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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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Congratulations Diescor!!

When I thought it could not get better. IT DID!

On the very day of our celebration Diescor (The taller of the boys in this picture) received notification of his acceptance into GITWE HOSPITAL SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.   He will start this journey in his life in September.

Hoping some of our doctor friends and others will come on board encouraging this special young man and to see him through his years building his future and the future of Urukundo.

John Paul and I are so very proud to make this announcement.


May 2016 Newsletter

The month of May has been a month of disasters and good events in Muhanga town and Urukundo village. In a land where water is so critical you would not expect too much rain to be a problem. Rain which is so precious here is a blessing when it comes slowly but with the force of the water from the tops of the mountains with no channel to divert the water whole villages are destroyed. Praise God Urukundo is safe. Retaining walls you helped us build have made a difference for us. Small homes have no retaining walls so are at the mercy of the weather.

Two weeks after flood and mud slides no houses in views.

Hard to believe.

Oswald’s home is in direct line for the next heavy rain. His walls are already broken and the foundation is weak. The government has declared the area of his home not safe. The homeowners must move out. Many neighbors have already gone.

Many of his neighbors have lost their homes. His is really too dangerous to live in but his family has no place to go. To know your house will be washed away with mud and water the next rainstorm is frightening. There is no warning. The storm and water come from the top of the mountain rushing down destroying every thing in it path.

In our area alone 9 people died and 73 homes were totally destroyed along with everything in the home. Families are in need. Urukundo received an appeal from the District to help care for the needs of these families.

Food and clothing are needed. Helping our neighbors is critical.

We responded as best we could.

Our donation:

  • A bin of adult cloths and blankets
  • A bin of children’s cloths
  • 3 Jerry cans of cooking OIL
  • Vegetables will be added when collection truck comes to pick up

Because you care we can share. Thank you.

Mama and Baby

What an amazing ministry the Mama and Baby program has become. We never know what direction the Lord may take us until it happens. Not only are we able to help mamas and babies but also we are reaching the siblings of families who are in need in our community after mama has given birth.

Mamas are as concerned for the other children at home as they are for themselves and the newborn. I thank God for the supply of clothing coming to Urukundo because you care. We are able to care for our own and do an outreach.

It is not possible to put pictures of all the babies and Mamas in the newsletter. We will keep you updated as to the number of Mamas we care for each month.  This little one is number 15 for the month of May.


Winning School team and coach John Paul. It is great when our own can come back as teachers. JP has been with us since 2008. First as part of our family and then big brother to the younger kids and now as our Physical Education teacher at Urukundo Learning Center. We are proud of him and his accomplishments.


Old ceiling in the kitchen

Smoke and poor ventilation in the kitchen makes the ceiling black and slowly destroys the panels. A gift of panels from Aziza Life and our good friend Tom McGregor enabled us to remove the old ceiling and replace it. Now our challenge is to find an exhaust fan in Kigali city, build a hood for over the cooking area and have ventilation that removes the smoke. It will be beneficial not only for the building it’s self but for the workers in our kitchen. Smoke is dangerous. We need a safer environment for our workers.

Ceiling looking good.

Bill, our visitor & Benji, our maintenance person are collaborating to construct a hood to channel the smoke out a ventilator hole.

Special Gifts from Special Children

Good friends, Natalie and Nikolas Aucoin gave up birthday gifts to give the Urukundo Kids a very special treat.

Yogurt is a favorite and having a yogurt party in mama’s house was the best gift ever.


This party was a surprise and enjoyed by all the children.

Sewing Center

The sewing center received a suitcase full of much needed materials. We are so grateful for these donations. The team from Waverly Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pa, USA were kind enough to bring 8 suitcases with needed supplies to Urukundo village. In these suitcases were School supplies, Sewing supplies, New born items and special dresses for little girls. How blessed we are. Thank you everyone who helped Mama Arlene, Carol and the team from Pittsburgh collect and deliver all to Urukundo in Rwanda.

Amy Dove had the honor of delivering the gifts to the sewing Center

To show her appreciation for the delivery Teresa the manager and head teacher at the Sewing Center gave Amy a lesson on the sweater knitting machine.

Amy assures us it is not as easy as it looks.

Great looking, hard working team.


The 10 person team from Waverly Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh were such a welcome team. All but one (Bill) worked at the school, Bill worked with Benjiman, our handy man in painting, repair, and construction. Bob the team leader and Ellen set up the ICDL computer lab which will have a big impact on the future of our school and the community. Virginia, Amy, Ellen, Tawna unpacked suitcases and sorted clothes for better accessibility.  Our store looks so organized. Thank you ladies.

Jim, John & Eleanor were into sports particularly baseball.

Hey, they are from Pittsburgh and the Pirates are Mama’s favorite team! Greatest sport ever especially when you know Mama is from Williamsport, PA THE HOME OF LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL.

Dr. Mary helped out with baseball, visited the local birthing place and spent precious time with Diescor our aspiring Doctor in the medical clinic. What encouragement she gave this young man in his career choice.


Anitha competing with many others in the local running competition in Muhanga District came in #1 and was given a slot to run in the International Marathon in Kigali City. With 100 others running Anitha came in #6. Great job Anitha.  Our Urukundo family is proud of you.

You are invited

15 days left to meet the challenge.

In case, you meant to accept and help match the $10,000 donation TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

Let’s make it a true match for completing the construction on the P5 and P6 classrooms.

Thank you to all who have met the challenge with a gift to help us get the full $10,000.



April 2016 Newsletter

April first found me, Mama Arlene, still in America. The time to return to Rwanda was near. I have to admit I was very homesick for the kids and Urukundo. I love my family in America and would like to be both places at the same time. With technology advancing at such a fast pace one day it will happen. “Beam me up Scotty” Those of you who know that quote it is now only a hope. In time it will be a HOPE MADE REAL.

While in the US, I was blessed with special visits with two of my younger sisters.

Special visitors were Lilliane and her family in America.

Welcome home! 

Flowers welcomed me home!

The University kids and graduates meet me at the airport. It was a wonderful surprise. These beautiful flowers were their gift to me along with hugs and kisses.

The small bouquet were from the little kids.

Home with the Kids

What joy we shared.

Jeanne our TEACHER and long term volunteer was on hand with a big smile and a hug.

Secondary kids were home. Abias gives mom a hug.

Signs were on bushes and walls in my kitchen. Large posters with messages from the kids were in the living and play area. It is great that our kids are older and can write to see the artwork involved.

Sports on the increase

Our kids are getting tall and the tall ones want basketball and they should have it. A gift of 4 basketballs and nets for the hoops were sent home with me for the kids. We now have happy children.

Luki with big brother Bosco teaching technique.

Great shot.  Two of the basketballs will go to the Urukundo Learning Center.  Now the school can have a basketball & a Soccer team ready for competition.

Urukundo Home has its very own Foote Ball (Soccer) teams. Luki’s team and Claude’s team.  For Mummy’s home coming they had a match. It was exciting.   Mummy presented the winning team with a trophy.

The winning team was team Captain Luki, goalie Kaboss, Agide, Nelly, Kenila, Kenny, and Claudine.

Talk about exciting sports: The teachers challenged the Urukundo Staff to a match. Urukundo Staff won. Score was 4-2 Urukundo staff.

Teachers in green stripes – Urukundo in orange and red shirts.

Cultural Center

Music was a high point this month. Our school children were invited to play in a concert in Kigali City. It was a first and I am sure not the last. In spite of heavy rain, they traveled to Kigali and were well received by the audience.

22 of our children participated in a concert in Kigali City

Orchestra on stage

We are so very proud of our Music Program.

Special Gift

Sarah’s sponsor KEENE with the help of her friend Dawn and JUDD VIOLINS in Williamsport, PA presented Sarah with her very own Violin. Sarah wants to follow her sponsor Keene and become a concert violinist. GO FOR IT SARAH.

Top Students

Hats off to Benita and Johnny.
They both were number one in their class for the first quarter.



Looking Ahead

We expect teams coming to help Urukundo with our many programs. In the past, we have had to hire a van to pick up passengers and luggage. Time has come to remedy that condition.

Benj and Jean Marie came up with the perfect solution. It is a carrier built by them with help from others. Now with our big car pulling the carrier, we are self-sufficient. Congratulations Benj and Jean Marie!

Carrier with Hitch


We are sad to see Jeanne go. She has been a blessing to our kids, the school and especially Mama.  Come back soon Jeanne.

Olive says bye. Come back soon.

Head teacher, Theogin took time out of school to let Jeanne know how important her time was at the school working with the teachers. Jeanne chose to leave before the school day ends. Too emotional I know; parting from the kids is hard.

Challenge Set Forth


To those who love Urukundo kids and the school project Help complete our Primary School. With your help we will have all 6 grades built and ready for students in this year 2016. Accept the challenge and help make it happen.


Match and send your donation today to
Hope Made Real
PO Box 3222
Williamsport, PA 17701

New stones added to PATH TO LEARNING $1000 or more donation to $10000 Challenge.

Any size donation is acceptable. Help us get the full matched $20,000


Our 10 year celebration is just around the corner. Come to help celebrate if you can. If you can’t come keep us in prayer.

What We can Do

You make this possible when you share gifts of clothing. Six month old twins and mama in need of what we have to share. These babies have 2 brothers at home. One 3 years and one 7 years. A beautiful family in need. It is gratifying when we can help.

How mama carries twins.

Boy Elyse & Belise Girl


Path to Learning

New stones on the Path to Learning.


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.


March 2016 Newsletter

Hope Made Real Growth and Reflections by Carol Falke

Having been to Rwanda each year for the past 6 years, I wanted to share my reflections about all the changes and accomplishments from last March to my visit this March.

Before going I knew Arlene had many new things in the works, construction of three classrooms, an addition to the dining hall, new sewing students, a librarian, a teacher resource room, daycare, and outreach to new moms in the community. It’s one thing to read about it but another to actually see everything in action. To see the many hands working together to serve this ministry.

Urukundo Children’s Home

The Children’s Home welcomed two girls this year, Chantel 15 and Levine 9.  Both girls were quiet when we arrived but by the time we left there were smiles and hugs all around. Urukundo provides a safe, loving home sharing the blessings of being a family.

Day Care

Our littlest ones have new friends to play with as our daycare is up and running. Children of teachers and staff come as well as a new resident to Rwanda…a mom and her two boys from England. What fun the mamas and children have as they share across cultures.

Urukundo School

The school is growing and having a huge impact on families in the community.  One father, a judge, moved his 3 children from a private school after visiting our school. His main reasons were the excellent English classes, creative teaching, a LIBRARY, music, cultural opportunities and lunch each day. Other parents shared a similar affinity for the school.


The library has been growing and now has a full-time librarian, Irene. He provides resources for the teachers and storytelling for the children. As we add older grades, research will be a part of their education. Creating a place where kids love to read and learn is something few schools in Rwanda offer. Plans are being made for an addition allowing for study space.

Teacher Resource Room

With the hiring of more teachers we needed a quiet welcoming place for them to plan, grade and work on curriculum. One of the classrooms, not yet needed, was turned into a teacher resource room. Each teacher has a small desk, while shelves are organized with student school supplies, teacher’s supplies and art materials. This is a great addition to the school.


Cultural Education

Learning about Rwandan traditions and culture has been essential to the curriculum. Music includes singing, traditional dance and even lessons on violin and other instruments. To spark our students’ curiosity a student orchestra from Kigali came and performed outside. Several of our students played their violins, for the orchestra, which provided practice for an upcoming competition.

Music instructors come weekly. While I was there several 4th graders were selected to compete in Rwanda dancing and performance against 7 other school groups.  Urukundo came in 1st!!!  Another competition was a poetry reading. Harmony, a 4th grader, presented a poem, Dusakaze Umucow Amahoro, “Spread a Culture of Peace” and came in 1st. Students are learning, excelling and becoming leaders.


Sports is also important especially football, soccer. Our girls team and boys team played another local school and won! How exciting it was as the entire school of over 400 were cheering on their teams to a win.

Lunch Program

A new benefit for our students is the lunch program. Currently 110 students pay 45 cents for a nutritious lunch, which could be their most important meal of the day.  To accommodate all the children, teachers and visitors an addition was made to the dining room.  This is community.

Sewing Center

Last year 6 students graduated from the training program. In January eleven students, 14 to 30 years old began the program. They will gain skills to help them support themselves now and their families in the future. Many shared, “It gives me value”.  Besides Theresa and Desire, a third instructor, Redemption was added to teach and sew. Solange was hired to make school sweaters on the new knitting machine.  Our reputation is spreading leading to special orders for school uniforms, clothing and traditional dress.

Community Outreach to Vulnerable New Moms

This year teams are bringing knit layette items as well as many baby clothes. But….what is new is having the opportunity to meet with new moms in desperate need of things for their babies. We packed diapers, baby hats, washcloths, blankets and onesies and took them to a clinic and a hospital. The need is great so the outreach will continue.

Thank you to everyone that has made a monetary donation, a donation of items for the children and school, for all your prayers and for all your blessings. Urukundo would not be what it is today without the many people that love and pray for this ministry. People that share in the joys and tough times. And most of all those whose hearts are with Mama Arlene every day. Through Christ all things are possible!!!!

~Carol Falke


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.


February 2016 Newsletter

Solange was inducted into the National Honor Society in the USA!

We are so proud of our sister Solange.


Last family game before school starts.  Honoring their country’s flag before Foote Ball game starts.

My favorite Soccer team, Soso made the team complete. He is little but he is mighty.


In a huddle


They are very serious players. It is incredible to watch these beginners play Foote ball and see how the older kids take time and teach their younger brothers and yes, sisters the game and the rules. I am impressed.

P3 and P4 Readers

This is a special month for our P3 and P4 readers. They have worked hard to be able to read. Each earned an English language bible for their hard work and dedication to reading English. They each read a complete scripture as the final challenge. Good work P4 kids.

Passing to P4 (grade 4) is a big event at Urukundo. Primary 4 is a step to higher education. It is another step toward reaching our goals. Learning English and being able to read it is the test to prove a goal has been reached.

After reading a randomly chosen scripture from the bible successfully these children were awarded their very own English language bible.

Claude, Luki, Nelly, Aline, Chantel, Emmanuel

Getting all the kids together at one time to take a picture is not an easy task as you will see all P4 kids are not together.

Congratulations to all our readers. We are so proud of you.

Chantel our new teen and her bible P4


 4 of P4 students; Aline, Nelly, Luki, Claude. 

Emmanuel P4 achiever

Davin & Kenny & their bibles P3 students

Two advanced readers from P3 competed and also won their bible. Congratulation to all P4 students and a special congratulations to Kenny and David our P3 qualifying students.

New Sweaters

Many thanks to the lovely lady who made them for our kids. They are cuddle warm on a cool morning.

The small & the big. Sweaters are loved

Johnny, David and Prince. The bigger ones.

Claudine working a puzzle. New hat and sweater. We are so blessed with her gift of vision. Thanks to Dr. Petre and her sponsor Brittany.

Some sweaters are a challenge especially buttons.  Janette gets help from big brother Soso.

Soil Erosion and a Possible Cure 

Yes, soil erosion is a problem in Urukundo Village and planting trees is the suggested cure.  We are making something important happen.  Thanks to a donor we are planting trees to hold the soil in place and making fruit available for our kids. Double cure and a blessing.

The trees to be planted are Mango, Lemon & Orange. Hoping this works.

We will plant them on the farm to also provide some shade for the cows and calves.

Thinking ahead.

Brushing Teeth

A big important event after each meal is brushing teeth. Thank you everyone who keeps us supplied with Brushes and paste. It is interesting to know that here.

Soso and Isaah do the deed out at the water tank after lunch.


All toothbrushes and toothpaste are called Colgate.

All razors are called Gilette

All pens are called Bic.

All sanitary pads are Kotex

All Peanut butter is Jiffy

All disposable diapers are Pampers

All vitamins are Disney or Flintstone

Sorry no matter the brand name the first that came holds the name.

Making Use of Our Available Materials

In trucking and handling bricks get broken, they are not thrown away.

This is how we use broken bricks.  Repairing walk way from kitchen to boys house. Firm foundation. Cement will be poured over the bricks to make the path more stable.

Nothing is wasted.


First day of school

FEBRUARY 2, 2016

School year 2016 starts for Urukundo Kids


Mama leads the parade with Jacob, Edison & Benita

Our 3 year olds did very well with no crying. School a new adventure.

School is very important to the children in our home and for children in the community

We need help to finish building our primary school. Primary is from first grade to Grade 6. We have been blessed by you and we have completed Grades 1 through Grade 4 with one room for Grade 5. In process is one room to finish Grade 5 and 2 rooms for Grade 6.  Our contractor is building the foundation on faith with no money up front. His hope is that Urukundo will pay for the construction in time. I need help to pay him for his work.  Can you help?

What is needed:

  • Stone:  $70 buys a truck load
  • Sand:  $65 buys a truck load
  • Cement:  $20 buys 100 lbs.
  • Lime to mix with cement:  $10 buys 100 lbs.
  • Bricks: $200 buys 2500 BRICKS
  • Sheets for roof:  $30 buys one sheet.
  • Gutter:  $10 for 2 meters

Development continues You are seeing Faith In action. 

Finished it will look like this.

This is Primary (grade) 4 and one room for Primary (Grade) 5 students.

We are thankful to all who contributed to make this happen for year 2016.



Protecting our farm animals is a matter of building fences that keep the animals in and intruders out.  Bricks are better than wire. Wire can be cut bricks can not.

Special Visitors 

African International Club (AIC) has been a blessing to Urukundo Home & Learning Center.  Each year, they have supplied us with funding to buy the furniture needed in the classrooms. So far they have furnished Desks and Chairs for all Primary class rooms. We are delighted to welcome them for a visit this month to see their gift in action. They are helping to make a difference for children in Binunga Village and all Muhanga District.

Stone on Path

A new stone has been added to our path to Learning to honor a beloved mother gone to her reward.


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.

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