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A Note for New Readers

Urukundo Village is an independent home for Rwandan children created and funded through Hope Made Real and its incredibly kind donors. We are not funded by any particular denomination or organization and welcome all who seek to help the children of Rwanda and create a better world not just for a child, but for us all. 

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Our Newest Chicken Babies Were Born

Our newest babies were just born as part of our chicken farm project. There are 250 chicks in this group. Note the charcoal pot that keeps them warm. They are inside a home made incubator protected from the outside, predators and the cooler air.


Our First House Is Built!

Our first house is beautiful. The boys moved in on April 23rd. Our goal was April 30 and we made it. Praise God. The plumbing and electricity are not in yet but we know how to live without them, so it's not a problem.

What joy to be able to play basket ball until dark and not have a long walk home, to have a room where you can move and play. The move also required the boys to adjust to a new school.
This has been quite a month for the them.


Hello, I am Divine, one of Mama Arlene's children of The Urukundo Home for Children in Muhanga District, Rwanda. I am Mama Arlene's "first born". No, I am not the youngest. But I was the first girl-child to come to live under Mama Arlene's roof. Now thirty-five others have come. All of us are fully housed, cared for and given an education. And, an additional 245 children from the region join us at the community school with sponsored scholarships from Hope Made Real's Scholarship Program.

I came because I could no longer live in my family home. Others come as orphans because all of their living relatives have died of AIDS or malaria. Still other older children are survivors of the genocide.

Each of us now has our own bed. The girls are housed in apartments with bunk beds with a house-mother. The boys live in a house with four bedrooms and four bunk beds in each room with a house-mother. Because of kind people I am most fortunate to now have food, bedding, clothing, school supplies, a mosquito net, lodging, education, medical insurance and basic medical care, utilities, transportation, and, of course, water.

Mama Arlene rents the houses we currently live in, but we recently acquired land and are building the first of five cottages. The plan is to have ten children and a mama or parents in each cottage. This means our little home will grow so that soon I will have fifty brothers and sisters.


March 2008 Newsletter -- Mama Arlene in Rwanda

March 2008

What a warm welcome I received back home in Rwanda. The plane was late and it was pouring buckets of rain. The drive home from the airport seemed endless. As we made the turn at the end of our road to travel the short distance to the gate in the distance stood a crowd. It took me a second to realize they were my children running toward the car waving and shouting. John stopped the car and I opened the door to step into the waiting arms and kisses of thirty-six mud-soaked children. Later Micaela, one of our Mamas, told me she tried to keep them inside the gate but it was impossible; “Mama Arlene was home!”

NEW NAME: HopeMadeReal
We have a new name. Our umbrella name is "HopeMadeReal".
I have a new email address: arlene@hopemadereal.org
The time has come for Urukundo to grow up and so the new name, new email address, and our own web site are currently under construction. I’ll keep you posted so that you can explore the hopemadereal web site along with me. We are filing for our own non-profit status with the U.S. Federal Government.

Spiritworks will graciously continue to work with us as an operating non-profit with their web site, banking, and addresses until such time as we have HopeMadeReal fully in place.

Our National Board of Directors in Rwanda includes Colonel John Bosco, RPF, Rwandan army officer; John Kayitare, business man; Gertrude Mupfasoni, former mayor of Gitarama; Félicité Uwimana, officer of the Genocide Widows Association; and Arlene D. Brown, Founder & Director.

Our International Board of Directors includes Cindy Grieshaber of Bethlehem, PA. as President; Patricia D. Brown of Seattle, WA as Secretary; Terry Masch of Harrisburg, PA as Treasurer; Christian Gloddy of New York City who oversees media; and Laurie Finn of Seattle, WA as a member at large.

March came in like a lion. I arrived home on March 1 and the team of thirteen13 from Bloomsburg, PA, USA arrived on March 4. They came bearing gifts and with lots of energy to work.

They worked on the construction of the first boys’ home and had the honor of breaking ground for the first of the five cottages for girls. They did a fine job.

One volunteer, Carrie, traveled home from the U.S. to Rwanda with Divine. Let me share with you the message she sent afterwards: “I came first to Urukundo Home for Children in December 2007, with a People to People group from the States. We spent a day with Arlene and the children taking them out to eat and playing with them. In January I began thinking about returning to work as a teacher of English and to help Arlene fulfill her dreams of expanding her Home. I returned with her February 29, to begin a two month stay. I have begun teaching an adult English class three days a week and on Saturday a group of pastors. Adult Rwandians are eager to learn English. They speak French and Kinyarwanda. The children learn English in school. A building program is underway for a boy’s home and the foundation for a girl’s home has been started. A Methodist group from Pennsylvania helped to complete the boy’s home. They planted a tree in the garden as a remembrance of their mission trip. The homes are being built on land now owned by Urukundo. I have worked at the site and watched the progress being made.‘God in Charge is the Home’s motto. I am happy to be here and feel I am where God wants me to be at this time. --Carrie M. Schwartz, Johnson City, Tennessee

The first term for the year has ended and the kids now have 3 weeks to play. The report cards show room for improvement. The boys will be moving to a new school in April. The new school is within walking distance from our new home. It will be a while before we all will live there. It will happen “God in Charge”

The second group of Chicks, 200, will arrive on April 10. We will then have 300+. Our older hens number about 53. When another 200 arrive in two months it will make a total of 553. Farah, the hen house manager, and his crew have not lost a single chick of the original 100.

Continue to visit http://spiritworks.org/rwanda/; http://spiritworks.org/rwanda-info/ for updates and information about the Urukundo Home for Children and Mama Arlene.

Gifts for the children and support for the mission may be sent to:
Spiritworks/Arlene Brown
823 West Cremona Street
Seattle WA 98119
United States
Rwanda Fund
Saint Johns/Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street
Williamsport, Pa 17701

My address:

Arlene D Brown
BP 179
Founder Urukundo Home for Children
Muhanga District, Rwanda
Office Cell 08769422
Arlene’s Cell 05102964

ARLENE IN RWANDA - Newsletter, January 2008

Mama Arlene on the new land.Greetings my partners in Ministry. I am writing to you, not from the Urukundo Home for Children in Rwanda, but from the United States. After a rough trip for Divine we are here. Divine suffered from motion sickness making the trip unpleasant for her. We have medicine now for the flight home that will make Divine more comfortable. Yes, Divine and I are in your “ice box” of the Northeast. It is cold. Divine experienced her first snow and loved it. I shivered and enjoyed joining her in throwing snowballs. She will have many unique experiences to share with her brothers and sisters back home.

Visiting family has been a blessing and sharing with my church families is special. This first week has been spent in the Williamsport (Central Pennsylvania) area. Soon
we will travel to McConnellstown, State College, Bloomsburg, Wrightsville, Hanover, Harrisburg, Bethlehem, Linglestown, New Bloomfield , Jersey Shore, Arlington,VA. and Spokane, WA . to tell the story of Urukundo. Please pray for our safe travels on the snowy roads. You can reach on my cell phone while I am in at the States: 570-447-0751.


In September 2007 a group of social workers from People to People, an organization founded by Dwight Eisenhower to bring people from different cultures together, visited Urukundo Home for Children. Mary Eisenhower, the founder’s granddaughter and the CEO of People to People, accompanied this group and visited our children. After evaluating the ministry Mary graciously accepted a position on Urukundo's International Board of Directors. We are honored to have Mary on the governing board.

I have been driving since I was twenty. I learned on a mechanica (an African term) car and then switched to an automatic. I drive throughout Rwanda with no problem. But when I got behind the wheel of the automobile loaned to me by friends of Urukundo, Art and Patti Depolas my mind went blank. Everything was in the wrong place. It took some time to revert back to driving from the left side of the car. We do drive on the same side of the road in Rwanda, but the mechanics for driving are on the right side of the car. I appreciate that my friends are letting me use their car –especially after such a scary start.

School has started. Our kids have new uniforms, shoes, backpacks and jackets, notebooks and pens- -plus school fees-- thanks to your generous sponsorship. (Photo)

img_1196.jpgimg_1702.JPGOUR OUTREACH
Here is a group of the 230 village children going to school because you have made it possible. (Photo)\

Our basketball court is a true blessing. A local karate teacher, who had been praying a long time for a place to teach, excitedly inquired about the use of our new basketball court. He made an offer we could not refuse; if he could use our court twice a week for private students in payment he would teach our kids, along with some neighborhood children. We are again blessed.

Belise doing her best. (Photo)img_1813.jpgimg_1653_2.jpg

As you know, all of our “homes” are currently rented in the village. One of our landlords has decided to raise the rent on our boys house. We could give him more money for a house that is too small and in need of major repairs, or we could stand on faith and trust in God and build our first cottage in the next three months – the end of our rental contract. We own the land and for $25,000 USD we can build and furnish a home for ten boys and a house mother. Construction began on the eve of my trip to the States and I continue to pray for five more homes so that all our present children can live on the land. Our prayer is for a total of ten cottages; five for girls and five for boys.

Three steps to building the new boy’s cottage (photo)


We were expecting one-hundred baby chicks before my trip to the States, but because of the problems in Kenya our babies have not arrived. They will come by air freight and Kenya Air is not moving freight. I just pray someone is caring for those chicks if they are sitting in a terminal waiting to come to us. We will then have five-hundred chickens by year’s end. The chicken farm is part of our plan to make Urukundo self-supporting in the future. It will take time, but by the grace of God it will happen. Eggs are very expensive in Africa and I have faith that our hens will produce good eggs and we will show a profit in less than a year. However, if they do not produce eggs --chicken soup is also nourishing.
Here is a delightful photos to tell you the story of our eleven-year-olds' visit here in the States.4.jpg
The 5th-Form class at Salladasburg Primary School, PA. Mr.Wall is the teacher.
We were welcomed and Divine had her first experience of your schools.

Visit this web site for updates and information about Urukundo.

Gifts for the children and support for the mission can be sent to:
Spiritworks/Arlene Brown
823 West Cremona Street
Seattle WA 98119
United States
Rwanda Fund
Saint Johns/Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street
Williamsport, Pa 17701

Beauty is what they have.
Opportunity is what they need.
Your love. Their lives, Our world.

Arlene D Brown
BP 179
Founder Urukundo Home for Children
Muhanga District, Rwanda
Office Cell 08769422
My Cell 05102964