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A Note for New Readers

Urukundo Village is an independent home for Rwandan children created and funded through Hope Made Real and its incredibly kind donors. We are not funded by any particular denomination or organization and welcome all who seek to help the children of Rwanda and create a better world not just for a child, but for us all. 

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January 2017 Newsletter

January newsletter will be a bit different.  Missing my Urukundo kids so very much.

To keep you all current. I am in Pittsburgh, USA.  Thanks to Dr. Tomy in Kigali and his concern, I came to the USA to find out why my legs were swelling. The doctors here diagnosed blood clots in both legs.  That means a heavy dose of blood thinners for 21 days and then a lesser dose for a year.


Looking good. My hospital stay was short. I am now home with Patricia. We found the problem and treatment was started in time. There is so much work yet to do.

View from my bedroom window in USA. Cold is not my favorite thing.


This mama is a bit homesick so I requested photos of the kids.  Next morning the children sent a group picture to mama so she would not miss them so much.

I am sharing them with all of you.


January 1, 2017, found the children in devotions.  Luki was the teacher on this special day.  Big brother Olivier led the children in prayer.


Playing marbles on the porch.


Water colors are such fun and messy.


Kids received a second construction set with balls and rods. Now we have a set in Mama’s house and in the boys play room of the boy's house.


They are such fun.

Janette, Jacob & Jason


This baby’s mama brought the little one to visit. This was delightful. Only one problem. Mister Soso refused to give the baby back to the mother. He felt the infant needed to live with us. He is a very cute baby and we would love him but he needs to live with his mama.


It does help to know things go on as usual even if I am not there.  Tuesday and Thursday is the day the younger children play in Mama’s living room.  They all have favorite toys, puzzles and books that wait for them to come.

Lunch is over and even the smallest help do the dishes and clean up. Janette is starting early.


Project For 2017

Increasing our capacity to accept more preschoolers means construction of two more classrooms on the top level.


Faith is the driving factor for Urukundo Village. The need is so great and the preschoolers so many. 

Please consider helping. We need funding to complete these two classrooms to make space in our preschool to accept more needy children and guarantee education for vulnerable children in our community.


David teaches lesson at evening devotions.  These kids are awesome. Diescor, Lambert, and Auntie Betty are helping out.

Posing for a picture to send Mama


Claude in the school uniform, 


Janette and Jason are now students at Urukundo Learning Center.

These two three year olds are so happy. Now they can walk with the big kids and stay at school. They have also moved from the nursery to the big houses. This is much like a graduation.  Only big kids live in the Girls house and Boys house. They are now big kids.

Preschool bunch. First day of school 2017  Awesome kids.


The Farm growing

Newborn piglets on the farm while I am away.  Things continue change even when I am not there.


Mama & Baby House

Some of the newborns born in January.  As I mentioned before nothing stops because I am away.


Visitors in January

Urukundo Home and Learning Center was honored by a visit from the Honorables of Rwanda Parliament.  They toured the campus, visited with the kids and I am told their report on Urukundo will be very favorable.

We thank them for coming!


Honoring Tom Nunnally


While in Pittsburgh, Forest Hills Rotary invited me to speak at a dinner honoring Tom Nunnally.  I was so pleased to be there for this event. Tom is missed by so many including Urukundo Kids.

Waverly Presbyterian team

Team members and spouses treated Mama to a evening of remembering Urukundo and exchanging memories of their visit to Urukundo in September 2016. It was a fun evening with lots of good fellowship and very good food.


Bob and Amy Dove picked me up for worship at Waverly the following Sunday and Waverly served a Pecan tort at coffee hour. It actually has “Welcome Mama Arlene” written on it. The cake was very good but the icing covered with pecans was delicious.


What's Next?

February is about to begin and then only 16 days and I will be home in Rwanda. I am looking forward to the warm weather. I love my family here in the US but in January it is too cold.

I love my Urukundo family and the weather is great.

I keep saying “I will not come to the US in winter” and every time I say I won’t it just happens so I am not saying that this time.  God in Charge

Devotions at Urukundo

If you can open this video it is worth the listen.


In closing, I leave you with this thought:

The vulnerable children of Rwanda and the world.

Opportunity is what they need. Your love. Their lives, Our world, You can make a difference.

Your most appreciated gift can be sent to the address below or use the Donate button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

Hope Made Real
PO Box 3222
Williamsport, PA. 17701

Much love,

Mama Arlene
Urukundo Foundation/Hope Made Real

Help make their world a better place.


Happy Birthday Mama & December Newsletter

December is always a special month. The activity at Urukundo is topped off in joy because all the kids come home to spend some time with the Urukundo family.

Except for our 5 in the USA; our kids were all home. We do miss them. But know they are where they are meant to be.

The month ended with Mama in the USA. What a blessing to spend time with both my families during my birthday month!

Here is a taste of life at Urukundo Home in December.

December 9th, Mama’s birthday celebration

Urukundo little kids singing Happy Birthday to Mama.

Food, Fanta, and cake makes birthdays special.

Dec 10th,  JP leaves for education in the USA

John Paul, far right, saying so long for a while.  We will miss you, JP and love you so much. Do your best and come back home.

Love, Urukundo kids, staff and Mama.

Katrina sharing

So much love shared between Claudine Katrina & Rebekah.

Katrina, Me in my birthday dress and Joe. I think I am thinning down just a bit. No girlish figure yet.

Claudine made a new friend. Joe who came to travel with John Paul to the US was a favorite with all the kids.


Signs of our times. Dental is OFFICIAL!

Mama was blessed this month by a visit from her cousin Raymond Stiner. Raymond was in Rwanda for a short time. I am so grateful he found a time in his busy schedule to visit Urukundo. Raymond is very special because he is the grandson of my mother’s brother. Uncle George was very important in my childhood.

Prince, Luki & Soso.  Look at the sports; basketball, karate, and soccer.  The medal on Prince is for soccer. We are an active group.

Wish you could hear the voices as the children sing.

Christmas Urukundo on Dec 22.

Staff Celebration Office Staff

158 staff and kids celebrated the day.

Community Day.

We were blessed to share the day and it’s blessings with near 500 children and youth. What a glorious day!

Gifts for boys

Gifts for girls

December 25th, Christmas Presentation

Anitha, our Nursing student wrote and directed the program.  

Christmas for Urukundo kids.

Thanks to so many of you our kids had a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Tree in boys house. Gifts for all!

Jean Marie’s daughter, Lana Arlene, was a special Christmas guest.

Graduation for Sewing Center

Jean Marie cut the ribbon as Exec Director of Urukundo Foundation.

The walk from the school to graduation ceremony.

Graduating class

Salute from a proud Mama to the class of 2016.

Sewing Machine given to Top Student to honor our patron, Tom Nunnally

The Sewing Center was Tom’s vision and he not only purchased machines but gave scholarships to help students to achieve their goals.

Tom is missed by all at Urukundo.  His legacy will live on.

Diploma in hand.

Mama & Baby Project

Four of our 28 December babies. It is very cold.  We have a need for more hats; larger and infants sizes.  Thank you.

Claudine & Joe and Sam share smiles of joy.


The Kent family chose to spend Christmas with Urukundo and our kids.

African Nativities are a work of art and heart.

We do hope the come visit again. Thank you Kent Family for making our Christmas special.

New visitors are always welcome and loved and become part of the Urukundo Family. Then there are those who are family and return year after year. Liz James is one of those. Each time Liz comes she brings another member of her family.  Husband Rob, sons Keenen & Skyler and beautiful daughter Bella have come but at different times. We look forward to a return visit from all. Liz and her family are also supportive of our brother, Tresor in Arizona. The James family lives in California. Tresor is house & dog sitting while the family is away. Thanks a bunch!

Liz and Skyler check out the shirt the kids gave him for Christmas & The Nativity Liz received.


Learning Pathway

Memorial stone added to the path. 

Other News

Last but not least. Mama's leaving for a time of refreshing, healing and loving family in America.


In closing, I leave you with this thought:

The vulnerable children of Rwanda and the world.

Opportunity is what they need. Your love. Their lives, Our world, You can make a difference.

Your most appreciated gift can be sent to the address below or use the Donate button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen:

Hope Made Real
PO Box 3222
Williamsport, PA. 17701

Much love,

Mama Arlene
Urukundo Foundation/Hope Made Real

Help make their world a better place.


Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve devotions our children give gifts to our visitors.  The children love to give as well as receive.  What a wonderful time was enjoyed by all.

Staff & Children Christmas Party

Staff and their children Christmas party at Urukundo. Sumbosa, drink and gifts. 
159 attended. It was fun for all.

Mama and her babies cutting birthday cake

Mama’s babies; Jason, Jacob & Janett help Mama cut the birthday cake.