Rudi International Year in Review – 2015

Students line up before classrooms at a school in Idjwi - Eastern DR Congo

“Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverb 31:9
With God’s grace, you have helped us do just that this past year. Let’s walk back to 2015 and count our blessings together!

-Alain Rafiki, Co-Founder & President at Rudi International, non-profit

2015 was a very exciting year for Rudi International.  We are so thankful for your continued support as we strive to make a difference in Goma, DR Congo.  Please read on to catch a few of the highlights from 2015!  We certainly can not contain all of God’s goodness and blessing in one update. So, after reading these highlights, please feel free to check out our website, additional hyperlinks, and our Facebook page for a more in-depth look into our programs.

  • Encourage Mothers
  • Rudi Education
  • Rudi for Women and Girls Online

Please read the entire newsletter here and remember to subscribe to our mailing list so you are first in the know: Rudi International Year in Review – 2015

 

Goma Harbor – Field Trip Report

As part of the end of the year activities at Rudi International in December 2015, the children who are part of the Rudi Education program visited the famous Goma harbor on the shores of Lake Kivu in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Following is a report of this wonderful experience for the children. Our gratitude goes to all of you who supported the end of the year celebrations for these children.

This trip was an innovation since we have never done a trip of this caliber before. We were able to gather 55 of the kids enrolled in the Rudi Education program. Although not everyone was able to attend due to home duties or traveling for the holiday, we still feel it was a great turn out.

It took nearly 3 hours to take the students from Lac Vert to the harbor.  The Rudi International team worked diligently behind the scenes to complete the necessary administrative paperwork and line up the tour guide so it would be a fun learning experience for everyone in attendance. Full report with images available in PDF.

Working for a safer online environment for young people #SID2016

As part of the Rudi for Women and Girls Online – #R4WGO program, Rudi International, non-profit celebrates the Safer Internet Day with the rest of the world as over 100 countries celebrate this day to encourage the safe and responsible use of online technology.

Rudi International agrees with the theme for this year calls you to “Play your part for a better Internet,” where children and the rest of humanity is safe, dignified, respected, and the Lord God honored.

Below is a link from the ITU Blog that shares a SMART way of stay safe on the Internet:

S – Set your limits: beware of sharing your personal information.

M – Meeting online friends offline: take someone else with you that you know and trust to stay safe.

A – Accepting invitations/friendships: there is nothing wrong in declining invitations that you are not sure about.

R – React: if you see something that bothers you, talk to your parents or someone you trust.

T – Tell someone about your concerns: report inappropriate content and behavior to the host of the website or police.

Finally, the ITU also provides a wonderful PDF document that parents can use with their children for educating them and improving their safety both online and offline. Please find the PDF document directly on the ITU website.

Source: Working for a safer online environment for young people #SID2016

We Say Thank You!

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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.

Rudi-International-Christmas-Project-2015

Fun at the Rudi Christmas Event

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.

A group picture of the winners of the soccer game. The soccer game is played with a Misson Ball that has the gosepl written on it is Swahili. This ball was donated last year by our amazing supporters.

A group picture of the winners of the soccer game. The soccer game is played with a Misson Ball that has the gosepl written on it is Swahili. This ball was donated last year by our amazing supporters.

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.

A picture of Rudi International Volunteers and beneficiary children rejoicing together as they remember the birth of Christ and the meaning of giving of oneself to others.

Rudi International Volunteers and beneficiary children rejoicing together as they remember the birth of Christ and the meaning of giving of oneself to others.

 

Rudi Christmas Project 2015

Children celebrate the birth of Jesus with the volunteers at Rudi International

It is that time of the year again! You can be part of what God is doing in Eastern DRC as the populations of this war-torn region of Central Africa are making progress towards peace. Following is how and why you may give joy this year to the same people.

Each December, Rudi International hosts our biggest outreach event of the year which we call our Christmas Project.  This project includes workshops and a Christmas meal for the community that feeds over 500 people.  The Rudi International team also hosts lots of organized games and activities on Christmas day for a fun celebration to bring Christmas Joy to the community.

The main part of the actual event is providing a substantial meal to several in the community while taking the opportunity to deliver to them the actual reason of the celebration which is the birth of Christ Jesus, the Only One by whose name all flesh are saved. We also deliver gifts, such as food items and some other non-foods to the parents of the children in our Education Program.

Your donation will pour hope and love into a community in Eastern DR Congo and isn’t that the best Christmas gift we can give?

Please join in and give today. Matching funds up to $500 available for those who give before December 8th 2015.

Rudi partners with Linked Through Love Foundation to empower women

The ladies of Hope Center by Rudi International and Linked Through Love Foundation enjoy the opportunity they have to learn how to sew clothes.

We are excited to officially share this BIG news with you our friends, supporters and partners. The Lord God we are serving is working and is expanding our work, helping us to go beyond our own limitations as we serve those in need. We are grateful.

Our Encourage Mother’s program has grown big.

We have been praying, working, reaching out to our supporters on ways to empower women in Lac Vert with life skills, as a way for us to move to the next level. Since its start, we have been mostly dealing with our counseling work, providing a safe space for healing conversations. Over 40 women, many of them being the mothers of our sponsored students through Rudi Education, are attending weekly Bible-based counseling sessions.

Because at Rudi International we believe in a holistic approach to helping those in need, we are happy to tell you that a small portion of your sponsorship donation is allocated to these trauma-healing and related activities. When you sponsor a student through our education program, you are contributing to improving his or her family environment.

Through our partnership with Linked Through Love Foundation, a Canadian-based sister organization, we are able to move to a next step, which is a big one. A SEWING project has kicked off in Goma this June, at our new offices. Ten (10) out of the Encourage Mothers women have been selected to be trained in sewing skills for 10 months.

At Rudi Hope Center

At Rudi Hope Center

At the end of this program, these women will be able to start small sewing businesses and earn additional income that will lead to a more sustainable financial situation. We need them to be able to provide for the needs of their families. We want the students we are sponsoring for education to be able to have food, shelter and their basic needs be covered in order to perform well at school.

There is a common saying in the Democratic Republic of Congo: “When you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation”. It is true and we are working on this.

The rest of the group will keep with their weekly meetings. Another group of them will be chosen to undertake the same program as the second class.

Read full blog post from our partner’s website explaining this project and consider donating today to fund the next phases of this project:

Objectives:

The sewing project’s main objective is to provide these women with income generating activities appropriate to the skills being learned, making them self-sufficient. Phase 1-3 will focus on learning new sewing skills and working on sewing projects, including making school uniforms. This not only provides an avenue to learn and practice the skills, but provides new uniforms for the education program so that funds donated and allocated to buying school uniforms can be reassigned towards sponsoring more children or be used for the betterment of the Encourage Mothers – Renew Hope program. During the phase 4 practicum, women will focus on specific projects designed to be sold to the public to help generate income for the programs expenses. 

Thank you.

For Girls In ICT day, Rudi sponsored the Goma Web Activism Summit

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The workshops

For this year’s celebrations, Rudi International co-hosted the Goma Web Activism Summit (GWAS) in April 2015 as a way to celebrate and mark the Girls in ICT day. The event was mainly a series of trainings on basic ICT skills, social media presence and blogging skills.

The event targeted young people, online activists from the DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya as they took part into a 3 days event in Goma, eastern Congo. The event was held in Yole!Africa’s facilities, being part of the sponsors. We are happy to have partnered with Yole, a cultural center based in Goma to support the event.

About 20 participants in total, including about 8 young women took part and had a lot to learn, committing to share back with their communities. Each one of them had the opportunity to create their own blogs and start expressing themselves on subjects they want. They had the opportunity to learn how they can benefit from the numerous opportunities offered to them by the Internet, such as introduction to social media sites.

“The DRC is a big country where connectivity is still a problem, so many people started going online mainly through mobile phones as access to cyber cafes requires money. There are more young men than women that’s why for over 3 years now, Rudi International is targeting women, helping them understand they can build career in ICT”, said Arsene Tungali, Co-founder and Executive Director of Rudi International who was one of the trainers.

We have been organizing Girls In ICT day celebrations for the past 3 years now, Rudi being the only one organization bringing ICT debates to young people in eastern Congo.

The topics we covered in previous events were such as: online security tips, managing online presence on social media sites, blogging skills, and online activism as a way to create more internet and ICT literate new generations. We have participated in several Internet Governance meetings on a national, regional and international level and we are committed to supporting access to affordable Internet. You can partner with us!!

Site visit

11188190_797418300348078_3014914101695077504_nOn the last day of the workshop, part of the delegation paid a visit to our beneficiaries in Lac Vert as they wanted to see first-hand the work we are doing with the communities.

It was a Sunday, the kids wanted to meet those young people coming from other countries to hear their stories.

At the school, our friends from Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya had the opportunity to answer questions from the kids such as:

  • What languages do you speak?
  • What do you eat in your country?
  • How is the weather there?
  • Do you have motorbikes?
  • How are your schools look like?

These questions led to a good debate. These kinds of activities are part of what we call “afterschool activities” which is a way for us at Rudi to help our beneficiaries learn what’s going on outside of their sphere and country. We are happy that most of our supporters believe this is a good way to create a new generation of global citizens. Thank you for your continuous support. Know that your kind donations are not only covering school fees but serve beyond that.

You too can donate to support our afterschool activities as we tend to develop more and more exciting activities for our sponsored kids. You have the choice of donating on a monthly basis the amount of your choice; you also have the possibility to share with us for what purpose you want your donation to be used for.

Nous Avons Besoin de Votre Aide sur Terrain pour Christmas Project 2014

We need your help this Christmas in Goma!

Rudi International a besoin des jeunes bénévoles qui voudraient bien servir pour nos activités de Noël cette année.

Si vous pensez être disponible du Lundi 22 au Jeudi 25 décembre, veuillez nous le faire savoir sous forme de commentaire à ce message ainsi nous vous tiendrons au courant des modalités pratiques.

Aucune remunération ne sera offerte car c’est un travail benevole et communautaire pour le bien des enfants et des femmes.

L’équipe Rudi Education

Christmas Project 2014

Boys and girls from the Lac Vert community enjoyed a meal with Rudi International team thanks to your generous donation last year. Will you join us again this year?

It is finally here!

That time of the year when we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. At Rudi International, we want to do this with those who have little to no means of celebrating because they cannot afford a decent meal for Christmas or New Year or even clothing.

Thinking about a gift for Christmas? Please give a meal and the opportunity to learn a new marketable skill for a mother in war-torn Goma, a smile, or a full tummy to a kid in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. You can GIVE any or some of that at this link.

The Full Story

Christmas with Rudi International reaches beyond the ministry of the children in the education program.  Through this event each year the whole Lac Vert community is invited to gather, rejoice and to have fun, enjoying the holiday together.  The Christmas project was launched in 2012 as an outreach to the entire community.  That first year around 208 children were fed and over 300 attended the planned activities.

In 2013, with your support, the event reached even more and more people. Rudi International was able to involve the whole community, the celebrations taking two days! We gathered three different groups on Dec 24th and the big celebration with everyone happened on Dec 25th. Those events included a special art camp with the children enrolled in the education program and a training event for volunteers in the community who would help with the event on Christmas.  The 3rd group was focused on women, 27 mothers attended. The workshop was directed by Mama Jeannet, our volunteer, a great women who is directing the “Encourage Mothers” program.  They celebrated Christmas on their own, talking about their role as women to support their families. They spent time singing and dancing and were encouraged to forget a little bit about their problems and focus on Christ, the reason for the celebration. 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.

It was 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 really humbled each year to see God using Rudi’s team of volunteers to bring joy to the community which is comprised of people affected by war.

In 2014, with the growth of our education program increasing from 32 children to 70, (Praise God!) we have a big task ahead to raise funds for our 2014 Christmas Project.  Will you help us by making a donation of any amount to help feed the children of the community? Aprox. Cost: $1500

$5 – will help feed a child in the community and provide fun activities to attend on Christmas day.

Rudi International is also hoping to provide activities for the children and women involved in Rudi’s education and Encourage Mother’s program.  We have 70 students who will be attending the art camps.  We have about 40 women in the other program who will attend a workshop to learn how to make plastic bags which is a skill they can use as a trade.  During the workshops the Rudi team will also be feeding them a lunch of bread and drinks  Approx. Cost: $950

A $10 donation – A child gets to attend art camp and have lunch
A $10 donation – A women gets to learn a trade and have lunch

Holidays For the Kids In Lac Vert

The Children from Rudi Education say thank you!

The kids are back home for holiday.

It has been an incredible school year. We are blessed to have you partnering with us in this journey to bring some positive transformation in the Lac Vert area, in remote Goma, DRC. The kids are now waiting to have their final marks sent to them.

We will be happy to share some updates very soon. Just remember to register for our next newsletter which will be full of exciting news from our work on the ground and our friends.

What do we do during this time :

–          We reflect on the past school year while working on the next one which is starting in September,

–          We work on some updates that we will be sharing with you very soon (in the next newsletter),

–          We work on the Encourage Mothers and Rudi For Women and Girls Online programs.

What can you do during this time :

–          Watch this space as we will be putting some updates,

–          Stay connected to our main Facebook page facebook.com/rudiinternational and those of our specific programs : Rudi Education and Rudi For Women and Girls Online,

–          Share the word with your friends as we have started campaigning for our 2014 Back To School (Join the campaign #RudiBack2School14),

–          Start planning on sending back to school the child you sponsor or have your sponsored child in our education program,

–          Visit our volunteering section to learn how you can be part of our work. We would love to have you support us the way you can.

The Encourage Mothers program is still on, the mothers are keeping up with their weekly conversations.

Visit our Donations section.

Thank you.