AEE-Rwanda implements a healing and reconciliation program targeting both students and out of school youth. The program also targets the key community groups that have greater influence on youth. The key ones being parents, teachers, grassroots leaders, and pastors.
The youth are the nation. More than 50% of Rwanda’s population is under the age of 18. Preparing the youth to become responsible citizens will break the cycle of violence. Parents probably have the greatest influence in molding the character of their children.
Parents were educated to impart messages of repentance, forgiveness, and peaceful coexistence with other groups.
Pastor Come Rwasibo one of the 14 pastors trained on healing and reconciliation tells his story. Come is the Senior Pastor of Rwanda Christian Revival Church (RCRC), He resides in Mwurire Sector, Ntunga cell, Cyimbazi village in Rwamagana District.
Come shared how he had experienced healing because of the training that helped him to understand that forgiving those who wounded him is the only way to experience healing and completely get rid of wounds of trauma that resulted from the loss of his beloved family members in 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi and the betrayal from fellow pastors in the ministry 10 years ago.
“Being healed of wounds of trauma is a result of discovering personal inner strengths and accepting help from others-willing people. When I was listened to during the training, I felt respected by people who gave me their time in listening to me. I felt safe which gave me the courage to share my past painful and hurting experiences with group members. In the 1994 I lost my beloved relatives who were innocently killed. This wounded my heart, I always found it hard to forgive those who killed my relatives. Ten years ago, I was also hurt by fellow pastors in the ministry. Colleagues unlawfully sued me and broke away with three-quarters of the churches I had facilitated to start in the ministry”, With sobbing eyes, Come narrates his painful story.
“For all this time, I felt bitter and inhabiting unforgiveness despite being a Senior Pastor, but I am now free, my heart is clean. I have understood that many wounded people resent God and hate people which continues to limit their development both economically and spiritually. From the time I made the decision to forgive those who hurt me, I have begun to experience inner peace and I feel restful. From now onwards, I will purposefully listen to people and help them to get healed of their wounds of trauma. Like it has been to me, many wounded people do not want to be approached or share their painful experiences and get healed” said Pastor Come.
Poverty neglect and rural migration have led to around 61,000 children aged under 15 years being forced onto the streets of Ghana’s capital city Accra. Sadly the right to food, health, education and a safe environment are missing for these children and they are open to abuse, trafficking, health risks as well as being exposed to and involved in crime.
Every year through the Ghana Street Children Apprenticeship Project (SCAP), 50 children otherwise destined for crime and abuse are brought off the streets and equipped with skills through vocational courses including dressmaking and tailoring, computing, hairdressing and beautician, aluminum fabrication and auto mechanics.
One of these graduates, Gabriel Otoo, completed his training in auto-mechanics and now works independently in an Accra city shop. He is not taking the opportunity lightly, and is working hard to establish his new business and to employ others.
“I am forever grateful for AE Ghana and all the donors”, he said. “My goal is to save for land to develop into a training workshop and other children like I was.”
Providing a better future for other disadvantaged youth is now a passion, all made possible because AE supporters gave him a helping hand when he had no much hope.
“What AE has done for me, I am obliged to pay back by giving back to society”, he said.
Thank you for all your faith in the work of God to change lives through word and deed in the name of Jesus. Thank you for your continued support towards AE Ghana’s SCAP program.
SIMON NZIVWA MUNDU, AEI INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS MANAGER
Simon is the International Operations Manager for AE overseeing AE’s financial, procurement and asset management and financial reporting among others. Simon is also charged with establishing and operationalizing the African Enterprise Southern Africa Region (AESAR), a new mode of operation that AE is piloting.
I first heard about AE from my local congregation pastor who comes from the same locality with a former AE Kenya National Team Leader; Mr Gerishon Mwiti.
Born 54 years ago (12th March 1967) in the eastern region of Kenya, Simon is the second born in a family of nine (6 brothers and 3 sisters) him being the elder son. His parents are peasant farmers.
Simon is an holder of Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degree and an MBA both from the University of Nairobi. In addition, Simon is a Certified Public Accountant in Kenya and a member of the institute of Certified Public Accountants in Kenya. My work experience started 29 years ago in private sector with the last 5 years in government sector and now in the NGO sector.
I committed my life to Christ in January 1986 while a student in secondary school. Thereafter I served in various capacities in the Christian Unions culminating with being chair of Uttermost Evangelistic Team (UET) which spreads the gospel in the rural areas prior to joining AE. Being in AE is an extension of serving God just like in the previous role at UET but this time in urban locations which is a new environment.
I am married to one wife (Grace) and are blessed with three children (Euphemia, Elijah and Emmanuel). On the photo we are from the left: Emmanuel, Grace, Euphemia, Simon and Elijah.
The life of Jesus Christ influences my spiritual life deeply as I read how he lived and demonstrated his faith daily and in public. Consequently, my favourite book of the bible is the Acts of the Apostles. It lays the biblical foundations of the church and instructs the life of a Christian including demonstrating the power of God at work in believers.
Aid and Development Testimonies and Stories
“We cannot be lulled into a false sense of security. The devastating surge of cases and deaths in India, and increases in other regions of the world, are clear signs that the pandemic is not yet over in African countries. A new upsurge of COVID-19 infections is a real risk in many countries even if the region’s case count in recent weeks appears to be stable,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Combatting COVID-19 fatigue appears to be the key battle in our collective response to the pandemic.”
WHO, African countries face high risk of COVID-19 resurgence, 29 April 2021 https://www.afro.who.int/news/african-countries-face-high-risk-covid-19-resurgence
For over a year now, our teams have been responding to the pandemic by distributing food, facemasks, and sanitation products. They have also been providing temporary or building permanent wash basins in community areas. The need is forever increasing and our teams are working hard to look after those who are suffering.
Below are some stories and testimonies from our teams:
AE Ethiopia recently distributed food parcels to 50 family heads who are some of the poorest in the community. The selection of the beneficiaries was done in partnership with the 15 local churches that AEE is working with for the 2021 Kotebe mission. It was explained to the beneficiaries that AEE is compelled to do such social action by the love of Christ.
A life transformed – Selina’s story
In remote parts of Ghana, children are often compelled to drop out of school to contribute to family income. In some cases this leaves them vulnerable to abuse. Providing a vocational pathway to young people to help them when their parents cannot, is a part of the ministry of African Enterprise Ghana. Amongst the hundreds of beneficiaries/graduates per year, Selina had it as hard as many. Emerging from a polygamous family of 11, Selina life was transformed after enrolling in the Ghana Street kids apprenticeship program. On completing her 3 year course, Selina now works in partnership with her mother to support her family and save toward creating their own tailoring shop. We are grateful to God that her future has a greater certainty than ever before.
A testimony from Kenya
“My name is Elvis Oltunga, I am 15 years old and I live in Korogocho slums with my parents and 3 siblings. I have just completed my primary school studies at Totola Primary School in Korogocho and I am looking forward to high school. I am very grateful to AEE for supporting me with school shoes and food for my family.
Hand Washing Stations Constructed at Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDCs)
A child in Rwanda is considered poor if they have no access to at least three of the following nutrition, water, sanitation, housing child protection (UNICEF Rwanda 2018, Child Poverty in Rwanda Summary). The cycle of poverty threatened to escalate during covid, however thanks to the work of AE Rwanda, washing stations were built at five early development centres to ensure that children had better access to sanitation and water to enable these schools to reopen.
With these raised hygiene standards, transmission of the covid virus and disease is significantly reduced. We give thanks for support and prayers that enabled us to make these important steps forward in consultation with communities.
Testimony from South Sudan
My name is Mrs. Sabi Agile, I am a mother of 5 children. My family was displaced from our home in Goro after fighting broke out between 2 tribes. For many nights we could not sleep in our houses and slept in the bushes due to fear of attacks and after many got killed we decided to flee and seek refuge in another area.
We walked for many hours without food or water and the children were crying but we had to keep moving until we got to Gudele where we felt safer and sought refuge from friends and relatives. Life has been very difficult here since we are not farming or doing any work to be able to buy food and other things for the family and we have been forced to rely on well-wishers for our daily survival as we wait to return to our homes when the fighting stops.
I am very grateful to African Enterprise for the gifts of food and soap that they have brought us today, we were not expecting it but God heard our cry and sent them to us. I am happy that for the next few days I will not have to worry about food for my children and I am very grateful to African Enterprise for your kindness and love to us.
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Cooper Kruize, an AE supporter, reflects on why he partners with AE and meeting Stephen Lungu.
I was a young man in high school searching for something to fill a hole in my life, God through Stephen and his story, showed me that it wasn’t popularity, influence, respect, or a good time that I was searching for, it was forgiveness and wholeness that only Jesus could bring.
In 2008 I was in year 8, a young man, just over a year into high school and although to all my friends and family on the outside I looked happy, I felt like I was far from it. Since immigrating to Australia in 2001 from South Africa, I have always been someone who has lived in the fast lane of life, chasing the next thing. Whether that be the next race, the next “life experience”, the next “well done” from my coaches”, the next friendship, what every it was, when I got it, it wasn’t enough, I needed more, although I didn’t know it. Until my mum took me along to hear Stephen Lungu’s story one night at Turramurra High School.
From the moment Steven got up from his seat in the front row and walked up the stairs on the side of the stage he had my undivided attention. As Stephen begun to share his story I was absorbed, my heart quickly opened-up and aligned with his, it wasn’t that I had the same life experiences as Stephen, in fact it couldn’t be further from it. Although I don’t think I could have articulated it back then, there was one thing that our stories unmistakably had in common – we had a God shaped hole in our lives and we were trying to fill it with things that could not fit, things that could never satisfy. It was through Stephens story my heart knew what it needed to be satisfied, I needed Jesus, I needed him to forgive me and fill me with life, so that I may live life truly to the full. After the event I went up to Stephen who laid hands on me and prayed for me. It was then that I broke down in tears, I don’t know why I was crying, but all I knew is that they were good tears, it was as if I was crying away the chains that I had been a slave to, I felt free.
It wasn’t till a few year later I was re-acquainted to the work that AE was doing all around the world. I was overjoyed to find out that I was not the only life that God had changed through this ministry. Every year through AE over a million people hear the good news that Jesus gives life, eternal life that our hearts desire. Giving to this ministry is the best investment that I have ever made, I can’t wait to meet all my brothers and sisters from Africa one day in heaven and hear how God used AE to bring them to eternal relationship and life with Jesus.