Rubanda Solidary School Fundraising Project

 

 

 

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Rubanda Solidary School Fundraising Project

02/16/2019


Council: 12941 - BIDDEFORD

Project Description:

St. Joseph Council #12941, Knights of Columbus
Surge Report
10 February 19
Rubanda Solidary School Fundraising Project
This surge report follows my journey to Africa that I journeyed with Fr. Dominic Tumusiime our parish priest and our Chaplain of our council. In a brief overview, this was my journey.
From an Adventure to a Journey of Faith
January 14th, 2017 is when it all started. Fr. Dominic Tumusiime, our Parish priest, and a Third-Degree Knight and our Council Chaplain, was leaving for vacation to his home in Uganda. I asked Father if a person like me could make a difference if I went to his homeland and he answered, “God’s will be done”. So, with this clear answer of uncertainty and with the a deep hesitant yes from my wife Paula, I asked Fr. Dominic if I could go with him the following year. Father answered with a yes.
The next year was spent preparing myself for my journey. My infectious joy was slowly warming all those who were apprehensive about my journey. My suitcase was full of seeds, toilet paper, garden tools, flashlights, manuals, and hope! I was prepared.
Upon arrival we first traveled to Jinja, visiting Fr. Paul, a 4th degree Knight, and we then traveled to Fr. Dominic’s home in Rubanda.
My time was well spent at Father’s home and at the Rubanda Solidarity School. The school was founded in 2005 by Fr. Dominic, Sr. Stella and Community leader Mr. Roger. Under a Mango tree they developed the 3 pillars of the school (Faith, Academics and Skills). I sat at every meeting and met all the school’s teachers, directors, and community leaders. This is where I was made aware of the needs of the school and the community.
While attending Mass I was invited to speak and there I expressed to all that I had come to share my farming skills, and that I bring greetings from
America and from the Knights of Columbus. Later I planted 3 gardens with Sister Brenda and new vegetables were introduced to them.
Fr. Dominic celebrated Mass with the school’s Alumni, using the new Chalice donated to the school with engraved names of our deceased brother Knights. At least 200 plus attended the Mass in a small room. Everyone was shoulder to shoulder, overfilling the hot room and spilling over into the courtyard. It was at this moment that I asked Fr. Dominic, “Did you ever think about building a nice Multi-Purpose Hall for all school and religious functions?” And Father replied with a smile, “God willing.” Without knowing at that moment, the seed was planted in my heart.
We then journeyed to Kibeho, Rwanda. I knew nothing about Kibeho, so Father and Sr. Stella were my tutors as I learned about the whole history that led up to the genocide and the apparitions of the Blessed Mother to the 3 girls. I was well instructed but not prepared as to what was about to happen. Upon arriving we ended up having a rare and private meeting with Anathalie Mukamazimpaka. She is one of the three schoolgirls who is believed to have seen the Blessed Mother and shared her story about the apparitions with us. She gave us the opportunity to ask her any 2 questions and she answered my two questions beginning with the phrase, “The Blessed Mother told me to tell you….”. This was the moment where everything changed for me. What once was an adventure had now become a journey of faith. This is where I finally understood my purpose in life.
My time had now come to an end and with tears I gave my last hugs and farewells. I came back home with my open eyes filled with the faith and beauty that I saw and felt, my open heart filled with all the love of friendship I found throughout Uganda and most of all, open hands that were filled with the works that we all did together as Brother and Sisters in Christ.
As we were flying over England, I asked Fr. Dominic, “Do you think the Knights of Columbus could do some fundraising for the Multi-Purpose Hall?” Father answered. “God willing.”
Upon arrival I quickly contacted my Grand Knight and shared my thoughts. With 100% support it was brought up at our next meeting. The council approved it with 13 members volunteering to serve on a committee.
Two years have now passed when I first asked my question, “Can a person like me make a difference in your homeland?” I now see how God’s will is done.
Ask God and Love everything that you do.

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To this date we have fundraised $8,475.00 of our $100,000 goal. These are the following manhours spent in this calendar year so far.
13 Brothers Knights at 5 hours each. Totaling 80 hours.
This involved: 1) Meetings 2x’s in drafting the letters to be sent out to all our 230 Brother Knights in our Council an than the stuffing and mailing all the letters. 2) Meetings 2x’s in drafting the letters to be sent out to all Councils in the State of Maine an than the stuffing and mailing the letter, 3) Follow up phone calls to all councils in the State of Maine. 4) Drafting a letter to be sent out to the State Deputy for a nation-wide fundraising. Upon approval by the State Deputy.

Respectfully Submitted Committee Chairman Daniel Bedard




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