Get To Know Hope Haven
Our Founder - Susan Hollern
Susan Hollern is the Founder of Hope Haven Rwanda, and serves on the Board of Trustees. Susan, and her husband of 32 years, Kevin, attended an event in 2009, supporting Technology in Education for Rwandan children. Her life was changed forever when she heared Bishop John Rucyahana and Immaculee Ilibagiza share about the genocide and deep need in Rwanda. Susan traveled to Rwanda in late 2009 for the first time, and began personally ministering to Rwandans during the next year. In 2012, following several trips to Rwanda, Susan activated a plan to equip and serve families and youth through education and agriculture in one of the most vulnerable areas of Rwanda. Under her leadership, Hope Haven Rwanda has flourished into an organization that is now educating 420 children and employing more than 50 people each day in a strategic earning and learning context. Susan and Kevin have three adult children. Email Susan at Susan@HopeHavenRwanda.org.
Our CEO - Dr. Jason Peters
Jason Peters serves as Hope Haven Rwanda’s CEO. Jason is an author, host of a nationally award-winning video curriculum, international speaker and a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. He brings a wealth of global leadership experience to the table, having served in 48 countries, providing senior leadership for two international regions for a large missions organization. He also completed assignments at the Pentagon, the U.S. Air Force Academy and as a faculty member of the Air Force Chaplain Corps College, where he directed Crisis and Trauma training. Jason earned the Doctor of Ministry degree, with an emphasis on Christian Education, from Dallas Theological Seminary, utilizing research conducted while serving in Iraq. He has been married to Kimberly for 23 years, and they have five children, two of whom were born overseas. Email Jason at Jason@HopeHavenRwanda.org or connect with him via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or read recent blog posts here: HOPEfull.
Our Vision and Mission
To transform Rwanda through Christ-centered education and discipleship.
“Hope Haven Rwanda is transforming Rwandan families through a holistic approach to education and discipleship, actively demonstrating the love, hope and truth of Jesus Christ.”
Hope Haven Rwanda’s philosophy is rooted in two words: Engage and Equip.
Engaging the Entire Family
We believe that an excellent education is built on a Christian foundation and values, and that life transformation begins with a solid connection between educator and student. At Hope Haven Rwanda, we engage the entire family, offering them the opportunity to uplift their family by earning and learning, as they provide the fees for their children to study at the premier school in their community. Our engagement extends far beyond the classroom with regular family welfare home visits, and unique opportunities for vocational training, spiritual discipleship and savings groups. Each of these initiatives is designed to deeply engage with families, and to propel them to the next level of growth.
Equipping the Entire Family
As we maintain a high level of engagement, we are able to equip each student and family for success. Hope Haven Rwanda’s holistic approach enables us to create an environment which facilitates applied, hands-on learning. Many of our educational programs are based on modeling. We equip adults and children with a “See One, Do One, Teach One” model. Students are introduced to the problem or issue, taught to logically think through the solution, examining the data through observation and making sense of it. Then, when possible, the student begins to apply the lesson learned in a practical way by acting on the newly acquired knowledge. Immediate supervision and feedback is provided resulting in real-word experience. Students begin to understand what works and what doesn’t. As students deepen their capabilities, they eventually have the knowledge and experience to help guide others, and to replicate their knowledge.
We currently provide academic and biblical education for children from nursery school through 5th grade. Using a mix of East African and McGraw Hill curriculum, our focus is on teaching children how to think and discover, rather than what to think and memorize. Our 2nd – 5th grade students are also offered Microsoft-based computer classes and online search tool skills in our high-tech computer lab. Hope Haven classes are taught by local teacher who have been trained by qualified volunteers from the USA. All classes are taught in both the local language of Kinyarwanda and English, Rwanda’s National language.
Teens and Adults
After school, we provide older students with English literacy classes. Through our ministry partner, Hope International, we also offer a biblically-based money management and savings class.
Food and Clean Water
All Hope Haven students are served a morning meal of nutritious porridge. Students in 1st-5th grades who stay for afternoon classes are also fed a healthy lunch of rice, beans, and greens. All meals are prepared in Hope Haven’s charcoal kitchen. A water well with a purification system from Healing Waters supplies the campus with clean, safe water.
Health and Hygiene
Chiggers and poor personal hygiene were initially major problems for families. Hope Haven’s rigorous health and hygiene training has dramatically improved the issue. Families now understand the importance of cleaning themselves properly to avoid infections and parasites, and to protect their health.
Dignity and advancement are not found in handouts. We believe every family should pay a small amount to have their child attend school at Hope Haven. To help make this possible, we provide jobs on campus. Parents can work just enough to cover their child’s fees, or work more to earn a take-home income. Primary employment opportunities include:
Most families in Murindi are farmers, yet their yields are very low due to poor farming practices. To remedy this issue, five acres of our campus has been designated for agriculture. Local workers on our land may earn an income while they learn modern, marketable farming skills.
Construction projects on the Hope Haven campus may employ up to 150 adults at a time. Workers learn the importance and value of quality construction practices while they actively develop our Hope Haven campus to its full vision.
There are many opportunities at Hope Haven get involved.
•Individuals may contact us for opportunities for teaching elementary grades or getting involved with Christian Ministry work in and around our community, as it relates to Hope Haven.
•If you are in a position of leadership at a High School or in a Ministry position for High School students, inquire about using Hope Haven Rwanda as a ministry destination.
•If you are a College Administrator and you would like to develop a STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM through Hope Haven Rwanda, we would welcome that opportunity.
•Love Technology? We have a computer lab, 350 young students and some adults that need good training.
Our Dormitory housing offers 6 spacious rooms with bunk beds, 6 guests per room. There is a men’s bath area and women’s bath area… Each bathroom includes 3 toilets, 3 sinks and 3 showers. $50 / person / day.
Our “Hotel Room” housing offers 3 rooms equipped with a queen bed and a bathroom included within the room. $65 / person/ day.
Two meals each day are included in board. (Breakfast & noon-time) Most of our food is grown on our own land or throughout the community. This will be a “local” type meal.
Interested in Staying?
Hope Haven is located approximately 20 minutes east of the airport in Kigali. It is a very “local” area. The housing is within our “compound” of approximately 10 acres. Additional transportation opportunities will likely need to be arranged prior to arrival. Hope Haven can arrange transportation and other travel arrangements.