During the four weeks of the programme, from March 9th to April 1st 1999, Edwin, Geoffrey and Joel added to this site with stories and photos of life in Rwanda, and their work with child families. Mathilde and Goretti contributed their expertise as translators.

They also answered students' questions and communicated with registered schools through weekly faxes and audioconferences.

Joel Frushone, communications manager Jambo.
My name is Joel Frushone, World Vision Rwanda communications manager. I am originally from the United States, but currently live in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Although you might not believe so, living one degree south of the equator is quite comfortable. The days are not too hot and the nights can be very cool.
Prior to joining World Vision, I worked in New York City producing television commercials. Before that I was a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps. For over two years, I worked with women and children developing vegetable gardens in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. I am very happy to have the opportunity to again live and work in Africa.
Over the next month I will be travelling throughout the country collecting stories and photographs to share with you daily. Do enjoy the exchanges planned on the web site and the excitement of learning about Rwanda.

Edwin Asante, operations director
Hello. My name is Edwin Asante. I have been working with World Vision Rwanda for the past four years. I am presently the Operations Director and my job includes ensuring that all projects are running properly so that poor communities could be helped to develop into rich communities. I come from Ghana and have been trained to be an agronomist as well as an irrigation and drainage engineer.

Geoffrey Ngiruwonsanga Sserwadda, child protection and development manager
Muraho. My name is Geoffrey Ngiruwonsanga Sserwadda, World Vision Rwanda Manager for Child Protection and Development. Easier said, I supervise activities which are community based, but child focused in Kigali Ville. The number one priority of all the work my team and I undertake is child families.
Prior to joining World Vision, I was a member of Rwanda's National Commission for the Demobilization and Reintegration of Combatants [war veterans]. Daily, I worked with "child soldiers," reintegrating them into society. Earlier, before returning to Rwanda, I was born and raised in Uganda as a son of a refugee, I had worked with "Stitchting Redt een Kind" / "Help a Child Grow," a Dutch agency assisting street and vulnerable children.
My history is where the motivation to work with troubled children is rooted. As a child I had the unfortunate experience of living on the tough and unforgiving streets of Kampala, Uganda's capital city. The impact such had on me further opened my understanding of the suffering many children endure. This opportunity has determined my career choices in life. Rwanda, my motherland, I love. The capacity that my fellow Rwandans possess to cope with and grow from that which they experienced during the 1994 genocide, continually amazes me. Happy I am that you are able to learn more about orphans who take on the role of "parents" and the difficulties they experience. It is my hope that you develop by the end of this exciting programme a better understanding of Rwanda's child families.

Mukesharugo Mathilde, translator
Hello. My name is Mukesharugo Mathilde. I am a Rwandan mother of two children, Umufasha my six year-old daughter and Ngenzi my five year-old son. The 1994 genocide made me both a widow and a survivor.
I have been working with World Vision Rwanda for nearly five years. I started as an Administrative Assistant in the Agriculture Department and currently work as a Customer Support Services Officer in the Child Sponsorship Department. My job includes liaisons between children and their sponsors. Having only begun sponsorship this year, we have registered 6,000 children, our department is rather busy. Before joining World Vision, I worked with the Ministry of Youth.
A focus in my life has always been assisting people less fortunate than I, with a special consideration on children. This is because as a single mother, I have found that raising children, especially orphans, requires a tremendous amount of strength and love.

Goretti Uwamariya, translator
Happy New Millennium! My name is Goretti Uwamariya. I am a widow of the 1994 genocide and mother to Jessica, my five year-old daughter.
I joined World Vision Rwanda in 1996 as a telephone and radio operator, back in the days when World Vision was concentrating on providing relief to our war-torn country. Now, I work in the Child Sponsorship Department as a Customer Support Services Officer. My dream is to see that each and every one of our 6,000 registered children receives a sponsor.
Having worked with World Vision for these past four years has given me great pleasure. I feel as if I am doing my small part to assist in the development of Rwandan's many orphans. It is my hope that my contribution, when added to that of my colleagues, has enhanced the lives of the children of Rwanda whom are in the greatest of need.