By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Curriculum Specialist
Woodland Hills Church
For several years now, Heroes Gate has taken the month of February to partner with our kids and families to raise funds for children thousands of miles away through our Love Makes Cents initiative. In previous years, we focused on helping the Woodland Hills Partner Ministry of COFHED, serving in Lougou, Haiti, with various school and community projects aimed at enhancing lives, health, and education. It has been amazing to see our children empty their piggy banks or do extra chores around the home or neighborhood in order to help kids they’ve never met have better, brighter lives.
This year, we’re thrilled to expand Love Makes Cents across the Atlantic to work with Nibakure Children’s Village, another Partner Ministry of Woodland Hills near Nyamata, Rwanda. Founded by Woodland Hills attendee and Rwandan native, Floriane Blown, Nibakure Children’s Village opened in 2011with a desire to partner with widows to provide orphaned children in Rwanda with safe housing, a foster family, healthcare, education, career training, and, most importantly, hope. It is their mission to create a self-sustaining model for caring for orphans and vulnerable children in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Nibakure Children’s Village currently houses 19 orphaned or vulnerable children while also supporting the educations of an additional 11 local children. Nibakure staff also work with the broader community by empowering local women in their work and assisting with trauma resources for a nearby high school. Because of their rural location, they are off the local electrical grid, and, yet, they want to give their children the opportunity to use technology and computers to advance their educations as well as expand this training to adults in the future. That’s where Love Makes Cents comes in!
This year, all donations to Love Makes Cents will go toward the purchase of solar panels for the children’s village. With a full solar panel-powered electrical system, Nibakure Children’s Village will have its own self-sustaining (and green) power supply, enabling them to provide consistent technology resources for the children and staff at low cost.
How can your family help? We will be handing out bank boxes on Sunday, February 2nd, in Elementary (Preschoolers can pick them up at a special table in the EC hallway) which the kids can use to store their donations. More banks will be available this coming Sunday for children who were gone last weekend. Children are encouraged to think of creative and helpful ways in which they can fill up the banks, such as offering to help with an extra chore or two around the house, talking to family and friends about Nibakure and how they want to help, selling (with parents’ permission) unwanted books to a local book-buyer, etc. Donations are accepted all of February with our last day being Sunday, February 23rd (although donations will continue to be accepted through the first two Sundays in March).
We’re excited about this new partnership with Nibakure Children’s Village and can’t wait to see how the children and families of Heroes Gate show the generous love of Christ to others an ocean away! For more information about Love Makes Cents, contact Teresa at email@example.com. For more information about Nibakure Children’s Village, visit www.nibakure.org.