Imana Kids gave their first school presentation today and it was a joy to be welcomed by hundreds of sweet children that were eager and excited to help their “new friends” in Rwanda.
Sunrise Point Elementary in Overland Park, Kansas, invited Imana Kids to present at their pep rally and launch of a school wide reading campaign. All the staff, students and family will be reading Giant Steps to Change the World by actor Spike Lee and his wife, Tonya. The story talks about a variety of leaders, from Mother Theresa to President Obama, that started little and made a big impact.
The school is also committed to doing a fundraiser along side the reading. They will be raising funds for our nutrition program, with the hopes of providing regular fruits and veggies to the kids of Kimisagara. How cool is that? Each class will be filling “shoes” with money through the month of September. We are honored and humbled that they asked to partner with us.
In addition to the fundraising, it is a thrill to know that hundreds of children are telling the story of the street kids of Rwanda to their parents tonight.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to our friends at Sunrise Point!
Did that get your attention?
We have still been very busy around here. Last week we had the honor of presenting Imana Kids to a local chapter of Kiwanis. What a great group of people and a good fit for Imana Kids to partner with!
The presentation was our first “business oriented” talk, so we are were a bit anxious but left feeling that we did the children of Kimisagara justice. We are excited to see what unfolds with the local chapter.
Tickets have been purchased for two board members to travel to Kigali in late September. The board members will be on the ground for 4 full days, with each day filled to the brim with meetings. We are considering inviting some of the older children to tour the boarding schools with us; hoping that this will ease some fears/nerves and generate a lot of excitement for their future!
Bed bugs. They may be here after the Apocalypse. Challenges in first world countries at killing these nasty bugs is enormous. Then throw in TSA restrictions, clay surfaces, children and limited access to electricity. That equals a big, big problem.
We feel strongly that we can not ignore the problem because it is hindering the quality of life of some amazing young people in Kimisagara. That being said, people are good. Really good. Phone calls to local exterminators have turned into mismatched friendships and people want to help. People do care that kids on the other side of the world can’t sleep at night because they are getting bit. We are grateful that God shows up everywhere. Including connecting with exterminators. Did you now that crushed chrysanthemum can kill bed bugs? Us either. It’s safe to expose children to, isn’t difficult to purchase and we are clearing it with TSA as well.
Our next need is some airtight mattress covers. These can be purchased at Walmart for $30 but we are hoping that asking some supply companies for help may be fruitful. In other words, fall flowers, plastic sheets and duct tape are just what we need!
September we will be launching our first newsletter. It will feature a child each month as well as any events and progress reports. Stayed tuned. PS If you live in the Omaha metro area and have a pest problem, check out these guys!
Imana Kids board members had some big decisions to make this week. Gracious donors have raised over $4000 to assist us in our start up costs. How big is that?! We feel so humbled and thankful; not to mention a little intimidated to be moving forward…
Moving forward means spending some of this donation money. It means deciding when and whom should be traveling to Rwanda. Truthfully, most of the board would love to be the ones to head to Africa and attend the meetings that need to occur so that we can continue to work toward our goal of a January start date in the boarding schools.
However, we know that what we want and what we need are usually very different things. As a group, it was decided that Ryan and Kara Higgins should be the first two board members to return to Kigali. We want our donors to be aware of the “whys” behind each of our decisions.
Ryan and Kara adopted two children from Rwanda in late 2009; the director of Hope for Homes (the governing agency for vulnerable children) was a part of their adoption and there is established rapport between her staff and the Higginses. They also have several friends, both Rwandan and American, that live in Kigali and will provide assistance with meals, lodging and travel.
The board also felt that Ryan was the most business-minded of the group. It was also decided that board members will continue to contribute as much of their own personal money as they can during trips regarding Imana Kids business. Additionally, responsibilities were delegated among members and a monthly meeting schedule was established.
This weekend some of the board will be traveling to Urbandale, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines, to give two presentations at Gloria Dei, a Lutheran church interested in sponsoring children as well as sending a Visiting Orphans team to Kigali in the future. And on August 15 we will attend the Omaha Kiwanis Chapter meeting to present our nonprofit opportunities.
We also wanted to share some “updates” on the kids of Kimisagara. They have been on holiday over the last few weeks after taking national exams in the public schools. Their holiday is spent in the orphanage, helping with chores and watching over the little ones.
The older boys have been unable to sleep more than a few hours a night because of bug problems. We have been trying to decipher the situation: bed bugs vs bat bugs vs fleas vs mosquitoes. Our hope is that in the near future, when the first board members return, we will have the necessities needed to rid the sleeping area of the pests so that for the time being, these kids can rest well at night.
In addition, we are excited to be invited to send some of the young men and women to Esperance Institute’s first English certification program in Kigali. Check out their website to learn how they are empowering young adults through education. We are at approximately 30 families/individuals that have expressed a desire to sponsor a child for the 2014 school year.
Thank you and expect to hear from us after the have more specific monthly costs outlined.