Thursday, March 31, 2011

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Well, we all know I left my heart at Noel, so I want to tell you a little about my new home. 

I am so thankful for your support; not just for me. For them. Every prayer prayed and every dollar donated is a life changed. Forever. And this is just the beginning. There are BIG things in the future and I want you to be a part every step of the way. Thank you for coming with me on this journey.

I hope you enjoy a peek into life at The Noel Orphanage:

Photo courtesy of Johan Decru :)

The Noel Orphanage in Nyundo, Rwanda is a private community-run orphanage with 577 children from a few days old to 25 years old. Founded in 1955, it got the name ‘Noël’ because it received the first children on Christmas day. It was meant to take care of sick children, who didn’t have a mother anymore.

During the war in Rwanda from April 1994 until September 1994 the children and the headmistress Athanasie remained in the refugee camp of Goma (Congo). Thanks to the dedication of Athanasie and the help of friends, the children escaped the genocide. Athanasie fled with 59 children and when she returned to Nyundo in September 1994 there were 230 orphans. 

Photo courtesy of Johan Decru

From that time until 2005 new orphans regularly were taken into the orphanage. Sixteen years after the genocide the number of young orphans is increasing, but now as a consequence of AIDS.

The following information is courtesy of an amazing organization out of the UK, The Point Foundation, a registered charity who look to support orphans in Africa, predominately in Rwanda and South Africa. The Point Foundation has been working with Noel for the last few years and have made, and continue to make, dramatic improvements to the living conditions and quality of life for the children.

A quick(ish) tour around the property:

The Boys 
Hi Mark!
The five boys dorms, refurbished last year, are in good condition and are very clean and tidy.

The toilets and showers refurbished in 2009 will need remedial work later this year.

The Girls

The refurbishment of the girls dorm in the Armani section should start in April. The main girls' dorms, toilets, and showers are in desperate need of refurbishment and we are now focusing our attention on raising funds to do these works. It is the intention to have all works completed this year.

In the main dormitory, nine girls sleep on the floor, so they have organized the building of 5 sets of wooden bunk beds from the carpentry workshops. The girls seem happy and contented.....but we still need to find leisure pursuits for them, as the focus seems always on providing for the boys.

Infants and Toddlers

The refurbished infant’s rooms, done last year, all are in excellent condition and the babies and young children are all in good health and all kept very clean.

Well, that turned out to be a longer "peek" than I thought. Now that you have seen some of the campus, next time I'll show some school and daily living.

Part 2: Coming soon.

If you'd like to know how you can help the kids at Noel click here for more details and how to donate.



Nicole said...

Hey girl if we can combine our two hearts mine for animals yours for Africa we could be unstoppable!
Would you still like to consider joining JH?

tara said...

Unstoppable, YES! That's what I'm praying for! :)

I would like to join JH, but I'm moving in June. It seems like so much fun and I love reading about all y'all do.

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