Posts Tagged ‘Future Hope Africa’

This week in Bukavu – 5/18

Future Hope Africa Green Club

 

The population in Bukavu has multiplied so much from 1996 when the first war started. Now, a city built for a couple hundred thousand people is filled with 830.000 and counting, in 2018, and the household waste has grown proportionally.

Unfortunately, there is no system organized for waste management here. And the new population is not educated for that. Thus, the streets are full of dumps and houses are dwelling among small ones here and there.

One of the consequences of that being that people now, especially young ones end up not liking their city and strive to seek for life elsewhere, they think they can do nothing to help improve things here. FHA actions are showing that we can surely do something to improve things in our country!

FHA decided to take action about this as well. Our first Green Club for a cleaner environment was created last school year in one of our partner schools called Mushere, with the idea of  duplication in other schools.

Our youth in the Prince club and the members of the Mushere Green Club, about 30 young people in all, cleaned the three dumps that were surrounding the streets near our center. We are sending announcements to be read in the churches on Sunday morning to raise awareness among the Christian community, and then on Sunday afternoon (May 20th), we will march with messages to discourage bad and unsafe waste management. For our own wellbeing.

When we went to ask for permission at the city hall, the Mayor was so supportive and promised to provide press covering to the procession on Sunday. We believe they will help us in the follow up as well.

We will let you know how this procession goes!

Photos from our Cleanup Day…

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Here’s how you can help FHA:

  1. Ask if your church would help sponsor our VBS for 2018
  2. Pray with us:
  • For our Young Leader and Green Clubs event on Sunday May the 20th,  that all will go well and it will have the desired impact on the population of Nguba, to help create a cleaner Bukavu.
  • Did you know we have to write our own VBS curriculum?  Please pray as we are trying to decide about the theme for this year’s VBS, that HE will provide wisdom.
  • For the building expansion of the Kanega Education Center (we need more space to serve more students), that HE would open the doors that are still closed.

 

With love,

Bintu

Bintu head shot


To DONATE to our VBS Campaign visit our Mightycause page: VBS 2018

Visit our website to learn more about all FHA programs: futurehopeafrica.org

Email us: info@futurehopeafrica.org


 

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This week in Bukavu – 4/28

More on Microloans

Our microloan committee has been working hard going through the business proposals given to us by candidates who would like to receive a microloan from our program.

 

Did you know it’s not easy to get a microloan from us? To be eligible, candidates must first take our FBS (Focus Business School) training. Some have said “I want the money but I do not need the training.” No, that would be too easy.

 

By taking the course we can be sure they understand good business practices which will help ensure their success. We also teach them how to build a business plan for their new or expanding business, which they submit to us as part of their application for a microloan.

 

Last week, as planned, we gave our first two microloans. One for the chicken business I mentioned last week and the other for a convenience store.

 

We have 3 more proposals pending on our table and are very excited to be able to help individuals start or expand a business that will help their families to be financially stable.

 

Focus Business School

Speaking of FBS, we are currently hosting our fourth Focus Business School seminar in Bukavu. More about that next week.

 

Prayer requests for the week of April 23, 2018

Below is a list of our specific prayers from this week’s gathering. Please join us in prayer:

  • That GOD would fill us with energy to serve our children.
  • For the children who participate in our homework school, that GOD will help them understand their lessons easily.
  • For their teachers who need courage and a loving heart to serve the children.
  • For our mobile library and the people who are in charge. Also, that all the children who have the opportunity to read our books, would make the best use of them and it will help them learn.
  • For the Focus Business School course, that GOD will bless the learners as well as the trainers.

We closed with the LORD’s prayer.

 

With love,

Bintu

Bintu head shot

MICROLOANS and more…

Spring Break
During our recent Spring vacation our devoted teachers offered music classes to our students and gave extra help to some of the children who are having difficulties with their school work. Now we’re back from vacation and offering our usual homework classes, from Monday to Friday.

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Microloans for entrepreneurs
In case you haven’t heard, we’ve been offering a course to teach people how to start and run businesses using Biblical principles (Focus Business School) and we will be offering microloans to help some of them get their businesses going.

On Monday we met to pray for our first microloan distributions; that GOD will bless the entrepreneurs with knowledge and wisdom in what they’re planning to do. We’re praying for the borrowers to succeed in their businesses and be a testimony to GOD’s blessing in our community and that they will be able to reimburse the money to us so others can use it after them.

We were able to give our first microloan to an entrepreneur who will be raising chickens for eggs. This is a $1500 business. We are so proud for our first loan and we praise GOD for our funders who allowed GOD to use them for this. What an opportunity!

Specific Prayers

We also prayed for the things listed below.  Would you join us in prayer for them as well?

1. We pray for full success for all our students as they are working on their last semester of the school year.
2. We have four students who are having great difficulty and we pray they will catch up and be able to move up to the next level.
3. We have a few students who are being rude and disobedient and we pray for a change in their attitudes and behavior.
4. We pray for our sponsors and the funders of our programs wherever they are.
5. We pray for our staff members and personnel here in Bukavu, for good health and motivation.
6. We pray for the continued success of our education center and all its programs.

More about microloans later!

With love,

Bintu

Bintu head shot

 

HOPE

Hope.  What is the definition of hope?  How do the people of Bukavu keep their hopes alive?  And how do we, as sponsors, friends, and prayer partners, give enough of ourselves to keep that hope alive?  Read below to hear directly from Bintu on the issues that the people of Bukavu and our friends at the center are facing and living day-to-day.  Know that what you give with your prayers, time, and money does make a difference.  We, as sponsors, must continue to do our part to help keep that hope alive–Sara Johnson

 

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–Our future hope is here, in the faces of our children.

 

Hope when everything you see says,

“Don’t get your hopes up!”

 

Bukavu and the entire DRC have been going through a lot of turmoil and all kinds of calamities that have brought discouragement and have gotten our hopes down for decades.  For all  this time, it’s like we have always been waiting expectantly to hear worse news than what we already hear from our home city:  Nothing clear on the horizon.  Complete darkness.

How can you risk beginning anything new in a place where there is no competent infrastructure working?  There is nothing that encourages you to build or invest for the future here.  Nothing.  That is why young people are fleeing the country.  That is why many people are not even trying.  They stay in complete numbness and without vision.

The picture of our present Bukavu is of complete darkness.  From a bad economy to corruption, from anarchic building to bad roads.  (By the way, I had already returned to Bukavu when I saw tractors, one day, purposely destroying the road in front of our center—that was about 3 years ago.  Albert, our administrator, went to talk to the tractor driver and he said they were destroying to rebuild a new road. Two governors have come and gone since that happened.  And now the road is in even worse condition than before!  It was never rebuilt.)  Many taxis and other vehicles for public transportation do not come to our streets any more.  Cars suffer much damage on this side of Bukavu so drivers don’t come here anymore.

For many things I see, it just goes from bad to worse!

The population in Bukavu seems to increase every single day as if someone were making humans and multiplying them somewhere near.  Streets are crowded with so many people that you can no longer enjoy a quiet walk in the main streets of Bukavu anymore.  In the same way, houses are growing from everywhere.  We have no idea who is building them, and no regulations are being followed at all!  Nice property is being sold to people who have no idea of the proper way to build.  Most of the time, the buyers resell to tens of people, and a piece of land intended for one house ends up with ten buildings.

Thus, the problem to continuously distribute electricity and running water to all at the same time fails because the facilities were intended for a tenth of the current population.   And despite the taxes paid for electricity and water, some households are still paying monthly.  There is no option to upgrade the facilities and no one knows why.

At the same time, technology is growing so widely.  Canal + (a TV channel provider) is gaining new subscribers every day.  Some people do not have a house to shelter in but have a Dish on top of their “pretend” roof.  Families gather around a screen showing nice houses while sitting on the floor—but they don’t care—they are just trying to survive!

Almost every teenager has a smart phone with lots of virtual friends to chat with.  They spend their money on megabytes provided by phone companies, but most of them do not have food on their table more than once a day.  They have begun copying dressing styles and other behaviors that they see on shows and in the media.  But they still walk on the muddy roads!  And they cannot tell their parents to build their houses like the ones they see on tv shows.  It is like they can’t see ahead, to a better way, a better future!

To all of this, you add a few more things like trash in the streets (there is no garbage service), bad traffic orchestrated by crazy untrained drivers that have no idea of a traffic code.  Add unemployment and insecurity….and the list keeps going!

And yet, still in this same city, you meet people who are trying to emerge, to do well, to meet life’s goals, to pursue ambitions, to start businesses, to improve what they already have….and those who are seeking for any opportunity that comes their way.  These are the individuals we like to serve.

Pastor Emmanuel Lubala came up with a very interesting topic for the year 2018:  “HOPE” ( How can you paint such a dark picture and still talk about HOPE?)

It drew my attention, especially because of Future Hope Africa and our mission, and, also because of his preferred Bible verse during the two-week seminar:  Jeremiah 29:11.  His plans for our future are great, no matter what our present situation looks like.

In such a desolated place, where there is so much value crisis, the word, hope, is becoming so meaningless.  “Hopefully,” we say.  “Hope is alive,” we also say.  But how much of that do we believe?

When you have hope, you fight! You do not cowardly run away from the battlefield. When David went to fight against Goliath, when he saw Goliath running towards him, he also ran to meet/fight him.  1 Samuel 17:48

We should not run away from our fights. We should confront them.

 

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–Education, teaching our children for the hope of their future.

I took this information for me and for our non-profit, Future Hope Africa in Bukavu.  I and my colleagues from FHA cannot just leave the DRC and go to be fake refugees somewhere in a Western country.  We cannot just sell all that we have, including family and friends and our community’s chance at wellness, to go for a better life in Europe or in America.  We cannot just think of ourselves while a whole community is going through turmoil.  No, we can’t.  That would just be the most selfish way to live, thinking of our own comfort and not others.  Some may feel okay with that, but we just don’t.

I have to fight! Congolese people have to fight.  People from Bukavu have to fight.  We all have to fight!  Our enemy is not a person. No—No! Our enemy is a situation, a state of malaise, a culture of depression.  It is a number of things put together against our development, against our peace, against our security, against our happiness.

We cannot be afraid to take risks while we have the Almighty one on our side.
FHA will take risks to bring change!!

–Bintu

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–Planting, watering.  Looking to the future. 

Pray for FHA and Bintu  to continue, looking towards leadership that will lead them into a future for their city and their people with hope in their hearts and minds.  Let them not grow weary in the race that they are running, let them not grow weary in doing what is good and right for the people of Bukavu and Congo. Pray for them, pray for their leaders, pray for their country.–Sara Johnson

Connecting Continents, Student to Student

Bracing for winter storms, my husband has diligently been filling empty containers with water “just in case.” In North America and Europe we don’t often consider the day-to-day struggles others have to obtain clean water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.

A group of students in the Netherlands rose to the challenge of investigating global clean water issues and connected with some of Future Hope Africa’s students in the Congo to ask questions about DRC students lives and issues they face. The video below offers you and me a glimpse of their investigation.

Do you know some students or a class that would like to connect with our students in Bukavu? Let us know.

Meanwhile, several empty water containers were found in my son’s room where he used Dad’s emergency supply to refill his fish tank. 

–Kristin

 


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LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUWAYG7YElY&feature=youtu.be

 


Email us at: futurehopeafrica@gmail.com    Visit our website at: futurehopeafrica.org


Bintu in a cowboy hat?

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New cowboy hat. San Antonio, Texas

My visit with Bintu:

What a blessing it was to finally, after so many years—at least 10—to have my sweet sister, Bintu, travel all the way to Texas to visit with David and me.  We so enjoyed her

Bintu-restaurant

At Mi Tierra in San Antonio’s Market Square

stay here and were glad to offer her respite after her flurry of travel and presentations.  My favorite part of her visit was our taking her downtown to the Alamo in San Antonio, along with taking her to the top of the Tower of the Americas so that she could see the entire city and surrounding areas.  We ate an afternoon snack there in the revolving restaurant, which was a comedy in and of itself with David present.  On the Riverwalk, we ate Texas Barbecue and  bought her a Cowboy hat which she took with her back to Congo (I can’t wait to see pictures of her in Congo with her hat!).

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Tower of the Americas San Antonio, Texas

One of the things we discussed was quilting and how we could put together packets to send to Congo for the children to learn to quilt.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time this trip to get any of the kits made.  I hope to get a few made with instructions, learn SKYPE, and see if we can’t have some online classes.

I think her favorite part of the visit was just relaxing and taking as many showers as she wanted.  I didn’t think it would be so hard to let her go, but it was.  I am so glad we got to visit and just love up on one another as sisters do.  My hope is that she will be able to return again on her next visit for more rest and relaxation.

Sara Johnson
Boerne, Texas

 

 

 

Above left: Making a presentation about FHA in Boerne, Texas.

Top right: Visiting with Rachel and Madeline in Boerne, Texas (did I really teach them French 10 years ago?).

Bottom right: Texas barbecue on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas