Thanks to the generosity of visitors and friends of Imbabazi Orphanage, we have been able to accomplish so much over the past year – 7 children are currently enrolled in university, our computer technology center has been upgraded and all of our children have food, clothes, education, and a safe place to call home, just to name a few. The children at Imbabazi are extremely fortunate to have such amazing resources and opportunities in their lives, and we strive to ensure that these resources reach the surrounding community as well.
We have several initiatives to benefit the community and plan to expand these significantly over the next two years. For example, we currently employ and provide livelihoods for nearly 30 people from the local community. As we continue to develop our tourism project as well as several other potential income-generating activities at the orphanage, we hope this number will grow to include local traditional dancers, handicraft artisans, cultivators, etc. We also provide all staff members with weekly English classes as well as “goodie bags” several times a year which include clothes, toys and household items that our children have outgrown or of which we have a surplus.
In addition to our own staff, we also host weekly English classes for 15-20 staff members at the local
government office. Because the official language of Rwanda was recently changed from French to English, it is a good opportunity for us to provide a valuable service to leaders and officials in our district. We hope to expand such classes to include English, computer and music lessons for all members of the community, with a special emphasis on young people and students. We currently assist students through our alliance with neighboring Kanyundo Primary School – last year we partnered with Otterbein College in Ohio to donate brand new textbooks, and this week we donated several boxes of reading books to start a small English-language library in the school office. We will continue adding to this library as we receive more books, and hope it will nurture a love of reading among young people in the area.
Finally, the children of Imbabazi participate in several community service programs to help the wider community. For example, our girls crochet hats during their free time which are donated to the local health clinic and other orphanages in the area. To date, we have donated nearly 500 hats! We also use donated pillowcases to make dresses for girls and women in need.
These are just some of the ways in which Imbabazi shares the love, and we hope to do even more – stay tuned! Again, a big THANK YOU to all of our supporters without whom these initiatives would never be possible.
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