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Africa New Life has identified the most timely and pressing prayer requests for the students in our Sponsorship Program. You can download either of the prayer guides below to help you come alongside your sponsored student and their family.
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 students, 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 student in Rwanda. Because of your support, the student you sponsor will receive an education, school uniform and materials, and medical assistance. In addition, students in our program attend monthly Center Days where they enjoy a meal, play games, hear the Gospel, and write letters to their sponsors. Sponsored students also attend a Christian camp in their region each year. To learn more about our sponsorship program, please read about our sponsorship promises.
Africa New Life’s Sponsorship Program benefits sponsored students, their families, and their communities. Families receive school fee assistance, scholastic materials, and medical assistance for their child who is sponsored through our program. Parents/guardians have access to free health and education talks given by Africa New Life community nurses. Local churches are planted in the communities in which Africa New Life operates, existing to serve community members and to share the gospel.
Your sponsored student directly benefits from your sponsorship. However, we do not directly distribute money to the student or their families because there is no guarantee that the money would be spent on the student’s education. Instead, your sponsorship donations are placed into a community pool. School fees are paid directly to the school for all sponsored students. From this pool, your sponsored student also receives a school uniform, school supplies, medical assistance, and attends special programs. Sponsored students know their sponsors by name and annually write at least one letter to them.
You are sponsoring a real student, and they appreciate your sponsorship of their education. Sponsors are invited and encouraged to visit their students and their families in Rwanda through a team trip with Africa New Life (see “Can I visit my sponsored student in Rwanda?” below).
Our core sponsorship model is one sponsor per student for students in preschool through Primary 6 (6th grade). We have a co-sponsorship model for students in Senior 1 through our Dream Leadership Academy due to higher secondary education costs. This additional support enables students to finish their education well. We also have co-sponsors for students who are in the Guardian Angel Program (GAP), regardless of their grade level. However, the sponsorship rate for GAP students will not change when they advance to Senior 1.
We absolutely encourage you to write to your sponsored student! Sponsored students write letters at Center Days, which take place once a month in each community. You can expect to receive an annual letter from your sponsored student at the end of every summer. You are welcome to write up to four times a year, and you will receive reply letters within 8-12 weeks electronically. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored student, please review our writing tips.
Sponsored students 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 student at the end of every summer. If you write to your sponsored student more, you will hear from them more often. You are welcome to write up to four times a year, and you will receive reply letters within 8-12 weeks electronically. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored student, please review our writing tips.
We encourage you to write letters to your sponsored student and ask direct questions. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored student, 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, and we encourage you to ask follow up questions about their family in your reply letter(s).
Students are not allowed to communicate with their sponsors outside of letter writing through Africa New Life. Social media, phone, and email communication are strictly prohibited to protect both students and sponsors. Do not connect with your sponsored student or their relatives through phone, email, or social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. This helps us protect both sponsors and students from inappropriate or confusing situations.
Students sign a communication agreement upon registration and can be removed from our program for violating this policy. Please read our communication policy for more guidance.
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 reply letter to be sent to you electronically in 8-12 weeks. Letters written online are printed weekly in Rwanda. Letters mailed through the postal system may take up to eight weeks to reach Rwanda.
Gift distribution typically happens within four weeks from the time the order is placed. We will electronically send a photo of your sponsored student with the gift within 12 weeks. For students who attend boarding schools, gifts may be delivered to their families while they’re at school. In this case, the photo would be of the student’s relative with their gift. Boarding students may enjoy nonperishable gift items once they return home during their next school break.*
*If you would like to place an order in hopes that it would be delivered while the student is at home on break, you can strategically do so in November, March, and July. However, we cannot guarantee the gift(s) will be delivered when the student is home.
The items available through our Online Store are carefully selected by Rwandan staff to help meet tangible needs of students and their families in our program. Food is always a significant need and is our top gift recommendation. For more guidance in choosing a gift, please review our gift ideas. For more specific information, we recommend proposing two to three options to your sponsored student when you write to them. Click here to visit our Online Store.
Yes. You may give the “food for a month” gift only twice per year per sponsored student. 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 $1,800 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.
In 2020 the primary and secondary academic years shifted from January-November to September-July in Rwanda. Visit this page to learn more about education in Rwanda.
We desire for every student in our program to complete secondary school regardless of their age. Students finish the program upon successful completion of Senior 6, or the vocational equivalent, and our Dream Leadership Academy.
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. If they do not pass their exams, they are encouraged to repeat Senior 6. The Senior 6 national exam results also determine students’ eligibility for post-secondary education.
Upon secondary school completion, students begin attending our Dream Leadership Academy during the gap time between secondary school and the students’ next steps. This program provides students with valuable discipleship and entrepreneurship training after the completion of their secondary schooling. Learn more about the education system in Rwanda.
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. Exceptions to our policy are rare and our Rwandan colleagues are the ones who initiate, advocate for, and approve these exceptions.
We do encourage you to ask your sponsored student about their family 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 student 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.
Names in Rwanda are more fluid than in the U.S. While we share a last name with our family, Rwandans traditionally do not. The first name listed is typically a Kinyarwanda name, and the second name listed is typically an Anglo or Francophone name. Sponsored students may answer to either name. You’ll often hear the U.S. staff refer to students using the second name listed since it is usually easier for us to pronounce. Next time you write a letter to your sponsored student, you’re welcome to ask by which name they prefer for you to address them and if their name has a special meaning.