On September 14th Bishop Laurent Mbanda and Bishop Coadjutor Sam Mugisha officially opened the new Buhuga Health Center in conjunction with the representatives from the Rwandan Ministry of Health. The health center was built and is run as a partnership between the two entities, much like Kimonyi Health Center that was created in 2011. Operations for Buhuga will begin on October 1, with three full time staff that expect to see an estimated 70 patients a day. The next step for the center to be successful is to equip it with the necessary medical tools and resources to serve the local communities.
Since July 1 of this year, Shyira Diocese has opened five new preschools to care for and educate 471 Rwandan children. The schools are currently operating in the parish church buildings, with teachers volunteering their time until parents come to fully understand the value of the schools and begin to contribute toward their salaries. These five additions make a total of 195 preschools throughout the four districts Shyira operates in. Of these 195, 26 receive One Egg funding to fight early childhood malnutrition. The five new preschools are just getting off their feet with a lot of work ahead of them. Their primary goals are to convince parents to send their children to the preschools, obtain the necessary resources for education and instruction, and train their teachers in the best ways to care for and teach preschoolers.
The Community Bible Study International (CBSI) small group program will implemented into local primary and secondary schools this October after last year’s eight pilot programs saw success. The youth program will follow the adult program closely, which currently has over 1,500 small groups and 30,000 members. In groups of 12-15, youth will study various passages from the Bible as well as support each other through each season of life. The first year of the program will focus on 1st and 2nd Corinthians, which will then conclude in July of 2018
On August 31st Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College (MIPC) received word that they had secured accreditation for their Hospitality Management, Tourism & Travel Management, Building Construction Technology, Electrical Technology, Environment & Water Technology, and Information & Communication programs. The college is awaiting accreditation for two other programs, Project Management and Accounting.
International Cooperating Ministries has partnered with Shyira Diocese to build two new church structures in Kareba and Rugarama parishes. Combined, the churches have around 700 members, making the buildings high impact projects. Construction on the buildings began on September 10th, with an estimated completion date of May 2018. Shyira Diocese and the Kareba and Rugarama communities are excited to see the many blessings of these new structures as they will not only be used for worship, but also as preschools during the week and Credit and Saving Scheme meeting places each month.
With the addition of Derrick Shema, pictured below, Sonrise High School now has four students studying in the United States at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Talking with Derrick a month into his freshman year, he commented, “Life at St. Olaf is pretty much the same as that at Sonrise, a loving community where you feel welcome. I am also enjoying the challenge of various assignments.” Another student, Halima Ingabire has just begun her final year at St. Olaf. She reflects, “My senior year is great and I am so grateful to be the older sister to my Rwandan family here. I am grateful as well for having everybody here because it is such a blessing!” The other two Sonrise students at St. Olaf, Amani Putter and Gaju Aline, are prospering as well. Amani has joined an American soccer team, where the students like to gather with their sponsoring host family, Donna Wiederkehr and Harvin Furman. Gaju comments, “I'm doing great at St. Olaf college. I miss Rwanda and Sonrise. Sunrise was such a memorable experience for me and will always be part of who I am. I hope to come visit soon. I wish all the best to all Sonrise students, especially this year's s3 and s6 candidates.” Seeing these students succeed at college in the United States is validation of the hard work and accomplishments of Sonrise High School. The school truly is “a light on a hill”, with their students representing excellence in all corners of the world.