Explore this Site
Sign up for our Newsletter
Find us on Facebook
Follow Us on Twitter
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. 

Website Comments

In Loving Memory of Tom Nunnally

Honoring Tom Nunnally 

Let me tell you about a very special person.

This message is about my friend Tom Nunnally who in the month of October moved beyond the struggles of life on earth for a better place. I am sure as Carolyn, Tom’s wife wrote in a message to me. Tom will hear the words.

"Well done good and faithful servant."

Tom was first and foremost a child of God. He lived his life serving the Lord and serving his fellow man.

I did not know Tom in his early years. Our relationship covered the last 10 years of his life. In those 10 years he became my friend and a friend to Urukundo and it’s children. Tom was a dedicated Rotarian and an advocate of pure water for everyone. The gift of 10 rain harvesting Tanks, reservoirs and Solar Pumps to supply fresh pure water to our community of over 3000 and our school is evidence of his dedication to the water project. His gifts to Hope Made Real for Urukundo were given in the name of Rotary. Tom did not seek glory or credit.

This stone honoring Tom’s memory is in the garden of our school.


Tom served on the International Board of Directors of Hope Made Real, first as financial advisor and then as Vice President. He was a visionary and fit well the program of this ministry. His visit with the children in September 2014 was amazing. The children loved him. There were not enough seats beside Tom and it was a debate who would hold his hand walking to school each morning. He just did not have enough hands. Tom was the perfect grandfather figure for our kids.

He was so loved by all the children and staff.

I want to share with you what the children and I shared at devotions the evening Tom’s soul departed this earth.

Our children knew Tom had fallen and was in the hospital and were praying for him to be well.

The first question asked me when I joined the children that evening was.

Is Tom ok?

My answer was “yes, children Tom is ok”.

Last evening, we prayed for God to take care of Tom.

Sometimes God does not answer our prayers as we would like but we trust God and God answered our prayer by saying Tom should suffer no more. I will take him to me and he will not be sick ever again.

Because God is good and loves him. Tom is well now and that is what we prayed for.

So God answered our prayer.

It is ok to be a bit sad but we must celebrate for Tom and the joy he now has.

I asked the children. What was the best thing Tom taught us when he visited Urukundo?

In unison the children said  “He taught us a song. Lets sing that song for Tom now". They raised their voices and sang.

Zippy Do Da Zippy De ah  My oh my what a wonderful day. 
Plenty of Sunshine coming my way. Wonderful feeling wonderful day.

This was Tom’s philosophy in life and every day was special to him.

I am so glad he was in my life and the life of the children at Urukundo.


September 2016 Newsletter

September has been a busy month at Urukundo.

The final inspection of our Dental Clinic took place. Representatives from the district, and the Hospital approved our facility and the report went to the Minister of Health in Kigali. Such a process. It has been two years from beginning to final approval.  We now have final approval and the second chair will be in later this month.

Some requirements we were ask to consider.  Considered and completed.  Added expense not in the budget. Wow, just like home.  Funding needed of course. 


White walls instead of blue.   Of course, I liked the blue.  White it is.

Tile on the entrance porch.  Babe protecting the new tile.

Chairs instead of benches in the waiting room. These are chairs, we bought for the worship Center. Who would have known how many ways we would use them.

A sink for washing hands between patients. This was an essential improvement.

Two desks with room for computer and each has a drawer. The drawer was a must. Our carpenter built them sturdy.

A Registration desk with drawer and computer space.

Making it official.  Our in-house dentist, Olivier.  She has a beautiful smile!

Our head dentist, his name is Gabriel. 

You met him last month in the newsletter.  We are so blessed to have such well-qualified partners in Dentistry.

Speical Event

A very special wedding took place.

Vestine planned her dowry so that Urukundo’s kids could walk to the celebration and so all could attend.  The kids were delighted.  Vestine is Manager of the Nursery.


The Beautiful bride!


Learning Center News

A sports event took place.

For the first time the Learning Center kids have official clothes FOR SPORTS DAY

Our P4 Urukundo kids were first to model the sportswear. ALL STUDENTS wear these outfits on Wednesday & Friday. These days are sports day at the school.

Saves wear and tear on school uniforms and gives the kids a change of clothes.  They like it.


Nelly, Aline, Luki, and Claude are modeling new sports clothes. Handsome group!


Five students; Teta, Gaele, Kivine, Killia, and Eveline showing off a bit. Love it.


Urukundo kids ready to do sports. The little ones not in aqua go to school in the afternoon.  Olive and Jenny join the group picture. Neither are students. Jenny will start preschool in January 2017. How fast the kids grow.


Just Plain Fun

Playtime is exciting. Egide received gifts to share from his sponsor.

The kids loved making the rockets fly and chasing them.  The rockets are soft foam and return to the earth with no danger to any one when landing. We have an open field with no trees or buildings to capture the rockets. All ages can play. Great exercise.


New Rocket game. Foot power makes it work and even the babies can make the rockets go up in the sky.


Benita, Jason, Soso, Kavine, and Jacob to name a few.

Educational Play

Crazy Forts consists of balls with holes and tubes that fit in the holes.

Architects and builders of tomorrow.  What fun!


Building a castle.  Amazing gift!



Kaboss had special visitors in September.

Robert, Diane, Kaboss, and Bill.  Thank you for caring. You three made his day special.

Our boy Kaboss and two people who love him very much. Diane & Bill Currier.

Some Sadness

It really is not so bad but it seemed so at the time. Margie and I shed tears. The Krogh’s, Margie and Bruce who have been in Rwanda for several years have returned to live in the US. It was good to have them here and to have a place of refuge when I needed a friend who spoke and understood English.

This is not good-bye because Bruce will be working in Rwanda and Margie will return from time to time.

Enjoy your family in the US Margie and Bruce. Your family in Rwanda will miss you.  

They took me out to lunch as a farewell gesture. How nice.


Medical Emergency eyes are valuable. Protect them!  Kenlia learned this the hard way.


Innocent math tool very dangerous in the hands of a child. Kenila now has a hole in her eye. Pray for healing.


Urukundo has its first Social Service intern. 

Providence comes to us from University of Technology and Arts Of Byumba (UTAB). 


We weclome Providence!  She will spend a month with us.

Lambert is a student at Kabgayi Catholic University in Muhanga and comes to volunteer with the kids.  He volunteers two days a week on Monday and Wednesday.

His love for our children is his motivation. The kids return his love.

Learning Pathway Stones

This stone is in honor of a very special group of women in State College, Pennsylvania.

Women of Faith, Hope, and Love


A personal appeal.  October and November are the months Urukundo and friends gather in love to support the vulnerable children in our community.

THIS GIFT COMES TO URUKUNDO IN DECEMBER.  Give a Christmas gift that will continue to give and make a difference for a child’s lifetime.

Your donation provides support for many children to go to school and places them on the path to education that is so needed to make a better life.

Please open your hearts and yes, your purse strings and help us help the children to have the education they deserve and need to build a better future.

Send a check indicating your gift is a donation for education. GIVE TO THE EDUCATION FUND.

Thank you for caring and sharing

Mama Arlene

Your most appreciated gift can be sent to the address below or use the Donate button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

Hope Made Real
PO Box 3222
Williamsport, PA. 17701

Much love,

Mama Arlene
Urukundo Foundation/Hope Made Real

Help make their world a better place.


August 2016 Newsletter

The Segal Family Foundation Annual conference was held in Uganda. It was such a pleasure meeting others who serve in different aspects of caring. The 3 days were well spent. In attendance were partners from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and Tanzania.

As usual I forgot I had my camera.

New logo small and large.

Grand opening NEW VISION VETERINARY HOSPITAL(NVVH)! Urukundo was honored to be invited to the grand opening of the much needed hospital and laboratory for animals in Rwasa North Province, Rwanda. The founder & director of this project is Urukundo’s good friend, Doctor Otto Fischer from Austria. We have known Dr. Otto for over 9 years (remember Otto was the doctor who operated on our cow Daisy with the calcified eye). He has been a good friend and helped us out many times. CONGRATULATIONS DOCTOR OTTO! Austrian & Rwandese working hand in hand improving the health of our animals and our population. Healthy animals, healthier people.

The Laboratory team

The laboratory and team are very impressive

Claudia and Irwin's Austrian dress reminded me of my favorite movie “Sound of Music.” Delightful! I’m the short one in the picture.

One of the work centers in the Laboratory and the staff

The children at Otto’s home for children, Verein Future for Kids were an important part of the celebration.

Newest baby at Urukundo Farm. She is a cutie.

Sports for the younger set

Jason and Foote ball

Jenny and T-ball

Soso has teeth missing. He is at that age. Doesn’t seem possible.

Jean Paul(John Paul) graduated from Secondary school in November 2015. This young man is preparing to travel to Seattle, Washington and a colder climate for further education. We will miss him, as he is a strong big brother for our younger kids. He is also the song leader at devotions and the Phys. Ed teacher at our school. Our Foote ball (soccer) team will suffer.

Hey, it is not easy for a mom to send her kids across the world and out of physical reach. I should be okay with this but each time is new. John Paul will be #6 to move away from Urukundo Home to the US and toward a better life through higher education.

Claudine’s new glasses. Thanks to a generous donor, she now has a new pair and a spare pair. She loves the red and deep burgundy combination. The bright red makes them easier for her to find.



Team from Kiskiminetas Presbytery, PA, arrive in Kigali.

Kiski Presbyterian Team at Departure. They are still smiling.

Giselle, teacher, Claudine & Dr. Debby

Technician Gabriel

Dr. Debby at work in Urukundo Dental Clinic.

Dr. Debby and Olivier, our Dental Technicians at Urukundo. We are so happy Debby met all three of our Technicians. No photo of Edmond our third Technicians. Sorry.

Durfee is a master quilter.

Her gift to Urukundo is beautiful as is our daughter, Divine, the model presenting the beauty of the quilt.

Black and white personified.

Olivier, Debby & Durfee

Olive added to the mix.

Mama and Baby House

Twin girls come back to visit Urukundo. How very beautiful.

Two precious newborn babies. Expressions are special.

Primary School Progress

Last but not least. Progress on the school continues. Inside walls are cemented, base stones for floor are laid and waiting for cement to complete the job. Leveling the outside land and planting trees to hold the soil needs to be done. We can use the class rooms. There is still a need of $20,000 to finish paying the contractor. We are so happy to be so close to finishing the Primary school.

This has been a 6 year project. Thank you everyone who contributed to this long-term program. The school now has an enrollment of 450 children and when finished it will have an enrollment of over 700 in the community and surrounding area. You are all contributing the the future of these children. Thank You!

In closing, I leave you with this thought:

The vulnerable children of Rwanda and the world.

Opportunity is what they need. Your love. Their lives, Our world, You can make a difference.

Your most appreciated gift can be sent to the address below or use the Donate button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

Hope Made Real
PO Box 3222
Williamsport, PA. 17701

Much love,

Mama Arlene
Urukundo Foundation/Hope Made Real

Help make their world a better place.


Article on Mama Arlene in the Post Gazette

The Post Gazette had a great article on Mama Arlene and Rwanda in general.

The Next Page: Rwanda’s reinvention


July 2016 Newsletter

Independence day in the US is also Liberation day in Rwanda.

How awesome that such a special day should be celebrated on the same day and in the same month in both my countries.

Special Thank You

To all of you who accepted the $10,000 challenge and made it a success Urukundo, our donor and mama are grateful. The Construction on Primary class rooms 5 and 6 will be finished by the end of August.

Progress to date July 27,2016 Photos

Front side roof, windows, doors.

Inside walls, blackboard

Back side, ventilators, window frames.

Thanks to your gifts to meet the challenge. Success is good.

Special African Day

Day of the African child was a special day for Urukundo kids.

We were invited to the gathering where the Mayor and many dignitaries were present. The amazing thing was the District sent a mini van to transport our kids to the gathering.

This is indeed a compliment to Urukundo Foundation

Our children.

I am so proud of them. They make us look good. The Head master from Urukundo Learning Center Irene, Exec Director Jean Marie and Auntie Chantal from the Nursery and I accompanied the children.

The event was held at the school for Special Children in Muhanga District.

The gathering was behind the Stadium in Muhanga at the school for Special Children on the far side of the hill. What a view!


Reward for a job well done.

The Karate team had Fanta and cookies to reward them for their excellent performance at the 10-year celebration

Something new at Urukundo

Louise from UK has introduced Yoga. She and and Luki are demonstrating. Great exercise for kids and adults alike.

Solar Power

What a blessing the sun is. Surely a gift from God. The sun is a great source of power, actually electricity. The sun is what we have plenty of. We are starting small with Solar electricity in the Home for boys and Home for girls.

The technicians arrived this month to start the installation. Claudia is the head tech. She is from Austria. She and her husband formed a company in Rwanda and we are blessed by their relationship with us.


It is our hope to extend this power to the farm. The baby chicks need light 24 - 7 hours so it would be beneficial to get that light from the sun as the source. And reduce our electricity bill.


Farm expanding. Piglets are a good source of revenue


New house for baby pigs.

Path to Learning

New stones on the Path to Learning


Welcoming a Pennsylvania girl and her husband to Urukundo was my pleasure. Keena Thrush is from the Williamsport area (mama’s home area), her husband, Matthias Ratz is from Germany and they both live and work in Hong Kong. How is that for being international.

Old friends are special Pastor Boyd and I have a 10-year history. We met in Rwanda. I have visited in his home and spent time with he and his wife Shirley in PA. He visits me each time he comes to Rwanda. 

New friends are to be treasured Susan is new to Rwanda and a delight. It was so good to greet Boyd again and meet Susan for the first time.

Rebecca visited Urukundo before with (Home Girl) Valli Meeks and returned bringing friends with her.

Thank you, Rebecca. Come back soon.

Visiting students Rebecca Salzman, Patrick Van Meter, and Michael Klauser from University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Mama and Baby House

Twin boys this time.



Four of the 12 new babies born in July.

In closing, I leave you with this thought:

The vulnerable children of Rwanda and the world.

Opportunity is what they need. Your love. Their lives, Our world, You can make a difference.

Your most appreciated gift can be sent to the address below or use the Donate button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

Hope Made Real
PO Box 3222
Williamsport, PA. 17701

Much love,

Mama Arlene
Urukundo Foundation/Hope Made Real

Help make their world a better place.

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 156 Next 5 Entries »