Christmas Project 2015 = Amazing Success!
Thank you to each and everyone who donated, shared, and prayed for this event. Over and over again, you overwhelmed us with your support and kindness. A special thanks to Mrs. H.G. who joined the Rudi team to help head up this project. We can not thank you enough for all the time you spent behind the scenes making this campaign a success. Thank you to all our friends who joined in on our social media #UNselfie campaign through the community at Divine Moments. You rallied, shared and gave. Thank you for putting love in action.
This year we also had several generous friends who provided matching donations at various times. We can not thank you enough for rallying with us in this way and making our 2015 Christmas Project a success.
We have captured some highlights on video for you: This video shows some of the best moments of our 2015 Christmas celebration as it happened in Goma, Eastern Congo. For the past 4 years, we have been celebrating Christmas as part of our Rudi Education program, gathering 400+ community members, including our 70+ sponsored students.
Art classes for the children enrolled in Rudi Education
This year, we partnered again with BADEN Development, a youth-led organization specialized in arts, handcrafts etc. They spent two days with the kids working on jewelry, earrings, bracelets, and postcards using local materials. It was yet another opportunity for the kids to be involved in these kinds of exercises such as drawing on boards and on papers, and different types of arts. Every day from 8am to 2pm, they worked on various projects. At the end of the day, before going back home, the children in attendance were provided a refreshment.
The BADEN team was overseen by our Rudi volunteers who spent their time supporting the kids working on various projects. This was a great opportunity for the kids to develop their art senses, abilities and curiosity. These activities help the children imagine, brainstorm, create and challenge their senses. It helps them to get out of their comfort zone and produce something new. At the end the workshop they were all excited at their accomplishment. All of the produced materials/crafts are being kept at our office. We hope to be able to sell them to people who are interested in art.
Encourage Mothers’ Workshop
Through our Encourage Mothers’ program, we gathered some of the mothers of our sponsored kids. They gathered together to not only celebrate Christmas but also to participate in a workshop to learn new culinary skills. Malnutrition is one of the issues and reasons leading to deaths of children in the community.
The mothers spent three days learning and practicing innovative ways of learning how to use inexpensive food items to make meals containing nutrients that their children need.
“You don’t need to be rich or to have a lot of money in order to provide good food to your kids. You only need to know how you can use the same dishes you are eating everyday to produce healthy meals for your family and kids”, said Jeanet, our program coordinator for Encourage Mothers.
Christmas Day Community Celebration
Early in the morning, the children and other community members attended their local churches. After they returned from church they joined us at the school where the Christmas celebration has taken place for the past four years. Rudi volunteers arrived early Christmas morning and began preparations for the event. By 10 am, almost everyone had arrived at the school to begin the celebration.
Activities included a soccer tournament for the boys, dances for the girls and different games that included all the children. These activities started around 10 am and wrapped up around 3 pm. At around 3pm the team started to serve food to everyone who was in attendance. We reach nearly 400 people in this community event every year. Christmas Project 2015 was another great success and was an amazing celebration for the whole Lac Vert community.
This community expressed many times their gratefulness for Rudi International continuing to spend Christmas with them year after year. We could not put on this event without our amazing in-country team of volunteers. Over 10 people came from Goma city and spent the day with us. They joined our other Rudi volunteers in helping take care of the children and brought new exciting activities to make the day a memorable experience.
“For the past 4 years, I am no longer celebrating Christmas with my own family or my church community but spending with the people that need it the most, the people who have no other opportunity to celebrate. Living in the city, we have so many opportunities. I am humbled and thankful to God who is allowing me to be part of Rudi International’s work with communities in need”, commented, John one of our volunteers.
Thank you to each and everyone of our volunteers who joined us this Christmas to celebrate with joy and hope the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the reason we do what we do. If you would like to see more pictures besides the ones included in this newsletter please go here: Christmas Project 2015 Pictures.