Click on a question below to see its answer:
Yes, Africa New Life Ministries International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Across all of our ministries, an average of 88% of our expenditures fund the ongoing programs that benefit children, families, and communities in Rwanda. In 2010, Africa New Life became a proud member of ECFA, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which accredits organizations based on financial factors including financial oversight, compliance with laws, transparency, gift communication, and more.
Your sponsorship is changing the life of a child in Rwanda. Because of your support, the child you sponsor will receive an education, school uniform and materials, and medical assistance. In addition, children in our program attend monthly Center Days where they enjoy a meal, play games, hear the Gospel, and write letters to their sponsors. Sponsored children also attend a Christian camp in their region each year. To learn more about our sponsorship program, please visit our “About Sponsorship” page.
Your sponsored child does directly benefit from your sponsorship. However, we do not directly distribute cash to the child or their family because there is no guarantee that the money would be spent on the child’s education. Instead, your sponsorship money is placed into a community pool. School fees are paid directly to the school for all of the children who have sponsors. From this pool, your sponsored child also receives a school uniform, school supplies, medical assistance, and attends special programs. Your child knows who their sponsor is and will communicate with you directly.
You are sponsoring a real child, and they appreciate your sponsorship of their education. Sponsors are invited and encouraged to visit their children and their families in Rwanda through a team trip with Africa New Life (see “Can I visit my sponsored child in Rwanda?” below).
We absolutely encourage you to write to your sponsored child! You can expect to receive an annual update letter from your sponsored child at the end of every summer, as well as a Christmas photo card in December. However, if you write to your child, they will write more often. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored child, please review our writing tips. Please use this exact format when addressing your envelope:
Child Name, Child Ref. Number (e.g. Shyaka Fred, KGL02090)
Africa New Life Ministries
PO Box 3351
RWANDA (must be capitalized and on separate line)
Please use our Africa New Life office address (7405 SW Tech Center Dr. #144, Portland, OR 97223) or your church’s address as the return address, NOT your home address.
Sponsored children write letters at Center Days, which take place once a month in each community. You can expect to receive an annual update letter from your sponsored child at the end of every summer, as well as a Christmas photo card in December. If you write to your sponsored child more, you will hear from them more often. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored child, please review our writing tips.
We encourage you to write letters to your child and ask direct questions. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored child, please review our writing tips. We are not able to provide information on your sponsored student’s clothing size, specific needs, or information about their family. Additional information regarding your student’s family will be found in the first letter they send you.
No. Africa New Life only facilitates communication between sponsors and students through letter writing. Please do not connect with your child through social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. This helps us protect both you and students from inappropriate or confusing situations. Students sign an agreement upon registration and can be removed from our program for violating this policy.
That depends on its size and weight. You can check online using the USPS Postal Price Calculator or by visiting your local post office. You can also use a Global Forever® stamp to mail postcards or 1 oz letters, but you’ll need to ensure that your letter doesn’t exceed the maximum length, height, or thickness. Click here for additional information on the dimensions and weight for First-Class Mail International Letters.
Once your letter is received in Rwanda, you can expect a response letter in 8-12 weeks. Letters written online are printed once a week. Letters mailed through the postal system may take up to 8 weeks to reach Rwanda.
It takes a month or so for your child to receive their online gift; gift distribution generally happens at Center Days, which take place once a month in each community. However, for children attending boarding school it may take 2-3 months for the child to have the opportunity to come to a Center Day to receive their gift. Goats may take longer depending on the family’s ability to house the animal and where it is being transported from.
All of the gifts available for you to purchase for your child have been carefully selected by the Africa New Life staff in Rwanda as something each child needs or would benefit from. For more specific information, we encourage you to ask your child about his or her needs in a letter. Click here to login to our online store.
Yes. You may give the “food for a month” gift only twice per year per sponsored child. Our goal is to help Rwandan families without hurting. In other words, Africa New Life wants to protect parental dignity and avoid creating dependency. We are grateful when sponsors come alongside families in Rwanda with a gift of food, but we do not want families to become dependent on those gifts.
Yes. Depending on availability you can join one of the many team trips to Rwanda throughout the year. Trips to Rwanda cost approximately $1,350 plus airfare per person for an 8 day, 8 night stay with Africa New Life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in going to Rwanda. Click here to visit our Team Trip page.
The academic year coincides with the calendar year in Rwanda. Primary and secondary schools typically begin in January and end in November. Post-secondary schools begin their academic year in September.
Students in Rwanda must pass each grade level before being promoted. In Rwanda, there are six levels in primary school: Primary 1–Primary 6. At the end of Primary 6, students take national exams to test out of primary school. Students who pass the Primary 6 national exams are promoted to secondary school.
There are six levels in secondary school: Senior 1–Senior 6. Students will take national exams again at the end of Senior 3 to test into Senior 4. At the end of Senior 6, students will take their final national exams and will graduate from secondary school if they pass. The Senior 6 national exam results also determine students’ eligibility for post-secondary education.
Upon secondary school completion, students begin attending Dream Leadership Academy during the gap time between secondary school and the students’ next steps. You will receive information regarding their status during this transitionary period.
No. Our policy is to sponsor one student per family in order to spread the gift of education further throughout the communities in which we operate, to protect parental dignity, and to avoid creating dependency. Our colleagues in Rwanda let us know if there are special cases that require exceptions, though this doesn’t happen frequently.
We do encourage you to ask your sponsored child about their siblings and pray for them. In Rwandan culture, especially for families experiencing material poverty, people are much more open to sharing their possessions than we tend to be in the U.S. Keep in mind that gifts sent to your sponsored child will inevitably be shared with their siblings, cousins, or neighbors.
Africa New Life staff in Rwanda and in the United States have a close working relationship. We communicate regularly and staff from each country visit the other routinely. The U.S. office exists to raise funds and generate engagement and enthusiasm by supporting donors and sponsors well in the United States, in order to fund and promote the ministries of the staff in Rwanda.