Last week we shared that Sarah Damour, Hope Haven Rwanda’s Operations Manager, was both overjoyed and overwhelmed by the 2022 Registration and Lottery Process. When asked about it, Sarah said, “It’s overwhelming, but it is a huge blessing to serve this community.” Her sentiment reflects the roller coaster of emotions our staff feel each year when admitting new students.
The need in our poverty-stricken community is immense. We simply don’t have the capacity, the staff or the financial resources to serve each one of the thousands of struggling families surrounding us.
A well-known passage of the Jewish Torah implores readers: “If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need” (Deuteronomy 15:7-8). Two verses later, a promise is introduced: “Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to” (Deuteronomy 15:10).
We long to offer a world-class education to every poverty-stricken family in our neighborhood, but we can’t. Instead, we focus on serving in ways we can manage. Our annual lottery process helps us select families we hope to serve for the next 15 years as their students complete high school at Hope Haven Rwanda.
In this week’s video, you will witness mothers and fathers at the precise moment they learned their three-year-old children will be allowed to begin studying at Hope Haven Rwanda!
For Hope Haven’s youngest class, children’s names were drawn from a pool of 430 qualified registrants. In October, these three-year-olds will embark on an educational journey that will help them develop into world-changing leaders someday.
In the school year that finished in July, 863 students attended preschool through 9th grade. Beginning in September, we will be adding another class of 45 to each of our three preschool levels, increasing the total preschoolers on campus each day to 405! Our primary grades have 90 students each. The total for the nursery and primary schools will be 900 students—wow!
Additionally, in September of 2022, for the first time in our history, we are reaching out across the entire country of Rwanda, all thirty districts, to offer secondary boarding school to students in need. With God’s help, in about five weeks, we will welcome 640 students to Hope Haven Secondary School in grades 7 through 10 (Senior 1 through 4).
According to Wendy Raffaeli, Director of Finance and Development, “these students performed well in their recent exams, and are recommended by their current school leaders. Most are from families living in poverty; without Hope Haven’s investment in them, they likely would not be able to continue to attend school.”
Please pray with us as we do our best to prepare for an 80% increase in our student population this Fall. As you might expect, we have many more Kugaba Kids who need Hope Angels. We are also hiring new teachers for both campuses. We ask for God’s wisdom as we pore over 1,200 applicants for less than 50 new staff positions. Hope Haven Rwanda is growing fast—and we ask for your help. Will you pray with us? Invest with us? Your help will not be in vain!