Grace and peace to all our wonderful supporters! The kiddos enjoyed a nice long break from mid-July until mid-September. During this time, we have been busy building our little community. We have continued to put great emphasis on developing the culture of Best Family and what it looks like to follow Jesus. In several of our sectors, our kids are growing up, entering or in the throws of their teenage years. As you can imagine, this comes with challenges for our branch leaders as they are walking through this season, guiding the kids as they discover who they want to be, and being there to provide mentorship in this formative and pivotal time in their development. We have also continued to build on our relationships with the caregivers, as the parents are the ones making the biggest and most positive impact on our kids. Our students have now been back in school for a couple of weeks as they enter their new 2023-2024 school year.
What a blessing it is to see our kids grow in their love for God. Over the past few months, we have been encouraging the kids in their confidence in Scripture, and have even seen progress in some of our older students wanting to take time to open the Word of God and preach to the other kids in their sectors. Wow! One of our focuses this past quarter was to learn the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. We have also emphasized the importance of prayer while encouraging our younger kiddos that God absolutely loves to hear their prayers, and it doesn’t matter how old you are, His ears are attentive. We continue to promote the necessity of spiritual strength and discipline as well.
Over the past few months we have been working to get report cards from every student in order to know how they progressed and performed through the end of the year. It is a requirement for every child in Best Family to produce a report card at the end of each term. This allows for transparency so that we know which kiddos are struggling and where, and allows us to mitigate problems where we can. We see which kiddos are exceeding standards (scoring above 80% in school), not meeting standards (scoring below 50%), and not reporting (forgetting to turn in report cards). This is always a big task for our branch managers but crucial in continuing the proper support for our kids’ educational success.
We continue to conduct our home visits throughout every sector in Best Family. These home visits are a crucial part of our ministry to the kids and their caregivers as it better helps pinpoint struggles and needs in the family unit, and in the lives of our kiddos specifically. Over the past few months, we have been able to purchase $955 worth of basic needs like shoes, mattresses, and clothes. We also were able to purchase new mattresses and mosquito nets, a standard gift we give every child that enters our program.
Over the past couple months, we have made two large investments in the health of our kiddos. Back in July, we purchased medical insurance for 262 children. For the other kids that their families didn’t choose to buy into the government insurance program, we will be prepared to cover most medical needs that arise. We have been blessed to have a great relationship with a local clinic that has opened up their doors to our kiddos. Additionally, we provided a new toothbrush and toothpaste for every child in Best Family as we push for better oral health care, while holding training on the proper way to brush teeth. We also met with caregivers to encourage them to bring up health concerns as soon as they arise instead of waiting for us to come around on our annual home visit.
Our kiddos enjoyed coming to the branch offices 2-3 times per week during their school break to do various activities like singing, dancing, jumping ropes, reciting poems, riding bikes, and all in all building upon their talents and interests. We also enjoy taking the kids on walks around their sector, exploring the beautiful nature around them so that they come to appreciate the creativity of our Creator.
We were able to have some great conversations with the kids about giving back to their communities. Some of our kiddos participated in the monthly volunteer day called Umuganda. We also shared about the importance of sakwe sakwe, the way early Rwandans used to make conversation with in their families to enjoy life together.
December Writing Prompt
Advent is a season of celebration at the birth of Jesus and preparation for his second coming. Share your favorite passage.
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Some Good News
In Gahengeri, Emmanuel came into the program extremely timid and afraid to open up. He also struggled in school. Over the course of a few months, we have absolutely loved seeing him come out of his shell, improving his grades drastically, while also showing a passion to encourage his peers. He is always the first kiddo at the office when we meet, and seeks to be the top student in his class at school!
By the Numbers
Here are some of the latest figures in and about our ministry.
Kids to Sponsor
Fully Paid Loans
Letters from Kids
Letters from Sponsors
Kids in Program