2015 was a year of progress and planning with an eye towards the future for Building Hope for Africa, and Philippe and I wanted to take the time to recap 2015 and update you on our plans for BHA in 2016.
Several key milestones were achieved in 2015, on both an administrative and programmatic front:
- BHA continued to successfully sponsor four kids – Prime, Grace, Cedric and Eric – to stay in school. BHA’s partner organization in Rwanda, Grain de Seneve, fed the children twice a week, as a way of staying in constant communication with them. They monitored the state of the children’s progress in school by sending a social worker to both their school and home once per week to meet with their teachers and guardians. All of the children are progressing successfully in school.
- We were granted our tax exempt status by the IRS as well as CA Tax Franchise Board.
- Anna Decuir joined the BHA team as our Development and Communications Manager. Anna has brought vast non-profit experience and has breathed new life into our fundraising and communication activities.
- We welcomed a new Board Member, Shilpa Girimaji, a Sacramento based attorney who is passionate about global injustice.
- With the success of our theater pilot project that BHA launched in 2014, we have been heavily involved in planning its development into a sustainable program in Rwanda.
With 2015 behind us, BHA is looking forward to 2016 and has the following programmatic goals:
- Increase the number of kids we are sponsoring to attend primary school to at least six kids, and possibly more.
- Conduct a 5 day theater workshop, based on the success of our 2014 pilot project, which explores the important social issues involving kids in Rwanda and results in a play that can be performed countrywide to raise awareness on the issues identified by the workshop participants.
- Develop a theater troupe that meets on a weekly basis and performs their play in at least 3 locations throughout the country of Rwanda, enabling the kids to raise awareness about the social issues they deem most important and advocate on their own behalf. For example, during our 2014 workshop the kids identified domestic abuse against kids as a social issue that needed to be featured in their play and talked about with their community leaders.
In order to achieve these goals in 2016 BHA is planning a number of fundraising activities both online and around the Sacramento area. Part of our fundraising push involves small house parties, where supporters of BHA will host a small house party (15-25 people) that gives an opportunity for us to talk to their guests about the important work we are doing in Rwanda, answer questions and garner support. If you are interested in hosting such a house party, please email us at [email protected].
We are also planning an online crowdfunding campaign to launch February 1, 2016. This will allow donors to directly sponsor kids’ schooling and attendance of our theater workshop. The campaign will feature some cool giveaways (such as t-shirts and bracelets) so stay tuned for more info!
BHA is excited to announce that on April 2, 2016 we will host our 1st annual fundraiser in Elk Grove, CA which will feature dinner, dancing, a silent auction and a screening of our documentary of our 2014 pilot project. Tickets will go on sale in early March. We encourage everyone interested in attending to follow us on Facebook for further details.
Finally, we are beginning to explore the idea of coordinating a trip to Rwanda for anyone interested in seeing the country and visiting our project site. The trip is in its early stages of development, but it would likely take place in 2017 and be 2-3 weeks in length. We would tailor the trip to those who sign up, but could potentially include visiting the community we work with in Rwanda and volunteer time with the kids. Other things that can be incorporated into a trip is time in the country’s capitol of Kigali (an urban city with nice restaurants, night clubs, shopping), safari, hiking in the country’s beautiful hills (which could include an encounter with Rwanda’s famous gorilla population), visiting Lake Kivu, and touring the country’s memorial sites. If you are interested in such a trip please email Christine Calouro at [email protected] for more info.
We are excited for what 2016 has in store for our small but growing non-profit organization. If you would like to get involved or support us please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, visit our website and/or participate in some of our upcoming events. Together we can make a difference in kids’ lives, and keep them off the streets.
Thank you for all your support!
Christine and Philippe