We hope this blog finds you all safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. Who would’ve ever guessed that our world could change so drastically overnight? Just a few weeks ago, we didn’t know words like COVID or social distancing. Shelter-in-place was something you did during a tornado! We find ourselves trusting more and more in God’s protection and peace.
We want to give you an update on The Abana Foundation and what’s happening in Rwanda. As we have seen, COVID-19 knows no boundaries and that is true for our dear friends in Kibeho. As of this writing, Rwanda has about 250 confirmed cases and they are in a strict country wide lockdown.
What does that mean for Abana and the people in Kibeho?
For Rwandans it means that they are strictly confined to their homes in the village. Homes that are very small and have no electricity or running water. Homes that have no Clorox wipes or cleaning supplies and very limited food supply. Homes without internet for online schooling, no Zoom Calls and no Netflix. No one is out and about in the village for any reason. Food is being delivered through the streets by the military.
Because of this strict lockdown, our Abana programs have seen drastic changes too. School is not in session and The Children’s Academy has been closed at least through the end of April. Our students on Abana Scholarship have returned home and are waiting to see if they will be able to return to their boarding schools.
The Seven Loaves bakery, where we prepare all the food for our Abana feeding program, has been temporarily closed. This has been devastating to the students and the families we serve. We are hopeful the bakery will be able to reopen soon and we can get back to feeding our friends and seeing their smiling faces!
One of the remarkable things we have learned from our Rwandan friends over the past 11 years is that people are incredibly resilient. They have seen so much in their lives. Poverty, Aids/HIV, Ebola, genocide...the list is long. COVID-19 is another challenge, and one that the beautiful people of Rwanda will meet with confidence in God to protect them.
In that same spirit, we, at Abana, are working to find new ways to bring HOPE to Kibeho.
Some things we are able to do during this pandemic:
• PRAY...now more than ever we feel a strong connection to Kibeho and all our donors through prayer. In Scripture we hear: “Do not be anxious about anything but with everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God. And the peace of Christ, which transcends all understanding will guard your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4: 6-7
• Because of the generosity of friends like YOU, Abana has been able to continue to pay our employees in Rwanda, giving them the best chance at working through this difficult time.
• We continue to have regular communication with the team on the ground in Kibeho and are looking to find new ways to help the community both now and in the future.
For these reasons and so many others, we are especially grateful to YOU, our Friends of the Academy, for continuing to walk alongside us as we work to sustain and build programs in Rwanda. Each and every donation we receive is so valued...especially now.
Together, we can send a loud message to our Rwandan friends that WE ARE HERE WITH YOU! We won’t leave you..and as soon as it’s possible, we’ll be back to visit!
We would love to keep you updated on all that is going at at The Abana Foundation!
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