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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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December 2015 Newsletter

December started off in November, somehow our months run together.

Construction on enlarging the dining room is under way.  We hope to have it finished in three weeks. Our girls had to vacate the building because of dust, dirt of construction. They moved into the guesthouse and my house. Now they aren’t sure they want to move back into their house when the work is completed.  Moving the dining room into the boy’s house made it necessary to move devotions in the evenings to Mama’s house. The kids love the moves. It is a nice change for them but I am glad it is not permanent.

Before work began

Work underway

Finished product with new paint job.  My favorite color blue. 
View from boys house

View from Nursery.

A New Addition to Our Family

It has been our motivation to only take abandoned babies at Urukundo. Well guess what more than babies are being abandoned especially children with special needs. Should we turn them away? No, I cannot. Urukundo Must have room when called on to be of special service.
God has sent us another child who needs love and special care. She has come to the right place.  She was abandoned first by her mother and her father later walked away. Alone is a scary place to be.

Her name is Chantel. She is 15. Chantel is new to Urukundo. To be abandoned at age 15 is heartbreaking. We welcome this lovely girl as part of our Urukundo Family. Chantel is diabetic with eye problems. With proper diet and insulin she is improving every day.

Do you want to help? Chantel needs a sponsor. We need your help to care for this dear child with special needs.

Birthday For Mama

Tradition for a birthday celebration in Rwanda calls for placing a Banana tree at the location.
I was honored to have my very own Banana tree to celebrate my 85th birthday.

Secretary Jullette, Exec. Director Jean Marie, and Head Master I’rene; sat at the head table with me.

Children gathered to help in the celebration.



Table on the floor. It works.


Concert at Urukundo Learning Center

We were honored to be able to present a concert with such special talent from Germany for our kids and the community.  Our schools of music kids were a part of the performers.  Claude loves his violin.

Music students from our school took part.

Christmas as Urukundo Village

Big sisters Divine and Annet teach how to make decorations.

A special Christmas gift to us.

Christmas Parties at Hope House

Staff and their children, some community children and our children made for a large gathering on Tuesday afternoon. Juice, Fanta,  and Sumbose were served and small gifts were given.

More Community kids came on Wednesday. This was the designated day for them. The movie showing was Madagascar. The African animals in it are great. If you haven’t seen it, please do so. It is a fun movie for children and adults.

The large screen TV was so appreciated. Thank you Helen Kweskin!

Improvement at the Hope House

100 chairs made Christmas special. Benches are hard to set on and carry from the dining room to Hope house for every occasion. Now, we have real chairs. The chairs will be used for worship, weddings, and other special occasions. One person’s misfortune is a blessing for another.
A friend who intended to open a restaurant bought the chairs. Unable to reach his goal, he sold the chairs to Urukundo at half price. We thank him for his generosity.

Our kids testing the new chairs. They approve.

Worship Christmas Morning

Our little kids all grown up and home for Christmas. Their song added to the joy of Christmas.  Their presence is always a joy.

Those who didn’t make it home this Christmas include: Tresor, Lilliane, Solange, Lucie, Kevin, Claude, Fabrice, and Emanuel. We hope their Christmas was a good one filled with love. We miss them.

The Christmas program begins. I do not get a preview of this event so I am always surprised at what a wonderful presentation Anitha and the kids prepared. So much talent and ability.

The singers.

No room at the inn. Inn keeper, Claude.

The shepherds greet Mary.

Wisemen and star ready to arrive.

Mary & Joseph (Nelly & Cedric).  Benite steals the stage.

Gift time in the boy’s house

Jenette (Jenny)

Alexander & Jason
Donald Duck is Jason’s favorite character.

To all who helped make this Christmas special I say THANK YOU.

Developments at the Learning Center

Primary 4 classrooms are ready for students. Thanks to the Van Dolsen Family, AIC (African International Club) who paid for desks and chairs and so many others.  Thanks to Felix and his construction crew.

Thanks to WOF and my friend, Ruth Cox for the new toliets. Cosmetic work yet to be done.



Molly Abramson, who works at the Swedish Embassy paid us a visit. Molly brought friends and family along. Our kids and their kids had a great play time. We do hope they come back for more play.

We at Urukundo Village hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebrating Jesus birthday and that your New Year will be prosperous and filled with Love. Remember our children in your prayers.

Thank you for a wonderful 2015. We are blessed because you care.


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.



Attention Over 65 donors

If you are 70 ½ older and have an IRA, you have to make Required Minimum Deduction each year, based on the balance as of January 1 of the tax year. You have to count this as income and pay taxes on the amount withdrawn.

But Congress did give a tax break to those who want to make a contribution to any 501c3 charity. In fact you can make more than the Required Minimum Deduction, up to $100,000.

The amount given as a Qualified Charitable Deduction directly from your IRA to your choice or choices of recipients does not count as income, thus avoiding all income taxes (on the amount donated) at the Federal level. And this will count toward your Required Minimum Deduction.

To make this happen for 2015, the funds must be withdrawn and donated by December 31. For tax year 2016, these funds may be given any time before December 31, 2016.

You should consult with your tax advisor or use a tax preparation program for how to show this on your 1040.


November 2015 Newsletter

November was another eventful month at Urukundo Village and Learning Center. Sports, Dental, School, Construction and Reconstruction plus visitors to name a few of the events.

Special Notice:

It is the time of year when we make a special effort to raise funds to help community children go to school. The school year starts in January. Needed are funds for pencils, uniforms, school fees, shoes, socks, backpack exercise books. Please help us with this outreach in Mission. A gift of $15 will supply the basic needs for one child to go to school for the year.  Thank you for helping with education for Community Children.

A Special invitation.

It was my pleasure to be invited to attend worship at Mpushi Presbyterian Church on November 1, 2015.  The invitation to attend worship came from my very dear friend, Pastor Leonard.

Accompanying me to worship was John Paul, as interpreter, and the older of our kids. These are the kids in Grade 4, and Aline in grade 5. Belisa, who was home from secondary school directed the singing.


Nelly, Aline, Cedric, Luki, Belise, Claude, and Emanuel

The congregation joining in song & dance for the Lord.

School events

Soccer match

It was so exciting! Giporoso Primary School came to play a competition match with the P3-4 soccer team from Urukundo Learning Center. All of Urukundo staff and kids turned out to cheer our team. Yes, even me. I get as excited as the kids even though I don’t know all the rules of the game well.

Urukundo Learning Center won 2 to 0. Claude was the star player.

Teachers, Home staff and kids big and small came to cheer our team on.

We really need soccer shoes and uniforms. It was hard to tell who was on what team. Our goalie did a great job of blocking.

Urukundo Learning Center Graduation 2015.

On November 6, Urukundo celebrated its fourth graduation. The first graduation was in 2011. Four of our kids were in that class. They are now moving into Primary 4.

We are proud of all the Kindergarten graduates.

Four of our kids were among this years graduating class.

Claudine, Rebekah, Kaboss (Lional) & Prince.

The procession begins

Friends and Family join the students in the procession. Family support is amazing.

Certificates were awarded.

Traditional dancing

Modern Dancing was new this year.

Music played a big part in the school this year and our musicians took part in the ceremony.


Dental Clinic

On November 7, 2015, Urukundo Dentistry held an FREE day for Community children at the Clinic. 87 children received free dental treatment.

Each child had to be accompanied by a parent. It was a wonderful, busy day.

Dr. Troy Michelson from Canada was the attending dentist. His wife Charmaine, Edmond, and Theodore dental therapist assisted.

The children read a new book. DR. MOOSE MY TOOTH IS LOOSE. Dr. Troy, Charmaine, Mama, and Urukundo Kids are pretending to be Dr. Moose. It was such fun.

Moose horns in imagination.

Mama & Baby Initiative

These are three of the babies and their mother of the 19 who received help in November. 

The need for new born baby clothes continues. We will take all we can get. Can you help with this need?


Update on the Toilet Construction

Septic is completed.  Construction of building begins.

Two weeks later

New Development

Before reconstruction started on girls home

Inside dining room

In order to enlarge our dining room this work must take place.

Final production next month. Stay tuned.


Special Visitors

Fewer than normal visitors in November

Go Ed students prepare to leave.

These are three of the babies and their mother of the 19 who received help in November. 

The need for new born baby clothes continues. We will take all we can get. Can you help with this need?




Newsletter for October 2015

October has been a very complicated month. The storm that hit Urukundo on September 30 rocked our world. Thanks to many of you and your quick response, we were able to replace roofs and clean up the internal damage. I am thankful no animals were lost and the children were out of harm’s way when the storm did its worst to destroy our farm.   We are back on our feet and moving on.

A Bit of Humor

Let’s start out with a little humor.

My latest purchase. Didn’t cost much but made me laugh. Now and then I need to laugh. Hope he makes you smile. The kids named the picture LENNART.

Lennart comes from Germany brings his guitar and sings for the kids. They love you Lennart.

Lennart hangs on the wall in Mama’s house.  Always ready to brighten my day and make me smile.

Sewing Center 

Our school for sewing is expanding. It was one crowed room with little space to work and no special area for teaching a class.  Our number of students, our orders for uniforms, bags, aprons, etc. has increased. We needed more working space.

Students at Sewing Center.  Thresea trying to teach with no classroom.

In the new classroom, we will also have a knitting machine to make and sell school sweaters.

We now have 3 rooms and a shop for displaying our product. 

Larger room for teaching.  Sewing Machines will soon be in this room.

Clowning around

Luki, Kinela, Kenny; our kids and Uwera a student at our school.  


Our Johnny (in sweater) wins an award for being THE BEST Reader in the first grade out of 70 in a competition sponsored by Urukundo Learning Center and Library. We are very proud of Johnny. 

Puppet show at Hope House. Kaboss and Rebekah presenters and using imagination.


Living by faith can be a bit shaky but at Urukundo that is a way of life. Toilets for Primary 4, 5, & 6 students was a priority so we went ahead on faith with clearing, leveling, digging the hole for septic, praying funding would arrive.

We are blessed. Funds have arrived. Urukundo Learning Center is so grateful to World Orphan Fund (check out their web site) a wonderful foundation who believes with us that education is the tool for a better future. They visited Urukundo Learning Center and designated a gift to make building the facility for the Primary School possible. Thank you WOF.

Beginning work

Progress to date.

Thanks to AIC (Africa International Club), we have desks and chairs for the opening of Primary 4 in January, 2016.

Inside Primary 4 class room.

At the homes and guest house.

I remember raking leaves in the fall months after the beautiful color display at my home in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I thought it was hard work.

Raking leaves in Urukundo Rwanda. More like sweeping leaves.

Back breaking work

Mission Outreach

Doing our part to serve others. Our children pray god will teach them sharing. That is what we do and you help by your gifts.

Your gifts to UHFC through Hope Made Real are far reaching. The scope of what you do with a donation to HMR has reached a new dimension. Included are Community children, newborn babies, needy mothers, refugees in camps, people in need of Dental care, and Our kids at Urukundo.

Urukundo Foundation shares clothes for adults, children and blankets with refugees in the Camp near by.  Working with Gabriel Habimana from Social affairs at the District Level, we are able to contribute to the welfare of those less fortunate and in need. Your gifts of clothes, blankets, shoes, etc. are appreciated, not just by Urukundo and our children but by Rwanda as our country becomes a Safe Haven for desperate people.

Large duffel bag packed full of clothes & blankets for refugees in the camp in Muhanga district. Doing our part as members of the community of Muhanga.

School children benefit from your clothing gifts to Urukundo Home for Children.

Rwanda’s Mamas care about their children.  We can and do help.


In the first 3 weeks, Mama and Baby project has provided clothing for 15 newborn babies and more than 30 hats to the delivery center for added warmth for little heads. Keep the hats and clothing coming please! Mamas are grateful. 

Twins receive needs. Their mama is happy.  New young mother in need receives a packet of clothes for her baby. 

This is an awesome ministry. Help where help is most needed.

New arrival babies are precious

Grateful mama, nurse inspects the gift.

God’s gift. A child is born.

Our Baby and Mama program keeps growing. There are too many to put pictures of every one. We will keep a count and update each month and will choose a picture or two to keep all posted. Your gifts are making the difference.

October Visitors

Abigail from New Zealand came home for her second visit. Abigail teaches CIRCUS. Yep, that is her profession and the kids love her and acrobatics she shares with them. She also cooks Chinese food for the kids each time she comes.

Shelia an anesthesiologist from Washington State paid Urukundo a visit on October 4, 2015. Her mission was to deliver a package for our young man John Paul. After being here and meeting the children and touring she has determined to return in 2016 when she returns to work at a Rwanda hospital. We will be delighted to welcome her.

Go ED. Africa Consulting Ltd. has returned for the second year. We are pleased to be connected to such a fine organization.

Last year (2014),  Abby & Sara did their Practicum while attending University in Rwanda at Urukundo Village.  Here in 2015,  Anne, Jillian, Olivia, and Anna; four special young women are serving their Practicum at Urukundo Foundation.  

Olivia music and dance time.

Jillian and refreshment time.

Ann with Teacher David at play time with the kids.

Anne & Olivia bringing Cow Grass to the cows. Go-Ed kids are so welcome at Urukundo.

Meredith Comes Home.

This young woman is part of our Urukundo Family. When I told the kids, we would have a visitor and that visitor was Meredith. One of the boys spoke up and said, “Mom, she is not a visitor, she is family.” Meredith, that makes it official.  Meredith has been family since 2009. 

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