Imana Kids board members had some big decisions to make this week. Gracious donors have raised over $4000 to assist us in our start up costs. How big is that?! We feel so humbled and thankful; not to mention a little intimidated to be moving forward... Moving forward means spending some of this donation money. It means deciding when and whom should be traveling to Rwanda. Truthfully, most of the board would love to be the ones to head to Africa and attend the meetings that need to occur so that we can continue to work toward our goal of a January start date in the boarding schools.
However, we know that what we want and what we need are usually very different things. As a group, it was decided that Ryan and Kara Higgins should be the first two board members to return to Kigali. We want our donors to be aware of the "whys" behind each of our decisions.
Ryan and Kara adopted two children from Rwanda in late 2009; the director of Hope for Homes (the governing agency for vulnerable children) was a part of their adoption and there is established rapport between her staff and the Higginses. They also have several friends, both Rwandan and American, that live in Kigali and will provide assistance with meals, lodging and travel.
The board also felt that Ryan was the most business-minded of the group. It was also decided that board members will continue to contribute as much of their own personal money as they can during trips regarding Imana Kids business. Additionally, responsibilities were delegated among members and a monthly meeting schedule was established.
This weekend some of the board will be traveling to Urbandale, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines, to give two presentations at Gloria Dei, a Lutheran church interested in sponsoring children as well as sending a Visiting Orphans team to Kigali in the future. And on August 15 we will attend the Omaha Kiwanis Chapter meeting to present our nonprofit opportunities.
We also wanted to share some "updates" on the kids of Kimisagara. They have been on holiday over the last few weeks after taking national exams in the public schools. Their holiday is spent in the orphanage, helping with chores and watching over the little ones.
The older boys have been unable to sleep more than a few hours a night because of bug problems. We have been trying to decipher the situation: bed bugs vs bat bugs vs fleas vs mosquitoes. Our hope is that in the near future, when the first board members return, we will have the necessities needed to rid the sleeping area of the pests so that for the time being, these kids can rest well at night.
In addition, we are excited to be invited to send some of the young men and women to Esperance Institute's first English certification program in Kigali. Check out their website to learn how they are empowering young adults through education. We are at approximately 30 families/individuals that have expressed a desire to sponsor a child for the 2014 school year.
Thank you and expect to hear from us after the have more specific monthly costs outlined.