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 Dear Friends,            

I have many positive accomplishments to report from our last 12 months in Rwanda.  I’ll start, however, with my news - complete recovery from 4th stage melanoma. Immunotherapy worked a wonder.  Further, I found a volunteer living in neighboring Uganda to assume many of my duties as Project Field Manager. Julie Roberts is a Victoria native with lots of experience managing an African NGO and her role ensures continuity to our efforts. This allows me to focus better on donor relations, namely ensuring you learn of the excellent outcomes of your investment in our beneficiaries.

All of what we accomplished in previous years continues: The 80 kids in two nursery schools, 30 in school lunch programs, 44 in secondary boarding schools, 9 scholarship students in university, the housing repair and food relief.  I want in this annual report, however, not to share details of all of that but rather the voices of a few of the secondary graduates who earned University Merit Scholarships by their performance in National Exams last year. Their life story has been a struggle similar to most of our sponsored kids.  So is their resilience and determination.  Education is where we invested 60% of 45,000 CAD donations we received last year.  It is also where we get the most dramatic results.      

At whatever age we are offering support to these kids - from our nursery schools to our mentoring after university graduation, we are empowering their potential and their confidence to rise above harsh circumstances and bring many others with them.  We are the foundation for a huge impact in Rwanda.               

Important!!  I am changing our charitable agent.  I trust the switch will simplify my work of accounting for every dollar spent and of justifying each transfer of funds to our project. In the last few years new demands at ICO have made these the most stressful parts of my job and with my new agent, Transform International, (TI) much of that will be relieved.  TI Canada is newly established here in Victoria and is an offshoot of TI, USA. I know the founder and the CEO well. I am just now preparing my website material but the financial system is fully functioning for online donations.  Address checks to TRANSFORM INTERNATIONAL and mail to me directly: 178 Beach Dr, Victoria, BC, V8S2L7.  I ask you to continue your kind funding of Rwanda Rising and I assure you we will continue to produce a huge benefit from it.            

On June 1, the Oncology Nurses rang the graduation bell for me after 2.5 years of successful treatment.  25 fellow patients applauded.  I am feeling blessed and energized.  

Blessings to all of you,