards, noting information to use in the meeting with parents.
-And if you see an e-pad... the officers here have been blessed by a donation for a project
that enabled us to buy and train to use this modern tool. It is nice, we can see it is really
making a change in work environment, the officers now can read books, send emails,
write documents, use the internet... and it is helping a lot.
We encourage them all to use it, so we hope they all will see the potential to help them in
their work so they continue to train to get the capacity to use it.
Handing out CDs and books to the sponsored schools. Some of the non sponsored school
could also get some small gifts :) thanks to a small donation to Sponsorship department.
 Photos: Theobald Kabagema
Copyright text and photos: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
(Photos and text can be used after permission for The Salvation Army media)

Rubirizi 29 Nov 2013

In Rutobwe we have a kitchen built by the salvationists where the Cook/cleaner makes
porridge every day. When visiting there I realised the women are cooking on the ground,
bending their backs...

So when I did the inspection at Rubirizi preschool, the Section Officer and I brought three bags of
cement, so that the salvationists can build a stove with "height" so that the cooking can be easier  and not so
"strainful" (and it will save firewood).
We also brought all kitchen utensils needed to start the foodprogram from January, thanks to
institutional support from you.
We brought basins, beaters, buckets, pots and pans, Jerry cans fo water, cups and pitchers.
We also decided to bring 17 chairs that have been standing in a storage at OTC for the
last five years. They were made for the preschool in Kigali- the same land for the preschool
and hall that the government expropriated the land from the Salvation Army.
The intent was that we could build in another place, but it has taken the government a long
time to assist in getting the replacement land in Kigali, and  there is still not any final plans
on paper :( The government wants us as partner and step by step, then a step back... we
are getting there.
So instead of not using the chairs at all, we will use them in the preschool at Rubirizi :)

Now the kitchen outside wall has been plastered, so we plan for a good start text term;
with everything prepared for a new school year.

The water harvesting system is in place, the "gutters" are leading the water to the big
water container

We also wait for a water Project ("wash") to be implemented. We are waiting for the government to
do the final documents so that we can start drilling a bore hole for the Rubirizi village. They
do not have any water source at all, and have to walk long distances to get water, so this
bore hole will make a big differnece in the villagers life. The villagers are waiting and longing
(as are we, it is not easy to be as patient as we have had to be) and now they have put up
a cover around the old bore hole so that no more damage will be done to it before the work
can start

And a miracle, little baby Anonzielle has been born to this world.  Nursery teacher Anonziata is
now on maternity leave for Three months but will be back at school during next term
We wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thank you for all support during this year- please
take a look on the blog and see all that has been accomplished- you help bulding a better
future, a way out of poverty!
Copyrigt text and photos: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
(After permission: can be used within the Salvation Army for Child Sponsorship activities and promotion)


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.

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

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

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

Want to help sponsor Rutobwe preschool?

Hi again!
Just thought I would give you some photos and info of the preschool in Rutobwe, Muhanga district.
Here 35 children meet in the Salvation Hall every Monday-Friday for a couple of hours in the morning.
On the agenda
is Pre-Math, Pre-English and Pre-writing. Counting, learning the letters and then some body parts in the English language. (Photo from May 2012, my first visit to Rutobwe, accompanied by CPWM; Lt Colonel Jamiya Nyambalo, Project Administrator Mr Francois Nsengimena, Mrs Wendy Evans, Project Officer Major Robert Tuftstrom and section officer Captain Theobold)
Of course the children play, sing and do some sports so sponsors also help us with gifts; books, toys and balls, music instruments, crayons and other things. .
The command has just finished a small kitchen
made by mud bricks and during the day the cook serve some porridge made on the "stove" with firewood as heater. There is no electricity, so that is wished for.
The last time I visited Rutobwe (sep 2012) the kitchen was up and running.
Now we are able to cook for the children (the government requires all schools to have a kitchen if they want to serve food). It is an important part of the preschool, to provide nourishment. Many children in Rwanda will have development problems due to difficulty getting enough nourishment and we can help prevent that for "our" preschool children.
The parents come together and pay a school fee for their children so that they can pay a small salary for a teacher. Thanks to sponsors we have been able to provide the food, the cook and contribute to the teacher´s salary. The school now has two black boards, new uniforms for all children in the class and some new toys and books.
You want to help sponsor this school?
Speak to the Sponsorship Department in your territory and they will help you become regular sponsor for these children or send an e-mail to us and we will have them get in touch with you.
Copyright; Photos and Photo Shop: Anna-Maria Tuftstrom
Permission for use within The Salvation Army.
If you want to use them in other business, send us an e-mail and we´ll work it out :)

-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


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