Sister Lucy Rukwembe
My Dear Friends,
I am writing to you as I start my journey home after nearly a month in a remote area in northern Tanzania where a remarkable school for girls is rising strong and preparing girls to change our world. This trip was spent working hand in hand with our partners (Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa), the students at the Kitenga School for Girls, builders and tradesmen from the villages surrounding the school and a few very special members of the GEC family. As I reflect on this trip- I am overwhelmed and humbled by the work we have accomplished since we started this journey just a few short years ago. At very least I want to express my sincerest thanks and gratitude. I have the opportunity to see firsthand the difference we have all made; to meet the girls whose lives are forever changed.
Right now we are all preparing our own Thanksgiving Day preparations: traveling, gathering with family & friends, and putting the finishing touches on our thanksgiving feasts! I hope you all have the time during your busy holiday to reflect on all that we have been given, celebrate the people in our lives and the love you have all shared to make a difference.
As I mentioned earlier- I was fortunate enough this trip to be joined by some of GEC’s closest supporters- Zandy Barrett, Christine Brown, Jeff & Shelley Hirshberg, & Patricia Minter-Powell. Each one had the opportunity to be immersed in the daily life of Kitenga. Please take the time to read/share their words and how all of your care is changing the world… one girl at a time.
“While in Kitenga several things struck me. I noticed the joy girls demonstrated in learning and growing from the intellectual stimulation offered in classes. Lectures were enhanced with demonstration in clean and bright classrooms. Sports offered balance to the rigorous schedule and prayer fed the girls’ spiritual growth. Laughter and music were regularly heard. I noticed the girls taking leadership roles in so many different ways. Each student is encouraged to grow to their potential and each is empowered to do so! These observations would not have been possible without the generous donations that you, the donors, have made. You are making a difference and affirming that there is nothing a girl can’t do!” ~Zandy Barrett
“Thankful. Grateful. Immeasurable gratitude. This is what the girls at Kitenga have always expressed. Now I have seen it with my own eyes and my world has changed. Thank you GEC supporters; you truly are changing the world!”~Dr. Christine Brown, GEC Board Member
“We are honored and privileged to be returning guests at the Kitenga School for Girls. Our first visit was for the dedication in 2017 and we have just returned in the fall of 2018. What progress! Thanks to the GEC community’s continued support- we have seen the growth against (despite) formidable odds. Not only have the school’s facilities been expanded and improved; the girls themselves have blossomed. The entire community is resilient and strong, and the change in the lives of each of the 110 girls we met is exponential! These are beautiful, smart, and empowered young women. We should all be so proud.” ~ Shelley & Jeff Hirshberg
“I wish each and every one of you could experience first-hand the sense of accomplishment and the unshakeable belief in a future of possibilities reflected in the attitudes and smiles of the students here at the Kitenga School for Girls. You are changing the world for these young women!” ~ Patricia Minter-Powell
I wish you all a safe and warm thanksgiving. And I also want to again extend my unending thanks and gratitude for all your support over the years…. We never could have accomplished this without you.