Greetings! It’s been an amazing and moving last month for Hope Shines and me personally! We completed another successful camp (our 9th one in Rwanda!) and my 15 month old son got to experience his first! What an experience our family had watching the Hope Shines kids and staff interact with Mack! Camp was a great opportunity to see the progress of the children since my visit last year. WOW, what a difference a year makes. I was taken back by the respectful greeting I received when I walked into the classroom during one of their after-school lessons before camp…”Greetings father, how are you? We are well. Thank you for visiting us today”. That was shocking and really showed me that their lessons in ESL are paying off. I was proud of them. Overall the behavior of the children was day and night. I saw new confidence and happier faces than the ones we saw last year. I could tell our after-school program is doing some amazing things in these children’s lives. Proud.
In addition to the great camp with a really good group of volunteers, I was able to visit some of the families in their homes. I was taken back by their hospitality even though they have so little. The conditions they live in are none I’ve seen before. I was told by every family how appreciative they were of Hope Shines because their children are changing for the better. Little do they know that Hope Shines is also changing for the better because of them and their children! Building the relationships with families is a big priority for us because we don’t just focus on giving things to those in need, but we are on a mission to develop youth and empower them to become the future leaders of Rwanda. We can’t do that without the families. At the end of the day, they are HUGE influences in the lives of the kids and together we can make this a success and give a kid a chance at opportunity and life success!
Thank you to all the supporters. I hope and ask that you all will continue to invest in the futures of these kids. We need that support financially to continue to help them grow. I’ve seen the poverty, I’ve seen the struggle, and I know now more than ever before that we can’t let these little ones go it alone. They need us as much as we need them.