Annual Report, Budget and Action Plan

Like many of us, YEGO Rwanda has had to pivot to adapt to living in a global pandemic. During a lockdown, many people in Rwanda couldn’t get out to make a living and were in urgent need of items like food, soap and sanitary supplies. Funds that would have normally been spent on programs like Computer-Assisted Learning, Dance or Sewing, were redirected to help meet these needs.

To read how YEGO has coped with this extraordinary year, see:

Posted in Uncategorized

COVID Update #2

After almost three months of lockdown in Rwanda, the government started slowly opening up some activities such as bus travel, and public and private business. In reopening businesses, the government was giving a breathing space for the national economy and day-to-day opportunities for the people in Rwanda. But this was being done with only limited staff to avoid the quick spreading of the virus.

By mid-August the numbers of COVID-19 cases increased by the hundreds and was regarded as a peak. A lockdown was issued in some provinces such as the western and north west provinces of Rusizi and Rubavu. People in Kigali weren’t allowed to go to these provinces and the isolated provinces weren’t allowed to enter Kigali. In fact, some areas of Kigali where COVID-19 was found were also locked down until the spread of the virus had disappeared. This took about two months.

Currently, the lockdown in some parts of Kigali and in the provinces has been terminated because of the significant decrease of COVID-19 in these areas. As cases are rotating between one and 35 nationally, almost everything is reopening but with the focus on preventative measures such as hand sanitizing or washing and using face masks.

About a week ago I talked with some of the children who attend Gatesi Excellence Day Care. They complained that their moms told them they can’t go to school because of the corona virus. They do not understand why they cannot go to school and wish they could re-start their school. In the meantime, to express how much they miss school, some wear their uniforms at home at least once a week.

Staff are in close touch through telephone calls with the mothers who are YEGO beneficiaries. We have regular interactions and follow up with them to find out what their situations are like, and the challenges they go through due to the pandemic and its effects. The majority of these women told us how they’d almost given up because it was difficult trying to fend for themselves and their children during the lockdown.

But we kept in touch with them, provided encouragement, counselling and prayers to them. Though businesses have been reopened, many jobs and job opportunities have been lost and there are many women and households that are living in extreme poverty. They are very hungry and need food and support. For special cases of need, people in despair or sickness, YEGO staff visit the beneficiaries in their homes or hospital and provide the urgently needed support.

Due to COVID-19, it is not yet possible to organize big gathering such as the general assemblies for the women and girls. As the situation keeps improving it could be possible to have them organized in the future.

It is exciting to note that the government of Rwanda has reopened some schools early this month and plan to reopen more in November 2020. The situation is slowly coming back to normalcy and Rwandans are now trying hard to cope with COVID-19 and find ways to survive. This requires them to be extra careful and cautious so as to ensure COVID-19 is contained.

As YEGO staff, we are extremely thankful to God that he has so far kept YEGO beneficiaries and us safe. We also hope YEGO donors and YEGO Canada board have been safe and we also send prayers to those who have the corona virus or have family or friends with corona that God can heal them.

Emmanuel Gatera

Posted in COVID-19

COVID-19 Update

Emergency food distribution

FoodDistribution(Apr2020)

During Rwanda’s coronovirus lockdown, many of YEGO’s beneficiaries, including the working poor, were unable to make money to provide food for their families. YEGO stepped up to help. By using funds earmarked for programs which were unable to run during the lockdown, YEGO was able to bring emergency food and toiletries to desperate families.

To read the full report, see: COVID19-Update(May2020)

Donations appreciated

Can you help replenish funds for YEGO programming? Programs such as healing ministries, counselling, education and school supplies, computer-assisted learning, sewing, daycare, dance and sports.

Canadian donors

If you wish to receive an income tax receipt, you can donate online through St. Andrew’s United Church. Hit the DONATE button. Under “Fund” choose YEGO Rwanda. You can specify how you’d like your donation spent under “Message for St. Andrew’s United Church.”

Alternatively, you can still make a cheque payable to St. Andrew’s United Church for YEGO Rwanda, and send to:

St. Andrew’s United Church for YEGO Rwanda
9915 148 ST NW
Edmonton, AB  T5N 3G1

Please ensure your contact information is included with your gift so we can thank you and send you a receipt.

International and US donors

Please send a cheque, payable to YEGO Rwanda, to:

YEGO Rwanda
P.O. Box: 5536
Kigali, RWANDA

Thank you! You CAN make a difference.

Posted in COVID-19, Donations, Financial transparency, News, Programs, Reports

Eulogy for Yego Dancer

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
HONORINE MUHAWENIMANA

Honorine always had a smile on her face.

Honorine was born in 1996. Her home is located in Ndera in the northern part of Kigali but her parents come from the northern part of Rwanda. Honorine’s father died when she was still an infant. She was raised by her mother in traumatic and challenging life conditions. But her mother tirelessly did all she could to make ends meet with her only child.

We got to experience Honorine’s light when she joined the Yego family back in 2012, when she had some difficulties coming to terms with her childhood issues. The Yego youth dancing program helped her to break her isolation, share her issues, receive counselling and heal. This dance program became an outlet to express her unspoken feelings. Yego Rwanda continued to be there for her, providing some of her basic needs for school, plus counselling and followup when she finished high school in 2016.

Honorine, 3rd from left, with Yego dancers.

After she finished her secondary school education, Honorine secured a cleaning job in the industrial zone. She was able to help herself and her mother, giving their lives a little stability. She continued to be part of the dancing program. Honorine was a very good dancer and helped mentor younger dancers.

After being ill for two days, Honorine passed away suddenly, leaving her mother and doctors oblivious of what caused her death. She left us on the 16th of April, 2020. May her soul rest in peace.

 

 

 

We were left in shock after losing such a beautiful soul who was recovering from her wounds. Everyone who knew and appreciated Honorine are devasted to lose this young lady who had such a promising future. It was also painful to us because we were unable to attend her funeral due to the coronavirus lockdown. But we are happy that, along with some of her fellow dancers living close by, we were able to visit her mother to convey condolences on behalf of the Yego family.

Honorine’s mother (in dress with red bows) with her neighbour and Yego dancers.

To this day, we haven’t fully recovered from losing our beautiful, vibrant soul that was a joy to be around.

GONE TOO SOON AND FOREVER REMEMBERED!

Posted in Uncategorized

COVID-19 and YEGO Rwanda

Rwanda on lockdown

Like much of the world, Rwandans are being told to stay home and stay safe. It’s been over a month and the lockdown deadlines continue to be extended. There have been 153 cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 84 recovered and no deaths to date.* The lockdown is working, but it’s also causing hardship for some.

While schools, churches, government offices and businesses are closed, only food shops, hospitals and pharmacies remain open. Most of the women supported by Yego survive on daily small jobs. But now they’ve lost their small businesses, have no income and are home with their children. Most of Yego’s beneficiaries have no food and need help.

Yesterday Athanasie and Emmanuel were able to deliver groceries to 10 families who were in great need. Many more need help. Your prayers are deeply appreciated. If you’d like to make a donation, please see our donation page for details.

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Emmanuel and Athanasie buy groceries for Yego families.

*(https://www.cnbcafrica.com/africa-press-office/2020/04/22/coronavirus-rwanda-covid-19-update-22-april-2020/)

 

 

Posted in COVID-19, News

Yego Rwanda April 2020 Update Report

Grace, Mercy and Emmanuel Gatera have prepared a report on the latest updates from Yego Rwanda. It includes information on:

  • the first computer-assisted learning class graduation
  • the launch of the sewing classes
  • the elite newcomer’s retreat
  • returning women and girl’s retreat
  • the inaugural men’s retreat
  • visits to vulnerable families
  • visit to the daycare centre
  • workshop for teachers
  • COVID-19 difficulties

To read the report, see April2020-Update.

Posted in Computer Assisted Learning, Dance, Daycare, Events, Home visits, Men's retreat, Reports, Sewing Centre, Women's Healing Ministry Retreats | Tagged , , ,

Retreat #3

Mar 13 – 15: Peace and Reconciliation Men’s Retreat

Day 1

This was the first retreat held for men. Participants listened attentively to the sessions, but worked in silence when they were at the tables. Kae changed direction by encouraging a 30-minute soccer game. After that they started to talk. By supper time there was general chatter and laughter around the tables. Card playing at the end of the day furthered their team building.

Day 2

Werner taught a lesson on Joseph and we brainstormed words for how Joseph might have felt at different stages. The men worked in groups to complete the sentence, “I feel —— when ———. Kae used Psalm 23 and asked them to share why they placed their sheep where they did. They also shared around the tables as they made their own shepherds and sheep. At each step the level of sharing increased.

Following afternoon tea they opened up and all shared their stories, some speaking more than once. This was what we were working toward. The men enjoyed games, soccer, singing and even an entertaining and laughter-filled talent show in the evening where everyone was included and cheered on.

Day 3

Morning worship was lively with singing and dancing. When the men shared at the last session they all expressed their appreciation for the retreat. They have new friends who understand them and will support them.

 

 

Posted in Men's retreat

YEGO daycare

Did you know that YEGO runs a daycare?

Many of the women connected with YEGO need childcare in order to attend healing retreats, receive counselling, participate in education, find employment, or hold down a job. With the help of donations from Anne and Bill Hill of Edmonton, Canada, Athanasie’s dream of a daycare to help these women has become a reality.

daycare

daycare2

Posted in Daycare, News

Retreat #2

Mar 6 – 8:  Kindness and Compassion

Day 1

The women and girls are all previous retreat participants, so it was good for everyone to reconnect. Craft time gives the women a chance to be creative and to share. Tea time is important too. For many women who struggle to provide one meal a day for their families, tea time is a special treat. After a lesson on how God cares for us, the women started a mural, made of butterflies covered with words describing how God sees them.

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Mural making

Day 2

Today the group talked about the need to recognize and name our feelings in order to heal. We studied Hagar’s life and named the feelings she would have had at different stages of her life. The women then shared their feelings in small groups. A number of women were contemplating suicide but through Yego they have found a family where they feel safe. By end of day, the talk centred around gratitude and how it can move us from a circle of fear to a circle of love.

whiteboard

Shared feelings

 

Day 3

Today’s lesson was about compassion. The women embroidered intertwining hearts to illustrate that compassion connects our hearts. Worship started with lively singing and dancing. Emmanuel had just started preaching when some of the women “challenged” what he was saying. A discussion followed until a consensus was reached and the sermon continued. It is International Women’s Day so maybe a challenge was in order.

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Women’s retreat participants and leaders

Posted in Women's Healing Ministry Retreats | Tagged , , , ,

Yego programs off and running!

Computer-assisted learning (CAL) program

The CAL program aims to help women and youth who have not had a chance to go to university. It’s a 6-month program, offered free of charge. The first class graduated this week! Below is a picture of them proudly displaying their completion certificates. The second class is ready to begin. For more information about the program, see: Update on computer-assisted learning or More than a computer class

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Dance and music program

Students from the program performed as part of the celebrations to recognize the first CAL program graduates and to officially open the new sewing program.

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Sewing program

Kae Neufeld writes:

After we cut the ribbon for the new sewing centre we had a demonstration of how to use the machines. Then our first student threaded a machine and sewed some stitches.

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Posted in Computer Assisted Learning, Dance, Programs, Sewing Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , ,