Giving Tuesday

How you can change lives

The years 2020 and 2021 have proven to be ones of great change around the world. Change that has deeply impacted our lives, communities and the beneficiaries we serve.

Our commitment to supporting traumatized Rwandans and their children remains strong. That’s why we’re participating in Giving Tuesday this November 30.

Giving Tuesday is an annual global day of giving and generosity of all kinds, big and small, and we invite you to join us.


Where your money goes

Healing retreats and community building

Plans are underway for 4 new retreats this February but we need your help! The retreats help Rwandans heal from trauma, build sustaining friendships and continue their healing journeys through ongoing counselling and leadership training.

Counselling, visiting and food and sanitary supply distribution

There is an ongoing need to help the most vulnerable with basic needs. And a visit reminds them that they are loved and not forgotten.

Safe and caring childcare

The daycare is growing! Your donation helps pay for caring staff, supplies and healthy breakfasts. The children learn skills to get them ready for school and play with other children, regardless of tribal background.

Educational support for children and youth

Education provides hope for the future for our beneficiaries. From supplies, school fees and uniforms for children, to assistance with university sponsorship, education is the pathway out of poverty for families.

Computer-assisted learning

Being computer-literate helps our beneficiaries gain employment and become self-sufficient. Students learn skills in working with computers, business software and English. Classes have resumed and we have 7 new students.

Sewing programs

Learning sewing skills helps women make an income to support their families. The current class has 15 students! But we need your help to buy 2 more sewing machines.

Music and dance performance training

Not only does music and dance reinforce cultural traditions and promote friendships, it can train youth for paid work at special events like weddings or other celebrations.

You CAN make a difference!

Please consider making a monthly or one-time gift to YEGO Rwanda. Canadian donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of funds go directly to our beneficiaries in Rwanda. To learn how you can help, please see our donation page.

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Giving Tuesday is only one week away

We hope you’ve been inspired by the stories of hope we’ve highlighted over the last several weeks. Even during COVID lockdowns, YEGO staff were working hard to help Rwandans in need. This past pandemic year, we’ve:

  • Provided counselling support
  • Delivered food to the needy
  • Cared for, fed and educated young children while their mothers try to work
  • Supported education for children and youth

With COVID cases on the decline, we’re resuming some of our programs and activities. Our 5-month-long computer-assisted learning class started last week with 7 new students and our sewing program relaunches today!

Plans are underway for 4 new healing retreats this February, but we need your help!

Giving Tuesday is November 30. We hope you’ll consider YEGO Rwanda in your giving plans this year.

You can make such a difference. To donate, please see our donation page.

Photo taken at YEGO Rwanda Christmas party 2019, just before the pandemic.

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Education Support

YEGO Rwanda continues to provide educational support to vulnerable children in primary and secondary school, as well as university. Education has been very much affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. But currently, the sponsored students have returned to school and are studying.

Bea – a story of success

We are proud to report that one of our single university students, Bea, has completed her three-year Bachelor of Hotel Management degree. She graduated on August 19, 2021. She now has a job working in one of the big hotels in Kigali. Bea is happy to be able to support her sickly mother and eight siblings.

School and sanitary supplies

YEGO helps vulnerable students with school supplies, uniform fees and feminine hygiene products. This type of support enables children and youth to attend school. And education is their hope for a better future – for themselves and their families.

How you can help

If you would like to help youth like Bea get an education, click here to donate.

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Gatesi Excellence Daycare

YEGO Rwanda’s daycare provides an opportunity for single mothers to leave their children in a safe, caring, educational setting while they go out to earn a living. The daycare has 81 children and 5 staff who take care of them daily.

The children learn foundational skills like reading and writing, numbers, English and French. They also learn how to sing, dance and play in groups.

Most of these children come from vulnerable families suffering from malnutrition. We offer them a porridge breakfast made from sorghum and soja which are very nutritious. And we have recently added milk to their menu to improve their health and help them heal from malnutrition.

How you can help

If you would like to help YEGO Rwanda programs like the Gatesi Excellence Daycare, click here to donate.

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Food Distribution

Another way YEGO Rwanda helps vulnerable Rwandans, especially during the pandemic, is by supplying emergency food and sanitary supplies.

Each month we supply food to ten of the neediest families. We do it on a rotation basis, one zone after another, until all the needy households within the six zones are served. Then we start over again. But we strictly observe the health safety measures against COVID-19.

How you can help

If you would like to help YEGO feed the hungry, click here to donate.

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Counselling Services and Healing Retreats

Counselling has helped the beneficiaries of YEGO Rwanda – women, girls and boys. Most of the women who attended healing retreats have healed, recovered hope, and are eager to work hard and earn a living.

COVID-19 has added another layer of trauma and has been a stumbling block in people’s lives. But YEGO staff have kept touch, encouraging them and addressing these issues in their talks.

YEGO also provides counselling support to abused children, street children and others –
women, youth, men and families – who are living in panic or have lost dear ones to COVID-19.

The impact of past healing retreats on traumatized girls has been great. The girls who have healed were able to make important decisions in their lives this year. In fact, in 2021 we celebrated the weddings of four young ladies. YEGO Rwanda staff were happy to attend these weddings and see these former beneficiaries healing, transformed and marrying to create their own families.

Brandine, pictured here, is one of the pioneers of our healing retreats. She invited Athanasie and Emmanuel to stand as part of her family at her wedding, as she is an orphan.

How you can help

If you would like to support YEGO’s continued ability to provide counselling services and healing retreats, click here to donate.

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Eliane’s story

Last week, we told you about Ruth and her daughter Berthe, and how they are working hard to heal from trauma and become self-sufficient. This week we’re focusing on Eliane. This is her story.

Eliane is now 60 years old. During the 1994 Genocide, she lost her husband and six of her children. She survived but had a baby due to rape. She was never comfortable with her daughter, who she called Agnes.

After attending YEGO Rwanda’s healing retreats in 2015 and 2016, Eliane’s attitude about her child changed. She started accepting her daughter, loving and caring for her. But she still struggled to raise her due to poverty. Most of her friends refused to support her because Agnes was a product of one of the criminals who raped her mother.

Eliane remarried and had five more children. Her second husband disliked Agnes and harassed her. He wanted Eliane to chase her away from their home. Eliane decided not to send her daughter away, but to stand up for her instead. She divorced her husband, took her five children and went to live with Agnes.

Life became very challenging for Eliane, with no food for her children and no money for rent. YEGO Rwanda supported her with counselling, food, and school fees for three of her children, including Agnes.

Agnes was brilliant at school. At the end of secondary school in 2018, she was one of the best performers on the national exam. She later won a foreign scholarship for university studies in the US.

While Agnes was at university, she took small jobs during her free time, and managed to save some money. In 2021, thanks to her savings, Agnes was able to buy a house for her mum within the city of Kigali.

How you can help

If you would like to help families like Eliane’s, click here to donate.

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Women making a difference

YEGO staff identified two women’s stories we have a lot to learn from. Thanks to their trauma healing, resilience, endurance, creativity, love of justice, stamina and hard work, they were able to make a great difference in their homes, zones and communities. This is the story of one of those women.

Ruth is 55 years old and a survivor of the 1994 Genocide. During the Genocide, she lost her husband, three children and her siblings. She was raped and infected with AIDS. She later had a boyfriend, and they had a daughter Berthe. Ruth decided not to marry him but to remain single and raise her daughter.

Ruth got in touch with YEGO and participated in the first healing retreat. It was decided to support Ruth with counselling and food and provide her daughter with educational support.

Ruth sold tomatoes on the streets out of her basket to make a living. But as this is illegal, she could not continue doing this. She also attempted making envelops out of old journals to sell them to shoppers. This business wasn’t sustainable because of stiff competition. Later she lost her capital. As the situation was getting out of hand, in consultation with her daughter, she decided to start a new business of charcoal selling. But Ruth did not have the capital.

Her daughter Berthe, who has been part of YEGO’s therapeutic music and dance program, saved all the money she received as support for transportation. She made her savings over two years on her account and was able to rescue her mother. She gave her mother 20,000frs ($27 CAD). Ruth then began her charcoal business, selling bits of charcoal out of a big bag.

Now, after 7 months, Ruth is selling charcoal out of 10 bags. Now they have what they need but still need some counselling support and school fees for Berthe.

Ruth selling charcoal

$27 CAD helped Ruth’s family become self-sufficient. If you would like to help families like Ruth’s, click here to learn how.

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Graduation Day

Graduation Day at Gatesi Excellence Daycare

Today, 14 of our students graduated from Gatesi Excellence Daycare. The graduates – 11 boys and 3 girls – will soon be moving on to elementary school. While attending our daycare, they received care, love and life foundation skills including:

  • reading and writing
  • numbers
  • English and some French
  • drawing, singing and playing in groups

When the children first came to daycare, they arrived with a lot of anger and trauma. Some were hungry and malnourished. But they have healed, and are now happy and healthy.

Thanks for your support which has made a great difference in the lives of these children!

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Update from Emmanuel

YEGO Rwanda Update: July 2021

These last few months, Rwanda has experienced various events and situations – some sad and some celebratory.

COVID-19

COVID-19 is rampant and getting worse. Last year we often had less than 100 new cases daily, but now we have close to 1,000 new infections and more that 10 deaths per day. It’s scary. We have friends both old and young who have died. Some were our neighbours. There’s panic among the people because of the rise of the virus, especially due to the new variant which is even more deadly.

YEGO Rwanda Beneficiaries

We know only one woman who got sick from COVID-19, two months ago. She spent three weeks in the hospital but she has healed. Many people here are depressed, worried because of this terrible virus which has significantly affected their social, economic, physical and psychological lives. The situation is bad. The challenge is that if infection rates don’t decrease soon, our hospitals may become overwhelmed and access to medical treatment will be difficult.

Food Distribution

Each month we supply food to 10 families who are most needy. We strictly observe health measures against COVID-19. During this stressful time, we keep in touch with our beneficiaries and provide them with counselling by telephone and a few visits, especially to those who are unwell.

Gatesi Excellence Daycare

The daycare has been doing well. We have 79 children and 5 staff. Their second quarter recently ended well. We are happy that none of them caught COVID-19. The majority of these children come from vulnerable families with malnutrition. We have made efforts to ensure they get healthy nutrition when they are with us. We have recently added milk to their menu.

Volcano

Mount Nyiragongo erupted in the north of Rwanda, near the border with the Republic Democratic of Congo.

This volcanic eruption caused deaths and infrastructure damage to many houses and roads.

July 4

July 4th marks the end of the 1994 Genocide memorial, a three-month period of mourning over the killing of more than 1 million Rwandans. July 4th is also a day of liberation for Rwandans to celebrate the defeat of the evil forces that committed Genocide. This liberation put an end to the refugee status of thousands of Rwandan Tutsi who spent more than 30 years of exile in the neighbouring countries of Burundi, Uganda, Congo and Tanzania.

Staff Vacation

YEGO Rwanda staff have been working so hard without rest. From June 17-22 we took a 5-day vacation at Kingfisher Resort, located 60 kms north of Kigali near Muhazi Lake. It was a great time for us to relax. We used two hours a day together to reflect upon our work, evaluate and think about the future of our ministry. We used the rest of our time for a personal retreat. We returned very relaxed and determined to do more to make a difference for our people. The pictures testify that we had a good time.

Submitted by : Emmanuel Gatera

P. O. Box 5536 Kigali – Rwanda

Tel: +250 788301878 / 0788759414 | Email: yegorwanda11@gmail.com

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