Jonathan & Rachel have written another update about their time in Pamora!
The Arborg Street Festival is only 1 week away. Once again we are running a street hockey tournament on Main Street in Arborg as a fundraiser for Ramonas Reach. There’s still time to register a team if your interested in playing!
Check out our small (but growing) library at Ramona’s Reach!
The children enjoy eating the watermelons that are being grown in gardens at Ramonas Reach.
Six hundred eucalyptus trees were recently donated to Ramona’s Reach. Several years ago, Ramona’s Reach purchased some land right beside the children’s home/school that works well as a tree plantation. These trees have recently been planted as one of our self sustainability projects. We plan to harvest the trees and sell them in as little as 3 years to be used as poles for making grass huts.
Hi everyone, here are some photos of the last laundry day of the term !!! Thank you to everyone who donated these rain tanks. They are full now waiting for the first laundry day of next term!
This pic shows the ground that was prepared for cassava growing earlier this spring!
Since Friday was DEAR day (Drop Everything And Read) Rachel launched her Reading and Creative writers club this weekend. They read stories and started writing stories of their own. Sunday afternoon they returned for bible study and more creative writing. It is inspiring to see the desire these children have for reading and writing. Their prayer request this weekend was that each of them could receive bibles. Thank you to everyone who has donated books and bibles to the children of Ramona’s Reach!!
This is a recent newsletter sent out by Jonathan & Rachel reflecting on their last 12 months in Pamora.
Even though I haven’t updated this page in awhile there’s still lots going on in Pamora.
1,000 kg of masavu beans were recently purchased to help feed the children. Hopefully that will be enough beans to last for the first term of school. If we buy food in large quantities we are able to save money, 1,000 kg of beans costs roughly $825 CAD.
Today some temporary walls were built in the school to make more classrooms, we will now have 6 classrooms for 160 students. (There’s a reason we are working on a plan for phase two for the school)
While the walls were being built classes were held outside under a tree. Obviously it’s a little warmer in Pamora this morning than in Manitoba!
Thank you to everyone who came out and made the hockey fundraiser a huge success! We raised over $13,000 for Ramonas Reach!
Congratulations to Senegal for winning the 5 on 5 tournament and to Ankelbenders for winning the 3 on 3 tournament.
The tournament has started! Come out and watch hockey or check out the silent auction and bake sale!
A team of two from Manitoba are currently in Pamora. They went to Uganda to maintain and strengthen relationships with different leaders as well as with the locals.
They say it is very hot and only cools down slightly for night. Pray for them that they will be an encouragement as they travel and have meetings.
These are some of the pictures they’ve taken.
The annual Ramona’s Reach hockey fundraiser is happening on January 26 &27! If you are interested in playing this year there are several different playing options. We will have the regularly run tournament on Saturday and Sunday, a girls only game on Saturday, as well as a 3 on 3 tournament were you sign up your own team. There will also be a large silent auction as well as a bake sale going on throughout the weekend. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the event.
Here are several projects we are currently working on or planning on working on next year. We thank everyone for their tremendous support throughout 2018!
Some of the children that attend the Ramona’s Reach school come from far away and they are heading home today for the holiday break.
More pictures of the sponsored children drawing, writing letters, and creating art for their sponsors.
Some recent activity in Pamora…
-The fence has been completed with a beautiful front gate.
-The first crop of green vegetables are growing nicely. Ready for weeding. They have already harvested some for the children to eat.
Just a heads up that the 9th annual Ramona’s Reach hockey tournament will be on January 26-27, 2019. Save that weekend and start getting excited! Stay tuned for more info as we get closer to the event.
This week we would like to introduce to you our deputy head master at Ramona’s Education Center. His name is Alex and he has served in his role as deputy H.M. since the beginning of the year. In addition to his talents as a teacher he is also a good tailor. He has recently finished making uniforms for the children at the school in Pamora. Please take some time to pray for Alex this week.
These photos were taken last week when the children received their uniforms. The kids were very excited about it. A huge thank you to all who supported the uniforms project.
Meet our matron Christine. She has the very important job of taking care of the girls under sponsorship. She works tirelessly almost 24/7 caring for girls. You can imagine how difficult her job can be once a few of the children are sick and need a caregiver in the night. She is a pastors wife and provides spiritual guidance to the children, leading them in nightly prayers and teaching Sunday school lessons on weekends. We are very thankful for the work she does and the wonderful care she provides. Please pray for Christine that God will continue to give her everything she needs as she serves the children of Ramona’s Reach on a daily basis.
This week we would like to show our appreciation for Sam. He is another one of our long serving staff at Ramona’s Reach. He is our project accountant and this year has begun serving as the school bursar in charge of the school finances. Behind his quiet exterior Sam has a heart for the children and for the community of Pamora. He is also dedicated to continuing his education and is presently working towards his degree in business administration by taking weekend classes. Please take time this week to pray for Sam and his family.
At Ramona’s Reach we value the hard work of each of our staff. This is Santo, he has worked with us for a few months as the assistant cook. He assisted with the very hard work of mixing Posho, maize flour mixed with boiling water to make the staple food at the school. Mixing the amounts required for the dormitory is very hard work and we greatly appreciate his efforts! Please keep these members of our support staff in your prayers. The work they do is critical for the welfare of the children we are supporting.
This week we would like to introduce you to a member of the community in Pamora. This is Coach Noel. Noel has spearheaded the development of the soccer field at Ramona’s Reach. Until recently, the community members did not have an space available to use for a soccer field, the last space they had been using was taken up for other developments a few years ago. Coach Noel has been the central figure in rallying the community members into landscaping the area that is now the soccer field. He has also organized the community members into forming a team called Ramona’s FC. You can find this young team practicing most evenings and they hope to soon be able to join a local league in the future.
We are happy that the school has finally received the additional students desks that we needed! These were made at a slightly larger size to help accommodate the children as they get into the higher grades. We also got some of the teachers desks and teachers chairs! We hope that the teachers take this as a sign of our support and encouragement. I love that we are able to continue supporting the school with these important infrastructure items that help the teachers and students do their respective tasks better! For others who feel strongly about supporting these sorts of developments it might help them to know that they can help provide a students desk (fits 2-3 students) for $55 and a teachers desk and chair for $155 Canadian. As the school grows we will continue to need more of these desks especially for teachers since the Nursery school classes still don’t have teachers desks.
Today we want to profile Jonathan and Rachel!
Jonathan & Rachel Kurkilahti were hired by Ramona’s Reach in January 2018. Rachel is from Uganda where she is a social worker and Jonathan is originally from Toronto, Canada, and has construction experience. In the 9 months they have been in Pamora, significant positive changes have happened. They have been very busy!
We have loved having Jonathan and Rachel in Pamora. Jonathan has been very involved in all the different construction projects that have been and continue to be occurring in Pamora. Rachel has has been involved in the children’s home and school and helping out where needed.
On September 20th Rachel gave birth to their second child! Please continue to keep Rachel and Jonathan in your prayers as it’s not always easy to raise their young family in a new place. We hugely appreciate them as they pour their hearts into the people of Pamora.
This weeks person of interest is Raphael. Raphael has been with us at Ramona’s Reach since the beginning. He is a retired police officer who is extremely active in his church community in Pamora. His wisdom and experience is extremely valuable to us at Ramona’s Reach. He currently serves us by chairing our Ramona’s Reach monthly team meetings!
This week we are highlighting our newest team member, Brenda. Brenda has a degree in Child development and children’s ministry. In her free time she likes to teach Sunday school at church. She has a passion for working with children and has already made a positive impact on the team in Pamora and we know that her work with the children will make a lasting positive impact in their lives.
Weekly profile # 4
This week meet Gladys.
Gladys joined Ramonas Reach in 2016 and has been very instrumental in making Ramona’s Reach run more smoothly and more efficiently. Gladys has been the Ramona’s Reach administrator for the last 2 years.
She made sure the children in the home had clothes to wear and food to eat, and would go to the stores and local markets to buy what was needed
She was a helping hand to the teachers and to the nannies, and made herself available wherever there was a need.
Gladys is leaving us to get married in September and today is technically her last day of work for Ramona’s Reach.
We will miss her cheerful smile, caring heart and her willing spirit. We wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life!
Lots of projects are getting wrapped up in Pamora! The last section of fence is done, the toilets are primed, the toilet water tank is full of rain water, and construction on the front gate wall and the guard house is underway.
We are sending out this note to those who may have an interest in contributing toward children’s uniforms.
There is an opportunity to send additional donations to Ramona’s Reach for the children’s school uniforms. The girls’ uniforms will consist of dresses/skirts and shirts. The boys’ uniforms will consist of shirts and pants.
Nursery Girl Cost – $10.47 CDN/uniform
Primary Girl Cost – $9.07 CDN/uniform
Boy Cost – $7.40 CDN/uniform
If this is something you would like to contribute to you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no pressure in this offer, but we would like to give you the option!
Ramona’s Reach Board
This week meet Nereo. He is one of our security guards. He has served us for several years. Until recently he worked alone as our only guard and night watchman. He is a real craftsman, you will often find him making a new bow and arrow or slingshot to help give him protection at night.
Weekly profile #2 showcasing some of the people working at Ramona’s Reach in Pamora.
Meet Solomon!! He is the warden in the boys room. He serves as the immediate parent to the children in the children’s home. Solomon enjoys playing the harp at the local church and he is involved with the choir. He also leads the children in night time devotions.
I have an opportunity for you to help out with Ramona’s Reach! There are currently 3 children who are not sponsored. If you or someone you know would like more information please contact me at email@example.com. I’d love to tell you more about these children!
We are planning to start a series of profiles introducing you to the awesome people who are involved in the work of Ramona’s Reach in Pamora. Look for a new profile every week!
This week we will profile Esther…
This is Esther, our chief cook. Esther is responsible for preparing all the meals for our children staying in the dormitory. She slaves over the hot fire 7 days a week to make sure the kids have hot meals to eat. Almost any time you visit Ramona’s Reach in Pamora you will find her in the kitchen working away. She also enjoys singing in the church choir and her cheerful smile rarely leaves her face. Esther’s service to us and her passion to help the children are priceless.
Start getting excited for the Ramona’s Reach annual street hockey tournament on August 18th! For more info go to https://www.facebook.com/
The bathrooms for the school are almost done!
We recently installed a pump and several water tanks to bring running water to the children’s home as well as Jonathan & Rachel’s home. After some delays the water began flowing on Wednesday! The children are very excited that they won’t have to carry water by hand anymore!
The kid’s love eating silver fish whenever they get the chance.
This is the soccer pitch. They have been working very hard to level it and slash the grass. They have also removed the old church building to make space for the field.
After watering the newly planted trees the water cans turn into instruments!
A solar system was installed for the guest house last week!
50 orange and mango seedlings have been planted close to the guest house that is being built.
Even though I haven’t posted any updates in a few weeks lots is going on in Pamora. School has started again for the year, and we have more children attending than we have room for! We have began construction on a large bathroom for the school children and the perimeter fence is almost complete.
Some recent pictures from Pamora.
Thank you to the women’s EMCup for your support of Ramona’s Reach! Today I received multiple donation cheques and recently they committed as a group to sponsoring a child staying in the children’s home.
Here are some recent pictures of children attending school in Pamora.
If you are interested in updates of the current trip to Pamora, please go HERE
I will post a lot of updates of the current trip on Facebook.
Today a team of 9 from Seminole, Texas and 3 from Arborg left for Africa. The group of 12 are planning to spend 9 days in Pamora. The specific project they are focusing on will be building the perimeter fence around the Ramona’s Reach compound. Cement posts have been built and delivered and the chain link is ready to go. They will also be spending lots of time in the school and children’s home building relationships and helping where needed. Please pray for them as they spend roughly 30 hours in airports/flying. Pray for safety and health, and that they will be a blessing and encouragement to the people of Pamora.
In February, 14 more children moved into the children’s home. Not all of these children are true orphans. We are working with the most vulnerable children in the area surrounding Pamora. In the local communities, and in Uganda in general, these children are considered to be “orphans”. We have found that many of them have some loose ties to family, extended family, or community connections, even though they currently do not receive adequate care. In light of this, we are putting more emphasis on becoming a school that cares for the most vulnerable children. The children’s home is a boarding home where children from the most vulnerable situations stay while school is in session. We will care for them and educate them while advocating for permanent family ties and long term plans for each of them.
We are looking for sponsors to help us care for the children, as we provide food, clothes, and education. If you are interested in partnering with us in this capacity, please let us know.
Huge thank-you to everyone who came out and made the 8th annual Ramona’s Reach Hockey Tournament another big success! We raised $10,500 for the disadvantaged in Africa! We’ll see you all again next year for the 9th annual tournament!!
They are hard at work in Pamora!
The foundation for the guest house is almost done! The completed house will be used by Jonathan & Rachel while they live in Pamora.
Soon the empty classrooms will be bustling with children when classes start on Monday!
Last year we purchased a play structure for the children. It was finally installed and is ready for use!
Construction has begun on the house project!
We are really excited that Jonathan & Rachel Kurkilahti have recently been hired and have moved to Pamora to help with the Ramona’s Reach project! Rachel is from Uganda where she is a social worker and Jonathan is originally from Toronto, Canada and has construction experience.
We think they will be a perfect fit in Pamora as Jonathan will be in charge of construction projects and Rachel will help with the orphans in the chilren’s home. Jonathan has already begun the preliminary work of building the guest house and is working on buying material for the construction of the perimeter fence around the Ramona’s Reach project. We are really excited to have them as part of our team in Uganda!
Start getting excited for the 8th Annual Ramona’s Reach Hockey Tournament! The tournament will be held in Arborg on Feb 17-18, for more information or to register to play click here.
Here are several projects we are currently working on or planning on working on next year. We thank everyone for their tremendous support throughout 2017!
Yesterday it was 8 years since Ramona passed away. It’s crazy how time flies, but it’s also amazing how so much has happened in Africa in so short a time. I love how God can use something terrible like Ramona’s death and create something beautiful out of it. Thank-you to everyone who is partnering with us as we work together to care for the people of Pamora!
They sent another thank-you video today…..
Several months ago we received money that was specifically donated for new clothes, books, and toys for the children living in the children’s home. This week they sent us a thank-you video…
We recently sent a short powerpoint presentation to a church in Texas that has expressed a lot of interest in forming a team to go to Pamora to do a work project. If you are interested you can view the presentation here.
We recently told the Ramona’s Reach board in Pamora to start looking into bringing more children into the children’s home. We currently have 24 children and are planning on added 16 more in the next few months. The need is tremendous, and we want to do whatever we can to help. If you are interested in partnering with us, we will be looking for sponsors for the new children as they join us in the children’s home.
Here are some pictures we recently received from Pamora.
-Brand new uniforms for the orphans !
-Thank-you to the Morweena school students for donating money to pay for trees to be planted on the Ramona’s Reach grounds.
-The orphans posing with new sheets for their beds.
-Two of the orphans have malaria and are at the hospital getting treated.
Freshly planted potato field to help provide food to feed the orphans.
Check https://www.facebook.com/events/1320435601418141/ for more information about the street hockey tournament, including teams and schedule.
Come out and support Ramona’s Reach at the annual street hockey tournament held on main street in Arborg.
Recently the Dalhart Mennonite Evangelical Church in Texas contacted us to let us know that they were running a VBS program for the children of their church and area. They had put out a challenge to the children to donate money for Ramona’s Reach and to make things interesting they had a competition for who could raise the most money, boys or girls. In the end the girls beat the boys by over $300.00. Together the boys and girls VBS group raised a total of $3,600.00! Thank-you so much to the people and children of Dalhart!
The school construction is pretty much complete!
Thank-you for your continued support of Ramona’s Reach. A team recently returned from Pamora and they had a very good report of their time there. They reported that the school and children’s home are running well and the people seem mostly happy and healthy. I hope to post some pictures and a better report of their trip soon.
Recently one of our board members had the opportunity to travel to several churches and communities in Kansas and Texas and report on his recent trip to Uganda. We were blown away by the support and interest that was expressed for the work that Ramona’s Reach is doing in Pamora. Thank-you to the people of Dalhart TX, Copeland KS, and Seminole TX for your interest and support. Eleven orphans where sponsored, money was donated and relationships were made. We look forward to working together to continue to help the people of Pamora!
A huge thank-you to the players and fans at this years women’s EMCup who raised money for Ramona’s Reach. Together they donated over $2,000!
When the children aren’t in school they love to play soccer!
To view profiles of the children click here
These pictures taken on Feb 22 show workers plastering the school. Both the inside and outside of the school are being plastered and painted. Thank-you to all our donors for all the money that came in at the end of 2016 to make this project possible!
Thank-you to those who came out and supported us at this years hockey tournament. We raised over $15,500! Money that will be used to help run the school and children’s home in Pamora.
The 7th annual hockey tournament is less than 1 week away! Click HERE for teams and schedules.
Thank-you to our donors for your recent financial support for the school. We are moving ahead with finishing the school, including new desks and blackboards. The windows and doors have been installed and we are starting to have both the interior and exterior plastered. Classes resume on Feb 6 so we hope to have the building completely plastered by then.
This is the recently completed kitchen. We use the kitchen to cook food for the orphans as well as for our porridge program for the students at the school.
We are very excited to be bringing in 13 more orphans into the children’s home! The children have all been selected, food and beds are being purchased and the legal paperwork is being finalized. We are hoping to have them living in the children’s home within 10 days. Once we have the children living in the children’s home we will be working on creating profiles and sponsoring the children.
Start getting excited for the 7th Annual Ramona’s Reach Hockey Tournament fundraiser! The tournament will be held in Arborg on Feb 4th to 5th. Stay tuned for more information.
Thank-you to everyone for your support during 2016! We are looking forward to another good year as we work with the people in Pamora.