Celebrating Back to School
Hello Hello everyone!! So here we are and I am SO excited to announce my first ever partnership with KEFA Project to be able to truly take one small action to affecting the orphan crisis I have been talking so much about lately.
As I have been researching, learning, listening and praying over all that is happening within the orphan crisis around the world, one of the biggest things I keep coming back to is poverty. Poverty has such a large affect on the orphan crisis in the world, because so many of these children that are brought to orphanages have loving, incredible parents, however they simply cannot provide for their family, and in order of the survival of their children they bring them to orphanages to allow them to simply have their needs met. Now, this is not the story for every orphan, or even most possibly, but it is the story of many. Many orphans are not truly orphans at all, they are simply a piece of a family struggling to make it financially and a lot of that happens to be cyclical.
The Cycle of Poverty
Because here is the thing, when a family is in poverty, they typically require their children to start working with them from a very young age to simply make ends meet and keep them from starvation. Due to this, children are not going to school, not receiving an education, and thus less likely to have the opportunity to get a better paying job for themselves and their own families one day, and thus the cycle of poverty continues.
And one of the reasons I chose to work with KEFA Project and something that they do SO incredibly well is family reconciliation. I have seen it with my own eyes from my trip over last November. And as I have spoken with Brian, the Head Director recently, they truly are making it a top priority to get all the children they are able to back into their homes with their biological families, where they can also help teach the families how to provide for themselves, while also restoring the natural bond that is there. It is a beautiful picture of restoration and hope, and it is absolutely something I think changes the course of history, when we can get young street children back into their home environments when possible.
How to Answer the Call?
So, what do we do with all of this information? We pray and we meet practical needs. The more I invest my heart and my eyes towards Jesus in this, I am so reminded that we must first meet the practical needs of these individuals. If we say we "love the world" or "have a heart for the world" or "wish things could be different" and yet do nothing to practically meet the needs of others than our words do not line up with our actions.
Now, I do want to also mention something here. I grew up in a very strict church where I was taught the law of the Lord sometimes over the love of the Lord. It took me a long time to understand the grace of Jesus, and to be honest it is something that I am still seeking to understand each day. But that to say this. We cannot help everyone. And I do not even think "help" is the right word. For truly, I see it as coming alongside an individual and saying "I see you, I believe in you, I know you have value and I want to help you to achieve some of your dreams, because you are worth it". But, we are not saviors, we who have been richly blessed are no better than the poor. We simply have been given resources into our hands, and I believe that it is our obligation to do SOMETHING good with our gifts. BUT HEAR ME IN THIS, that does not mean that we must do EVERYTHING. We cannot do it all, nor shall we do it all. But, if you are not doing at least ONE thing to stand beside the poor of this world, I might ask your heart where you stand with advocating for the least of these?
Deutoronomy 15:11 states: "For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."
Announcing Back to School Fall Mini Sessions that Give to KEFA Project!
So, with all of this, I am really excited to share with you how you can practically answer this call to open our hands to our brothers and sisters. How we can love others in need well!
The beautiful collision of photography to meet the needs of some boys in Rwanda. I will be offering MINI SESSIONS this fall, in which each session will directly sponsor a child in need!! I will be hosting mini session day events here in NW Indiana, as well as Texas and possibly KS and am willing to travel anywhere if there is interest, so don't hesitate to reach out!! Because here is the thing, these kids are WORTH IT!! This will be an opportunity for you to get some great images of you and your family together before the holidays as well as saying yes to being the hands and feet to those in need in the process!! Completely amazing right?! Each of these mini sessions will be directly aiding a child from KEFA Project to help in either education, food provisions or housing depending on what is the greatest need for each child!
Here is the breakdown and absolute specifics:
Mini Session with Laura Duggleby Photography:
25 min session,
20 digitally edited images
3- 5x7 prints.
AND a print of your sponsor child!!!
(to consistently remind you of the child you have said yes to being a blessing to! )
Cost: $150 -
($30 of each session is going DIRECTLY to KEFA Project, where the project director Brian Beckman and his staff will determine which of the 3 categories: education, food or living the money will go towards depending on the child's greatest need at this time).
LOCATIONS I DATES I TIMES:
NW INDIANA- Sat. SEPT 16th
times: Approx. 6:30AM, 7:00AM, 7:30AM, 8:00AM I 7:00PM, 7:30PM, 8:00PM, 8:30PM
DFW TEXAS- Sun. Oct. 8th
times: Approx. 7:30AM, 8:00AM, 8:30AM, 9:00AM I 7:00PM, 7:30PM, 8:00PM, 8:30PM
Topeka/Kansas City, KANSAS- Tentatively NOV. 4th
times: Approx. 8:00AM, 8:30AM, 9:00AM, 9:30AM
So guys, if you need Christmas card photos, now is the time! If you just need some updates family portraits, now it the time! If you simply want to help some kids be provided for, and get beautiful images in the process, now is the time!!
Below I am listing ALL the boys that we are praying over and hoping to bless with $30 each through these mini sessions. I will be advertising a name beside each time slot, however if you truly feel called to give to a certain boy, than by all means, let me know and we can make that happen! Here are their stories. Because as you also know I firmly believe that EVERY story matters! Let's show up for these young men.
001 Bonane spent several years as a house boy and off and on the streets. He is an extremely talented soccer player and he was able to move into our academy at an older age. He has graduated with a degree in general mechanics and pursuing both a career in soccer and in mechanics. He is currently in our transition program that prepares the young men to leave the academy and be able to make a sustainable living and handle finances.
002 Masta (Claude) grew up in a taxi park called Nyabugogo. He was famous for stealing bikes. Now at the academy, he is famous for soccer, rapping, and dancing. He is currently finishing his final year of primary school and excited to start secondary school.
003 Billgates (real name Jean De Dieu) came into our academy after it had been opened for two years. We brought him in the academy specifically so he could deal with a medical condition. This allowed him to focus on his soccer development and education. He is a leader of the other boys and frequently helps boys who are struggling make good decisions. He is in charge of training other boys to understand how to save money. He is currently studying computer science at university.
004 Alex’s mother and father died when he was young. When he moved with his brothers and sisters to the capital city of Kigali, he began associating with a street gang called the Marines. He left home and began using drugs and stealing. He entered into our academy when it opened and began to transform immediately. He was reconciled back with his family and excelled in school. He just completed vocational training school in panel beating (auto body repair) and has begun working in this field. His brother tells us, “I am so happy he is doing well now. I just love him so much.”
005 Eric is a bright young athlete who works hard, shares his faith with the community, and loves those younger than him well. We found him initially on the streets.
006. Noah grew up in poverty and was part of a street kids program. He was able to join the academy when it began. He is an extremely funny boy and one of the comedians of the academy – always making the other boys laugh. He was able to finish high school this past year with high marks. He is going to university and studying computer science.
007. Vama grew up in a taxi park called Nyabugogo. He is a massive soccer fan and can be found either jumping up and down when his teams (Real Madrid and Chelsea) are winning or bemoaning the loss when they are not. He has an infectious smile and is a bright student. He is currently finishing his final year of primary school.
009 Nana grew up in a poor family. He is a soft spoken boy. He is a quiet leader, one who does not stand out, but has a huge impact on the other boys. He has a huge smile, is a dedicated student, a dedicated athlete, and an all around positive influence on everyone at the academy. He has big dreams of playing soccer at university outside of Rwanda.
010 Gatari grew up on the streets. He was part of a gang called the Marines. They received their name from diving into raging water during the rainy season to retrieve items for people. He is extremely strong and loves younger kids. While at the academy, he even started his own team for younger boys. He graduated from vocational training school with an emphasis of general mechanics. He currently is playing soccer in Rwanda’s Professional Second Division and is working to find employment.
011 Etienne grew up on and off of the streets. He is a goalkeeper on the field and off the field can often be found creating many types of creative competitions for himself and his teammates. After winning, or losing, he will declare 'I AM THE CHAMPION.' He is currently helping to support his younger sister.
012 Olivier grew up in a poor family and is the younger brother of some of our first community athletes. He is one the leaders and spokesmen of all the boys at the academy. He is extremely talented at English and can even translate English now. He is a fearless goalkeeper. He gives other athletes wise advice and pushes them to be better people. He is currently studying telecommunications at University.
013 Laurent came from an extremely poor family. He entered into the academy when it began. He is an extremely sweet kid and loving of others. This past year he finished senior six in high school. He is currently studying hard so that he can go to university. He has a passion for graphic design and hopes to become a designer.
014 Focus lived on the streets at a taxi park called Nyabugogo. When we were working to start the academy, Focus was arrested and put in prison for living on the streets. We worked to get him released and moved into the academy. When he finally was able to move in he was extremely weak and sick. Of all the boys at the academy, I do not think a single boy has changed more from Focus. He changed from a boy who was extremely tough and unkind, to a boy who took care of others and we could rely on for anything. He finished vocational training school in panel beating (auto body repair). He is extremely passionate about this field and is looking for full-time employment.
015 Eric grew up off and on the streets. He is a very bright student and talented soccer player. He speaks English well and is studying hard in his final year of high school with hopes of playing and studying abroad. He has played at the highest level of soccer in Rwanda.
016 Bienvenue is a comedian in the academy. He loves to make others laugh and to be a showman – once you get to know him. He lived on the streets for a long time as part of a gang of kids.
017 No athlete is happier to be at the academy than Jean Claude. He is one of our top young athletes and is top of his class in school. He lived for one year on the streets before entering the academy.
018 Sostine is one of our youngest athletes at the academy. He lived on the streets from seven until early this year. He is doing great at school, has an infectious laugh, is a talented martial artist, and loves challenging older boys on the soccer field.
019 Sumayir is a ball of energy! He lived on the streets since the age of seven. He loves dancing, karate, and rapping. He is the most expressive kid at the academy and lives life with full passion.
020 Theogene is a mentor for the youngest boys at the academy as you can see from the picture. He left the academy for sometime and was back on the streets, but was able to come back rejoin our academy and is preparing to start vocational training. He is wise and cares well for others.
021 Jean de Dieu lived on the streets for many years before entering the academy. He was part of a gang of kids on the streets. Even while on the streets, he was sometimes able to attend school. He is currently top of his class in school.
022 Emile was the leader of a gang of kids on the streets. He protected the younger boys and looked after them. He loves life at the academy where he has made many friends, is attending school, and getting to be a kid.
023 Dushimwe is the youngest athlete at the academy and has the biggest smile in the world. He lived on the streets for several years. He loves to dance, to play soccer, and to wink at people.
024 Jean Baptiste is the newest athlete in our academy. He lived on and off of the streets and he came to our academy after being released from a youth detention center. He has a mischievous smile, is extremely smart, and loves jumping into anything that is happening at the academy.
025 Kamanayo lived on the streets at a taxi park called Nyabugogo. When we were working to start the academy Kamanayo was arrested and put in prison for living on the streets. We worked to get him released and moved into the academy. When he finally was able to move in he was extremely weak and sick. He flourished at the academy and completely transformed his life. He finished vocational training school with an emphasis in panel beating (auto body repair). He is currently in our transition program and working to find employment.
026 Theoneste grew up spending a portion of his day at a landfill near his home. We met him when we started a team for boys in that landfill. He joined the academy when the academy started. He is a quiet, kind boy and is very intelligent. He immediately began to grow and change at the academy. He graduated from vocational training school with a degree in general mechanics. He is currently living in our transitional program and is looking for employment.
And let me say this finally friends, this organization is the same I was blessed to be able to travel with last November. I have had the privilege of meeting most of these boys and they are such good people. They are kind and honest, and work hard. They are loyal and genuine and just super fun to be around. KEFA Project has done and extraordinary job with them and continues to do so day in and day out as they lead up this next generation of men!! If you choose to partner with us through getting some images taken this fall with me, you are going to be blessed. For truly our joy resides as we give. Let us give. Let us do our part to share hope, to share our stories with them, as they so beautifully share theirs with us. May we unify together as one body and support others around us. For that is where beauty and the rich life exists. This is helping prevent orphan care. And that is love. This is action. This is grace.
If you would like to book your session, please click below!
Or if you would like more information on this amazing organization or how else you can further get involved with them, here is where you can find them:
Thanks so much you guys!! Cannot wait to have you be a part of this amazing opportunity!! And please share this with family and friends so that we might be able to get ALL of these boys sponsored!!
~In rich expectancy and joy,