2017 Year in Review
2017 was a year of blessing for Wellspring. There was celebration, grief, and everything in between, but God’s presence was clear in every moment. Thanks to the generous support of our donors and hard work of our teams in North America and Rwanda, Wellspring’s programs are now impacting over 175,000 children and 3,300 teachers in 124 schools—not to mention the leaders, parents, and community members who are seeing their lives transformed by Wellspring as well!
Gasabo District, where we have worked in schools for the past seven years, continues to be one of the top performing districts in Rwanda. We’re thrilled to see transformation in teachers, students, and entire school communities. We’re even more overjoyed about the ownership that each of these stakeholders is taking over the future of education in their community! As Wellspring moves forward, we will continue helping Gasbao achieve a level of self-sustainability that sees change come from within and every stakeholder empowered to take their future into their own hands.
2017 also saw our launch into the Rubavu district. Rubavu is a rural and agricultural district that stretches along the banks of Lake Kivu and borders the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kids in Rubavu have hopes and dreams for the future, just as children anywhere else in the world, but deep-set issues in this region mean that their circumstances are against them. But Wellspring knows that a quality education is key to this region moving forward. We want to be part of the change that sees this system improve and these issues removed. These children deserve an education that matches their hopes and dreams for a future where they can break the cycle of poverty that has been thrust upon them. We’re excited to continue rolling out our program in Rubavu and seeing more and more children equipped with an education that matches their God-given potential.
This past year also saw our Abundant Leadership Institute, which equips educational leaders with the tools to be catalysts for change in their school communities, celebrating its first graduating class. We are in awe of the graduates’ dedication and hard working spirits. The impact of good leadership is immeasurable, as are the number of lives of students, teachers, and members of the wider community that will be changed due to the new mindset and techniques adopted by our alumni. We’re excited to see the transformation that our ALI graduates will bring to the education community in Rwanda and beyond, and look forward to continuing to engage with them as alumni.
In September, we held our biggest ever Lake2Lake fundraising cycling ride in North America, raising $102,000 for quality education in Rwanda. Eighty-one cyclists came together to ride 220 kilometers in support of quality education in Rwanda. They pedalled nearly 18,000 kilometers in total, which is more than the distance from Vancouver to Kigali! The route ran through British Columbia’s beautiful North Okanagan. We started by Kalamalka Lake, rode to Shuswap Lake for an overnight stay, and did it all again the next day!
In October, we lost a dear member of our Wellspring family, Ray Olafsen. Before Ray passed away, he generously left a matching grant to double the impact of donations to Wellspring on Giving Tuesday. Ray was passionate about sharing the dignity and worth that Jesus prefers on the poor. On Giving Tuesday, our community came forth to honor Ray and raised $47,000 to see lives transformed in Rwanda. Ray’s legacy lives on as tens of thousands of Rwandan children are being equipped with a education that will help them break the cycle of poverty.
As we move into 2018, Wellspring is excited to continue building upon the foundation of our work in Rubavu and seeing Gasabo emerge into a new realm of sustainability. Our vision is to see hundreds of thousands of children empowered with hope and opportunity for the future by providing them with a quality education. In North America, we’re excited to continue engaging with our wonderful partners. We look forward to seeing some of you at the Wellspring Vancouver Gala (May 11), our 4Stages event in Ontario (June 14), Rachel’s Ride for Rwanda (June 23), the Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda (September 15-16), and our Toronto Gala (October 11). Make sure you take the time to say hi to one of our North American staff members! And remember to sign up below for our newsletter, The Source, to stay up to date with the latest Wellspring news.