We did it! And Yeah, we did it!
Since 2012, Christmas with Rudi International has been a great opportunity for the children and the whole Lac Vert community to gather, rejoice and to have fun, enjoying the time together. We are really humbled to see God using us to bring some joy to this community which is comprise of people affected by war in the region. Last year, we had a great celebration with over 300 kids. See details!
In 2013, with your support, we have been able to reach even more and more people. We were able to involve the whole community, the celebrations taking two days! We gathered three separated groups on Dec 24th and the big celebration with everyone on Dec 25th. It was actually a special and unique opportunity in the area where parents are not able to offer anything on this special day for their kids. We are thankful to you for allowing us to bring this in the community.
The day before Christmas
On December 24th, we were able to organize an art workshop, focused on the 32 kids enrolled in our education program. This workshop was led by our youngest and new volunteer Daniel and it was a great opportunity for the kids to open up their minds to develop their artistic side. Both boys and girls were admitted in this workshop. A cocktail was served at the end.
“We are drawing the Holy Family, representing the little Jesus, Marie his mother and Joseph his daddy. Daniel explained us that story and I can now explain to others how things went the day Jesus was born in Bethlehem without even referring to the Bible”, commented Marko (13 years old), one of our sponsored kids.
The second group, in a separate classroom, was formed by 20 youth (aged 15 to 26 years old, young men and women). All of them were from the community, some have been to school, and others haven’t got the chance to be at school. This workshop was led by our own Arsene Tungali and he talked about their role as young people in the development of their community. The discussions were really interesting and good resolutions came out. They all agreed to take active part in activities aiming to help the Lac Vert community go forward. A cocktail was served at the end.
The 3rd group was focused on women, 27 mothers attended. The workshop was directed by Mama Jeanet, our volunteer, a great women who is directing the “Encourage Mothers” program, our new program focused on the mothers in the community. They celebrated Christmas on their own, talking about their role as women to support their families, building strong families. They could sing, dance and forget a little bit their problems, focus on Christ whose birth date was celebrated.
At the end, the youths and women received a small package (rice, soap, beans, kitchen oil, etc), to make sure they celebrate Christmas on the next day while we will be feasting with the kids on the following day.
See more photos at http://www.facebook.com/rudiinternational
Friends, know that we couldn’t do this without your support. Your contributions and support did work perfectly and we are really thankful to have you with us. We are working on making the change one step at a time. With you, we are building a strong, motivated community as we are developing specific programs that touch every generation: from working initially with the kids, young adult (first in Goma but now in the Lac Vert community as well) and women.
Do not hesitate to be part of this, just use our Online Donations page.
The Christmas day, the big and open celebration
December 25th was the D-day and we were excited to see it happen. Our volunteers were ready and have been working on it the whole week before, making sure we have everything in place (football materials, bottle of water for different activities, bananas and the kitchen for food). Specifically for this day, we were happy to have new volunteers joining us, supporting us on the ground. And we were really happy to have the 20 young adults who attended the workshop with Arsene to be willing to serve alongside with those coming from Goma. Their commitment confirmed to us that our work is fully supported by the community and the young adults did receive very well the message.
On that day, so much exciting activities were organized. The kids were already present at the school compound waiting for the team coming from Goma (10 kms away). The football teams that were selected to play were already there waiting for the new football that we had to bring for them before the match can start. Three local teams played and we had one winner who received a gift from Arsene Tungali.
Other activities followed, conducted by our volunteers (Serge and Blaise leading the team) and the Santa we brought from Goma to entertain the people at Lac Vert. The celebrations took place from 10am to 5pm and at the end, we served a public meal to over 300 kids who attended.
Blaise Ndola, one of our core volunteers noticed: “I think this year, the kids were much motivated because I saw that some of them could even remember what we did last year. Throughout the various activities, I was glad to see some of them remember the specific activities we had last year after Arsene asked the question and gave a gift to everyone who had a correct answer. This shows me that they really care and enjoy the time they pass with the Rudi team.”
The celebration was a huge success and one of the mothers (note that some mothers were curious and came to see how their kids were enjoying and having fun) could comment with tears of joy on her face that she couldn’t hide:
“I was there and could notice how the kids were on the line waiting to be served. After being served, I watched my two kids eating a full plate of rice, beans, potatoes and a cup of juice that were given to each one of them. I couldn’t have such meal to give them at home but thanks to Rudi, they celebrated Christmas with much joy. May God bless you and your work.”
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