This is Chipo in 2010!
Chipo is a lovely girl. She is from a small village in the Ruheru area (Nyaruguru region) of Rwanda (Africa).
She comes from a family with 5 kids. Her family lives on agriculture and breeding (they have two goats).
Chipo just started attending the local kindergarten and she cannot write yet.
With our regular monthly support, we will help her growing up, school education, HIV prevention, medical check-ups, and so on.
NEWS FROM CHIPO
Here is a new sweet update from Chipo!
This is her colorful drawing, while her letter says:
'Dear Starfish, I'm still studying at the Gakaranka Primary School. When I am at home, I fetch the water and I collect the grass for the livestock. I drew for you a road, a car, a table, some flowers, some baskets, two girls and an umbrella. I had a good Easter: I drank soft drinks and ate a bread bought by my grandfather. I hope you are all fine!'.
Read the most recent news about Chipo's district
Here is an update from lovely Chipo - a new drawing with a lovely message:
Her message says: 'Dear Starfish, How are you? I am in grade 4 at Gakaranka Primary School and I like studying. I have both parents and siblings. My parents are farmers and I have drawn for you a car, a house, a person, flowers and schools. We thank you for good schools built for us. Please come and visit us, we live near the Nyungwe National Park. I wish you a Happy 2014!'.
Here is an update from lovely Chipo - a new photo showing how fast she is growing up:
She also sent us a beautiful, big, colorful drawing (click on it for the bigger version)....
...as well as a lovely letter: 'Dear Starfish, I study at Sakaranka primary school and I'm in grade 2 primary level. I'm glad for your wonderful letter sent to me. I got it. We are doing well with my family. We wish you all the best and we love you all. We thank you because we now have a better horse at home. God bless you all'.
Here is an update from Chipo with a colorful drawing (click on it for a bigger version):
She writes, 'Dear Starfish, how are you? Let me hope you are fine. I am 8 years old now and I am studying in grade two at Yakaranka Primary School. I have both of my parents but my mum now is sick. We are farmers and we rear a cow so that we can drink milk.
I thank you for supporting women by giving them goats, too.
I thank you also for constructing schools and toilets.
I have drawn for you flowers, a cow and many other pictures. I hope it will please you.
Bless you! '.
We have just received another update from Chipo: a sweet message with a beautiful drawing:
She writes, 'Dear Starfish, how are you? I am now studying in grade two of primary school at Gakaranka. I was the 17th in class last trimester. My father sells minerals, he does not like to be home all the time. We are eight children at home: two girls and six boys. Only four of us study, the others stay at home and help my mother with the house works.
We depend on the growing of wheat, potatoes, corns and sweet potatoes. I live near the Gisanze's center.
I drew for you a house, classrooms, flowers and cups and cars. I have a school uniform.
When I am at home, I often fetch water and collect fire woods.
My favorite food is sweet potatoes and potatoes.
I like to play with a tennis ball. I thank you for your help and your support.'.
We have received another update with photo from lovely Chipo!
She also sent us a sweet message with a colorful drawing:
She writes, 'Dear beloved Starfish, how are you? I guess you are doing fine. I am now studying at Gakaranka primary school in grade one. I live with my seven siblings and Mum, but our Dad is not around, he works in the Estern province mining. My Mum is a farmer but on Fridays she goes solving conflicts among people in our community.
At home, we have a small garden of vegetables, onions and so on.
Thanks for your help. God bless you'.
We have just received another sweet and BIG drawing from super-sweet Chipo!
She also sent us a beautiful updating message. Its translation is the following:
"I'm in grade 1 primary school at Gakaranka. I live with both my parents, I have 6 siblings. I have drawn our house, that is roofed with iron sheet. I have drawn also a car, flower on a person. We have one cow, both my parents are binding. When I'm at home, I fetch water and I collect grass for domestic animals. I like eating potatoes and sweet potatoes. I like playing hide-and-seek and other children games. I thank you for the support because my parents could get 3 goats and ironsheets and cement, plus notebooks, bread, clothes and shoes"
Here is another sweet message wtih drawing from Chipo!
She says, "Dear Starfish, how are you? Thank you for helping me. I'm attending kindergarten. We have one cow and live in an ironsheet thatched house. My dad is mason and my dad and my mom also grow wheat and cowpeas. I really like playing football with my friends. I thank you for constructing nice classrooms. Thank you! ".
We have received the first drawing and message from Chipo!
Chipo is telling us: 'How are you? My name is Chipo. I am 5 years old. I am atteding the kindergarten. I live with my mother, father and 4 siblings: 3 boys and a girl. At home we have two goats and we also grow sweet potatoes and potatoes. My favorite food is potatoes and vegetables. Our house is thatched with tiles. Thank you for supporting me! Bye!'
UPDATES ON CHIPO'S DISTRICT
Further to supporting Chipo's growing up, our help is therefore also focusing on the following interventions:
- Fight against HIV/AIDS
- Improvement of school system
- Supply of plantable potatoes and biological and artificial fertilizers
- Enhancement of school education
- Enhancement of health system
- Fight against child labor
- Fight against violence on women
- Houses renovation works
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide: a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority.
During the approximate 100-day period from April 7, 1994 to mid-July, an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, constituting as much as 20% of the country's total population and 70% of the Tutsi then living in Rwanda.
The genocide was planned by members of the core political elite known as the 'akazu', many of whom occupied positions at top levels of the national government. Perpetrators came from the ranks of the Rwandan army, the National Police, government-backed militias including the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi, and the Hutu civilian population.
The genocide took place in the context of the Rwandan Civil War, an ongoing conflict beginning in 1990 between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which was largely composed of Tutsi refugees whose families had fled to Uganda following earlier waves of Hutu violence against the Tutsi.
This genocide had a lasting and profound impact on Rwanda and its neighboring countries. The pervasive use of war rape caused a spike in HIV infection, including babies born of rape to newly infected mothers; many households were headed by orphaned children or widows.
The destruction of infrastructure and a severe depopulation of the country crippled the economy, challenging the nascent government to achieve rapid economic growth and stabilization.
Today, Rwanda has two public holidays commemorating the genocide. The national commemoration period begins with Genocide Memorial Day on April 7 and concludes with Liberation Day on July 4. The week following April 7 is designated an official week of mourning. The Rwandan Genocide served as the impetus for creating the International Criminal Court to eliminate the need for ad hoc tribunals to prosecute those accused in future incidents of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In April 2013, four classrooms of the Gakaranka Primary School were destroyed by a terrible storm. The targeted intervention allowed the reconstruction of five new classrooms, where 450 students are now regularly studying.
Our supports also helped in building 18 toilet facilities in the Gahotora school, with a division between girls and boys areas in order to grant an improved privacy to the female teens.
Thanks to awareness projects, the percentage of HIV-positive people has now decreased to 3% in this community. Many things still need to be done on this matter, though: we must not lower our guard since in the surrounding areas AIDS is still rampant.
This year a new project has been implemented: 90 kids from the Ruheru area received a small goat each, and in the next months they will pass the new doe kids on to other families in their area. Further than milk, goats give them a natural fertilizer for their farming.
In the next few years at least 20 families in the Ruheru district will have a better life. With our help those 20 families, grouped in an organization called 'Njye nawe Tuzamurane', started a pig breeding activity. They started it with 20 pigs and when other piglets will be born they will be able to sell them. Considering that a sow can have two broods a year, in one year each family will have gained Francs 80,000 (i.e. Euro 94 or $124).
We have helped supporting 21 women, belonging to a cooperation group, in starting up a small corn production unit, by purchasing 2 milling machines.
The education system is developing: right now there are 2141 children attending the community's school. In that area, 100 new classrooms have been built, as well as 230 new lavatories.
The HUNGERFREE campaign, launched in 2009, has reached more than 10,000 people in the Ruheru, Murundi, Nyanza, Gitesi, Gisagara and Shingiro communities. In all these communities, courses on landrights and farming, violence against women and children's rights have been held.
Violence on women is an extremely sore point in these areas, but with some local awareness interventions, women who report violence cases to authorities are increasing: now the local police is receiving some 10 complaints/day and 100 women have already received legal assistance.
In the Ruheru's area, there is only a first-aid station that is located 5 kms from the village: it goes without saying that this is not enough: sick people cannot embark on such a long trip to be cured. Our support is also addressed to establish in Ruheru a first-aid station for urgent medical interventions.
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