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 report, Rwanda, update, YEGO
Mar 13 – 15: Peace and Reconciliation Men’s Retreat
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mar 6 – 8: Kindness and Compassion
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.
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.
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.
Women’s retreat participants and leaders
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
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.
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.
Posted in Computer Assisted Learning, Dance, Programs, Sewing Centre
Tagged cal, Computer Assisted Learning, computers, Dance, program, programming, Rwanda, sewing, YEGO
With new sewing machines from India, and sewing supplies brought from Canada, YEGO is ready to start its sewing centre! Although no instructions were provided, the team managed to assemble two working machines.
Feb 28 – Mar 1: Walking Together in Hope
While the first day was filled with laughter, singing, teaching and storytelling, there is so much pain and trauma that still needs healing. Unlike previous retreats, all the women participating this time were educated professionals.
Participants and leaders of women’s healing retreat
After Mackensy led morning exercises, the women continued to tell their stories. In past retreats, lessons would start by 10 am. But a strong need to share meant that their lesson on Psalm 23 didn’t start until 3 pm. Each woman was given a sheep to place on the scene and tell why she had chosen that spot. At one point, a small bird flew into the room. At first it appeared to be dead, but a little care and water soon enabled it to rejoin its flock.
The final lesson was on using our gifts, no matter how ordinary they may be, to serve others. The women heard a story about “bucket fillers” – people who do kind things to make others happy. At lunch one of the women stood at the start of the food line handing everyone a plate and greeting them. She found a way to be a bucket filler right after the lesson. The women also used their creativity to make yarn dolls.
The women touched the retreat leaders’ hearts with a beautiful dance and song to show their appreciation.