Hello ROP friends and supporters,
We hope you are doing well. We apologize for communicating with you less than usual
throughout the year, but it has been a challenging time for ROP and the Imizi
Children’s Center. We need to let you know about a difficult situation that we
have found ourselves in, which has significantly impacted on us all.
Earlier this year we came to realize that a trusted and long-time
colleague has managed to take control of the Imizi Children’s Center, and
installed his friends on to the local board, meaning they have control of the
organization. We are still unsure as to how he managed to do this, but it
appears that he faked registration documents, misleading us in to thinking
myself and Jenny were on the local board, when in fact he had put his own
friends on the board. It has been a difficult time for us in uncovering what
has happened, processing it and trying to find a way forward.
We want to reassure you that none of ROP US and UK’s funding is stored in Rwanda, and that
we still have our hard-earned donations safely stored in banks in the US and
UK. We have also been able to continue supporting all of our children in school
this year, throughout these difficulties. But it does mean that this former
colleague and his new board have control of the Imizi Center itself and of the
We are working with lawyers to challenge this as vigorously as possible, and this process is ongoing. Various Rwandan government bodies are also investigating the illegal activity of our former staff member. Once we uncovered what had happened, we immediately ceased
funding to Imizi, to ensure that none of ROP’s money went towards this corrupt
administration. While it has been difficult to find ways through this, we did
our best to ensure that our challenges did not become the children’s challenges
and that they were as unaffected as possible by this situation. By finding creative
ways to pay their school tuition, get them the school materials they need, and
support their needs at home, we have been able to ensure they continued to get
full support. That support continues into this current school year, which
began in September.
We are committed to continue doing this for as long as possible, although we will no
longer be supporting Imizi in any way until we are able to get control of the
organization back. While we continue fighting to get Imizi back in our hands,
we are also considering alternative paths that will allow us to continue
helping our children for years to come. We intend to take a period of
reflection to think about how best to continue supporting our children, and how
our organization should change going forwards.
In the meantime, we feel it is important that you know ROP is still just as committed
to the children as we’ve ever been, and our support remains incredibly
important for them. We are committed to supporting these children for as
long as they need us, and we know just how vital and life-changing our support
is to them. If you would like to discuss any of our current situation in
more detail, please let me know and I can arrange a time to talk with you.
Thank you to you all for your support over the years, and particularly during this
challenging time, which we have found personally very difficult. We are
committed to continuing to offer support to these very marginalised children
for as long as possible, and we thank you for everything you have done to help
us achieve this over the years. We hope to be able to update you soon.
Wishing you all a very happy new year.