The sister community is located in western Rwanda on the top of a hill overlooking Lake Kivu in the distance. Furthermore, the community is located a few hundred meters from the major junction towards Kigali (East), the seaside resort of Gisenyi and the neighboring metropolis of Goma in Congo (North) and Cyangugu and adjacent Bukavu in Congo (South).
The sister community is full of activity every day. Besides the 40 deaconesses (sisters) active in the community, more than 100 staff/families are directly financially dependent of activities developed by the deaconesses.
Sister community and house
The community has a total of 43 deaconesses. At most a few times a year the group is complete. Some deaconesses work in the capital Kigali and some work nearby hospitals, but most of them work live and work in the community. A securely fenced and safe environment where it is relatively good to live. The sister house has a gallery and a courtyard with garden, which is also common in monasteries.
At the sister house is a chapel where you can enjoy songs, prayers and even ceremonies every evening. and sometimes listened to a short sermon. The chapel can accommodate about 40 persons.
Conference centre and overnight stay
The conference centre is an important source of income. The centre has a large hall with a capacity of 500 people and several meeting rooms. Around the centre, numerous covered seating
eareas have been created for workshops and consultation. The center has free Wifi (not always reliable and fast) and good catering. The conference center has its own website and management. The conference centre has its own website and management.
It is also possible to use the lodge. The lodge consists of three double bedrooms, four bathrooms, a kitchen and a living and dining room. It offers a view of Lake Kivu and has a beautiful garden.
”Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world with” – Nelson Mandela
The deaconesses deeply support this wisdom and so much attention is paid to the education of the smallest up to and including the adults.
The old buildings of the orphan village function as a nursery school now. Here the youngest pupils get lessons, structure and a good meal. Even the first words of English are being learned.
At the beginning of 2020, the primary school was officially opened. The new three floor high building can accommodate many pupils. With the help of charities it is currently arranged that 30% of the pupils come from the poorest population group. The others pay school fees.
Rubengera Technical Secondary School (RTSS)
The Rubengera Technical Secondary School has an international reputation in East and Central Africa. The school possesses state-of-the-art computer-controlled processing machines that can be used to manufacture complex furniture. From all over the world and abroad, students come to attend the vocational training. More than 50% of them find a job immediately. The training is expensive for Rwandan standards. Students who have the opportunity to invest are happy to come. Just a few students receive a scholarship or are sponsored.
The Rubengera Technical Campus also offers refresher courses for adults and professionals who want to brush up their skills.
The community also tries to give an economic push to the local community by offering employment to approximately 100 employees and their families in the community. In addition, for many it is also a starting point and school to grow from a hopeless situation to work.
The postcards are an important source of income for the community. The cards are made by hand from natural products such as banana leaves and glue from the Manioc flowers. The cards can also be ordered via the website.
The garment workshop is equiped with sewing machines and knitting machines. Besides clothing for the deaconesses, large quantities of school uniforms and other products, such as (laptop) bags, are made here. Products are for private use as well as for third parties. People from the surrounding area can also make use of the facilities.
The community has its own bakery. Here, bread is baked for the local area, the poor and a part is sold.
Within the walls, the community has its own limited vegetable garden and in the vicinity even a sugar cane field. The approximately 8 ha farm is located 5 km from the community. Most food, such as bananas, all kinds of fruit and vegetables and coffee, is produced at the farm, which also shelters cattle and a mushroom farm. The farm with pump installation is located along the river, so there is always enough water.
The facilities of the technical school also provide space for commercial production. For example, furniture can be made by offer and craftsmen can use the facilities at the Technical Campus for a fee.