Weaving Hope Construction

WE DID IT! The New School is Open - changing lives TODAY!

By Mark Dirks, Beacon’s CEO

plaqueThe only thing that comes to my mind is “WE did it!”  A single basket sparked an idea that ignited a cavalcade of support from people all over the country. Hundreds of people made this happen, or as I like to say, were part of the Weaving Hope Building Team.

You built this school if you ...

  • bought a basket or assisted with the purchase of baskets,
  • gave your time to provide guidance on any of the many facets of this project,
  • donated items to raise the spirits of the children and people living in Rwanda,
  • helped with the logistics of getting the baskets from Rwanda to the US, tagged, into the warehouse and ultimately delivered to buyers,
  • created the website, marketing materials, the video, the displays for showrooms or helped spread the word about Weaving Hope, or
  • if you simply “cheered” or prayed for our TEAM.

It’s a fact. There’s absolutely no way this happens without a lot of people coming together to help in many different ways.  Congratulations!

In December 2016, John Craig handed me a handmade basket from Rwanda. Now we have a new school in Nkuzuzu that will educate and feed children for years to come. We have provided income for the women’s cooperatives that create the baskets so they can take care of their families. I’m not sure it can get any better than that!

Thank you for coming together to support that flicker of an idea from over 2 years ago. 

We did it! But we aren’t done. Ready to do it again? I am. The Beacon Team is! The Burton+Burton Team is! Our partners are! So let’s go!

Before we jump into Round 2, I have to share some of experiences we had while in Rwanda from the dedication ceremony on July 26th. Tracy and I agreed that our biggest takeaway is that we didn’t fully realize HOW important this school was, and will be, for the Nkuzuzu community.  The dedication ceremony turned into an event! We had dinner with Rev Ethan Carlson and his wife the night before the dedication. He said they were expecting 10-30 people at the dedication and they wanted me to speak. It was the night before and I wasn’t anticipating this due to the language barrier.  But, they were bringing an interpreter! Needless to say, we were both surprised and delighted when about 300 people showed up – children, parents, teachers, pastors from all over, local government officials and the extremely well-respected Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda. This was obviously extremely important to the Nkuzuzu people, the church and government! This school, funded by our Weaving Hope project, was constructed right next to a new school and across from a community center/church that was also just built. Between these 2 buildings is a plot already identified for the final school, which Weaving Hope will also fund. So exciting to see all of this come to life.

I learned about one 13-year old child that was starting 1st grade. I learned that some children will no longer have to walk 8km each way to get to a school. I learned that the presence of a 2nd school brings more attention to the community, raising the possibility of more funding by the government, better teachers, more supplies and even running water being brought to the area. All this was fantastic, but what really hit me was when Archbishop Mbanda said, “This will be the centerpiece of the community, where weddings will take place, where people will attend church, where children will play and learn, where local events will take place. It will change lives.”

Yes! WE did it ... but let’s do more.