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Give $10 Now to Help Sarah's Rwandan Friends
$1,125 raised
102% of $1.1k goal
13 contributors
4 Years running
Two Rwandan children of a friend of mine, Vestine Mukayiranga, need our help. They are getting SO close to finishing secondary school and have their eyes set on University. They are still quite poor. We need an immediate $650 to cover their school fees...
Two Rwandan children of a friend of mine, Vestine Mukayiranga, need our help. They are getting SO close to finishing secondary school and have their eyes set on University. They are still quite poor. We need an immediate $650 to cover their school fees for the last term of this year (they must pay in August), $400 for three months of rent to help Vestine transition from Kenya to live near her children in Rwanda, and $50 to send all of this money via Western Union to my trusted pastor friend and longtime advocate for Vestine, Steven Turikunkiko.

Let me put it this way: I HAVE 647 FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK. IF ONLY 110 OF US GAVE $10, WE WOULD MEET THE GOAL OF $1100 NEEDED BY AUGUST TO ENSURE BRIGHT FUTURES FOR THESE BRIGHT CHILDREN (THAT FEEL LIKE MY CHILDREN TO SOME DEGREE BY NOW ;)).

THE MONEY IS GOING TO MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT BUT FROM THERE I WILL DONATE IT ALL, AS I HAVE IN THE PAST, THROUGH WESTERN UNION DIRECTLY TO PASTOR STEVEN TURIKUNKIKO IN KIGALI, VESTINE'S INFORMAL ADVOCATE ESSENTIALLY IN CHARGE OF ALL OF THE CHILDREN'S SCHOOL AFFAIRS.

BACKSTORY IS THE BEST STORY:

Some of you know this story. It's been an ongoing friendship for the past four years. Since a fateful day in June of 2009 when I met the Rwandan widow Vestine in Kigali, Rwanda, on a short trip with a friend, I have been helping to raise funds for her children to get through high school. Now Uwase Karinne (the elder sister) and Ishimwe Aubin (the boy) are nearing the end of their time in secondary school and have their eyes firmly set on University, as they should. Schooling is extremely expensive for post-elementary age students in Rwanda, and yet to live any sort of promising lives, and to be able to affect change around the world (which many bright-headed and -hearted Rwandan children have incredible potential to do), they need to at least get an opening degree at University.

Karinne and Aubin are extremely smart and dedicated students who, over the years, have struggled to remain in school only because of funds. They are faithful Christ-followers, and have learned about real faith as most of us never will through extreme poverty and harsh life experience. Karinne aspires to be a nurse, and Aubin hopes to become a fine artist (which I wish for all the world he is able to do! ;)).

The children's mother Vestine, a widow from Rwanda's 1994 genocide and rape victim, has struggled with incredible shame and post-traumatic stress, and yet her eyes are never on anything but the futures of her children.

In January of 2012, the most amazing thing happened: I had put out a plea for $1300 to help Vestine start a self-sustaining restaurant business, and I was not at all sure we could reach that goal. . . . And yet in only about one month, the unthinkable happened! God blessed us with that amount, and Vestine started that business, which she had some background in. Unfortunately, the venue she had found for it was in Kenya, so this entire time she's been separated from her children, even as she continues to pray for and try to support them in some way. Mostly the business just brought food to their own stomachs. But at least it brought them hope and sustenance, even if it wasn't as successful as she had hoped.

Somehow, these past years we have also kept the kids in school, but every term, it seems a miracle to come up with the money! It is now $325 per child per term, and there are three terms in one year. Can you do that math? That's right, it is nearly $2000 per year to send these kids to high school, believe it or not.



My friend Steven Turikunkiko, a pastor who leads an incredible ministry to widows and orphans and has his own family of over fourteen children with his wife Providence, has been looking out for the welfare of Vestine and her children all these years. Steven is the one who introduced us. He put Karinne and Aubin in separate boarding schools to make sure that if there was a problem at one school, it would not affect the other, knowing the family really struggles to pay the fees. Read more about Steven at http://www.africanroad.org/about-us/stevens-story/.

Now Karinne is only one term away from finishing and Aubin has a year more after this one, but they are already asking with earnestness and business-like persistence how they can get help to attend University. They are both excelling in their studies.

I am currently in the process of creating a website, www.oilofawidow.wordpress.com, where I can put everything related to Vestine and getting her feet off the ground to ensure secure and bright futures for her children. My goal then will be to find EIGHT very solid (consistent and long-term) SPONSORS who will give monthly, starting at $25, and at that point all donations will be given through African Road (www.africanroad.org), which will allow many things: tax-deductions for sponsors, regular updates on the children's progress in school for each sponsor, and regular, timely payments to pay for the children's school fees.

I am very excited about the future for these kids as we look to find regular sponsors. . . . but it seems that nothing I do for this cause is fast enough. I am only one person, living a busy life myself at that. . . . And now the fees are upon us again. . . Will you help us fund this extremely worthy cause? I know there are a lot of needs out there, but these are people I genuinely know. I have given money to Steven many times through Western Union, and 100% of it always goes to Vestine for the children's school fees or her business. He has actually given out of his own resources (well, he doesn't have any either, but he once had to borrow) in order to keep these kids going. For some reason, a lot of people believe in these kids and see a lot of potential. Steven is their greatest advocate.

Please consider giving to this small one-time plea. Anything you can afford is wonderful. If we raise the $1100 by August 31st, I will be OVER THE MOON in gratitude to you and praising God again from a true place of awe. And yet I won't be too "surprised." Because it's all been in His hands the whole time ;).

Visit www.oilofawidow.wordpress.com from August onwards to see the progress of this cause (or before, but it will be majorly under construction!!)
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