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Lake2Lake Ride For Rwanda Registration Now Open!

June 2012

Wellspring empowered me and now I am empowering other teachers —Ernest Ntamugabo, Wellspring Trainer

I love having good news to share. We have officially reached our fundraising target to complete the Secondary School and have fulfilled our financial commitment to the Wellspring Academy. Its remaining infrastructure will be completed by the end of 2012! In clear view of that finish line, we will be increasing our focus on challenged Rwandan public schools through our School Development Program (SDP). A key for our success is growing the number of partnerships with committed monthly supporters for each of our Teacher Trainers

M u l t i p li e r s

40 0

For more info on our Teacher Trainers and our Support A Trainer program, please visit: Thank you on behalf of our trainers,

Janice Nikkel Development Officer

50,000+ Students

S c h o o l s

Teacher Trainers

750 Teachers


10,000+ Parents

Our team of Teacher Trainers is currently working in over 41 public schools and impacting over 50,000 children. They are walking alongside entire school communities—school leaders, teachers, parents, and children— transforming them into vibrant school communities with measurable improvement. They truly are empowering the next generation of Rwandan leaders.

As a child I used to sing along to song called ‘Mud glorious Mud’, and if I remember correctly it compared mud to chocolate! I’m not sure how delicious mud is although I’m sure I tried it out a few times as a child. Perhaps I have blocked out the horror of its ‘chocolate-less’ taste! Recently the less than glorious aspects of mud have been very real to our Program Team here in Rwanda. With Rwanda experiencing exceptionally heavy rains there have been exceptionally muddy roads! These roads are not only muddy but also quite treacherous in places. As we make our way to some of our schools the 4x4 is in over drive! It is during these seasons that I am even more proud of our team. Our drivers have been working extra hard to keep our training team safe and to deliver them in time for school meetings, observations and support days to our most rural schools. Undaunted by some pretty treacherous driving they have continued to serve with strength and diligence. Our training team have continued to reach the schools and meet with staff; even in the pouring rain while walking through playgrounds of sinking mud. In fact, I almost lost a shoe in one playground! It is this kind of dedication and service that testifies to the real worth of Wellspring’s work in Rwanda. We aren’t here simply to do a quick, easy and simple job...a flash in the pan. But rather, even through the challenges and discomfort, we continue to walk alongside and provide support to all of our schools. It is this kind of service that will bring about change in other people’s hearts and minds; as they experience people who are committed to them in the easy and difficult process of change. Seeing people, who will persevere in love, even when it causes them discomfort, will help them to serve more effectively. So, we are thankful for our ‘glorious mud’ in Rwanda because although not very glorious, it provides a glorious opportunity for us to serve our schools and demonstrate in a very practical way our level of commitment and support.

Mud Glorious Mud

by Kirsten Lake

The Wellspring Foundation for Education Receives Grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation (March 26, 2012)— Bruce W. Etherington, CLU, CHFC, of Mississauga, Ontario, secured a USD 5,000 grant from the MDRT Foundation on behalf of the Wellspring Foundation for Education. Etherington, a 42-year MDRT member, is an active supporter of the Wellspring Foundation for Education. The MDRT Foundation grant will support a Wellspring teacher training program in 41 Rwandan public schools, impacting over 50,000 school children in Rwanda. “I am so grateful for the commitment of the Million Dollar Roundtable to make a tangible difference in the world. This partnership will help the new generation in post-genocide Rwanda build a brighter future through quality education!” said Richard Taylor, Executive Director for Wellspring. Since 2004, The Wellspring Foundation for Education has been working with Rwandans to empower a new generation of leaders through an education that transforms lives. Wellspring believes education is a nation’s greatest resource and that teachers are like gold to a nation. True empowerment requires far more than teaching people to fish. It means helping them gain the creativity, principles, and capability necessary to positively impact their own communities and adapt to a changing world. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award more than $850,000 in grants to more than 100 charities. The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated more than $27 million in more than 67 countries throughout the world. The majority of these funds were raised by MDRT members from MDRT members. The MDRT Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Million Dollar Round Table, The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®. MDRT is an international, independent association of nearly 36,000 of the world’s best life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 78 countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional product knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. ###

EMI begins work on the WeLLspring

Centre Back in February my wife Lisa was gearing up to head to Rwanda on an joint insight trip with Opportunity International and the Wellspring Foundation called Made in Rwanda. We both fell in love with the country when we visited in 2010 on our African Safari and thought in our minds that one day we would return to experience more of it. So, we were really excited that Lisa had the chance to return to Rwanda so soon. Originally only Lisa was planning to journey to Rwanda, but the closer the trip got the more amazing it sounded and we decided I should tag along. Just one week before our departure date in February I was talking to a friend of mine from Engineering Ministries International (eMi) about our trip. He thought it sounded great and wondered if I wanted to return in June with eMi to work on the design for the Wellspring Centre. It turned out he had just recently made contact with Richard and they were in discussions on assembling a team of engineers and architects to travel to Rwanda and work with Jeff to develop the vision for the new property. After being in country on the Made in Rwanda trip with the Wellspring team, meeting their people, and seeing the work they were doing I was hooked and couldn’t wait to return and be a part of their vision. Four months later I returned to Rwanda together with 2 colleagues from my office and 8 other design professionals from across North America to help shape the vision for the development of the property. We spent a week working closely with Jeff to understand the needs and the dreams for the future of Wellspring. We surveyed the site, dug pits to analyze soils and visited construction sites and markets to understand what materials are available and what methods are typically used locally for construction. We spent long days and late nights hunched over our computers trying to pull it all together. But more than all that, we got to share for a brief moment in time, in the lives and the ministry of the Wellspring Foundation. We were privileged to be a small part of the future of a nation healing from the scars of the past. We were blessed to be able to come alongside and partner with the Wellspring Foundation as they effect change in the lives of Rwandans and the very foundation of the nation, education. My wife and I will be watching with excitement as Wellspring moves forward and we are very grateful for our time spent with Jeff, Richard, and the entire Wellspring Team. We have made many new life long friends and can’t wait to return! Stay tuned for more information on the Wellspring Centre Project Find out more about Engineering Ministries Interanational:

Poggs Keen to Pedal for Rwandan Kids The “Poggs” – Deb and Dave Poggemoeller – have become cyclists as a result of their passion to see children in Rwanda receive a quality education. Dave and Deb first heard about Wellspring in the spring of 2008. A friend, Craig Fleischhacker, asked them to participate in acquiring building materials for the Wellspring Academy, a K-12 school being built in Kigali, Rwanda. “We have a sawmill” (North Enderby Timber), states Dave, “so we had an ‘in’ for buying building materials. To begin with, we investigated how to obtain a sea-going container. We found a willing donor in Barry Siebenga of Big Steel Box out of Salmon Arm, who gave us a forty-foot container! We had a lot of fun going out and talking to people, asking if they would support us. Nearly everyone we approached said they would love to put something into the container that would help the people of Rwanda accomplish building the school.” In the fall, after the container doors were closed and it left their property, the Poggemoellers started talking about taking their three children on an adventure. The plan was to go to Rwanda, hopefully meet the container on its arrival into the country, help unload it and perhaps do some work on the school site itself. “We wanted to see the project first hand and try and discover what other needs they might have and what use we could be,” explains Dave. Unfortunately, they were not able to greet the container but they stayed on the school site, spent time with children in their classrooms, did some touring and fell in love with the country and its people.

Deb & Dave on Day 2 of the 2011 Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda

After returning from Rwanda, Dave and Deb have been involved in helping raise over $300,000 for the school building project and Wellspring’s teacher training program that is run in 41 public schools in Kigali, impacting more than 50,000 children.

“Since having visited Rwanda, we know we want to continue supporting the people of Rwanda in some way or another. Although we are worlds apart, they are still our neighbours and what we can do here can certainly help them there,” explains Dave. “We want to be a part of finishing the school and supporting the public teacher training so kids can learn to not only make good decisions in life, but to build on what they have to make a better future for themselves and their country.” One way the Poggemoellers have chosen to continue to be involved is through the Lake2Lake bike ride. “The first year we were volunteers along the route and we were impressed with how well run the event was and by the enthusiasm of both riders and volunteers,” says Dave. “ So, last year we bought bikes in July and began to train.” Deb adds, “At first, we thought the distance was overwhelming, so we planned to do the ride as a relay with another couple. However, once we got out riding on a regular basis our confidence grew, and by the week prior to the event, we all decided to ride the entire distance – and we all finished! If anyone would like to challenge oneself while experiencing how beautiful our area really is, meet new people and have a lot of fun, we recommend this ride. There is support along the route, so if you find you need a lift part of the way it is available. Participants

range in ability from serious roadies to rank beginners like us. I have just retired from soccer and have taken up cycling in its place. It is great for maintaining fitness and is a little easier on the knees!” “Soccer is a natural complementary sport for cycling”, says Dave. “We come from the soccer community and we now cycle with a few older soccer players.” Dave and Deb extend an invitation to everyone but issue a specific challenge to their soccer colleagues: “Join us on this year’s Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda – have fun and raise funds for a terrific cause!” On the September 29+30 weekend they will join other cyclists for our third annual Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda—a two-day, 220km, fully supported event from Kalamalka Lake to Eagle Bay on Shuswap Lake and back.

Would you like to be a part of this year’s Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda? Registration is open for Lake2Lake, visit to register now. Riders can also register to fundraise for Wellspring by collecting pledges to complete the 220km journey. Raise $500 and receive a vibrant Team Wellspring cycling jersey (only available to fundraising riders). Raise $1200 and receive the Team Wellspring jersey plus have the ride fee covered (ride fee includes overnight accommodations). Volunteers are also needed for ride support. If you are interested, please contact Barb: For more information or to register for the ride, please visit

Registration Open! 180 Earlybird until August 3rd


Wellspring’s 3rd Annual Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda will be on September 29+30, 2012. Team Wellspring is excited for the 3rd edition of the Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda. Last year saw the number of riders double and over $75,000 raised to empower the next generation through education that transforms lives. This year we are hoping once again to expand our rider base and raise more awareness for the need of quality education in Rwandan Schools. If you rode last year, encourage your friends to join you this September. New this year will be the opportunity to purchase a first edition Lake2Lake Rider Jersey. We will be posting a design on the blog and will be giving riders the opportunity to pre-order their official Lake2Lake Rider Jersey in the coming months. If you’d like to be informed of when the design is ready, sign up for email notifications.

The Wellspring Foundation for Education is working with Rwandans to empower a new generation of leaders through education that transforms lives. Since 2004, we have offered training to hundreds of teachers, established a Professional Development Center, developed a model Christian school called the Wellspring Academy, supported the growth of the Association of Committed Teachers (ACT) Rwanda, and launched an innovative new community-focused solution for school transformation called the School Development Program.

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The Source, June 2012  

The Source, June 2012. Contents include: School Development Program Update, Mud Glorious Mud, $5000 Grant from MDRT, eMi Begins work on Wel...

The Source, June 2012  

The Source, June 2012. Contents include: School Development Program Update, Mud Glorious Mud, $5000 Grant from MDRT, eMi Begins work on Wel...