By: Billy Waters
During the Advent season last year, we did a campaign called Walk with Rwanda. The goal was to raise $20,000 to contribute to build a commercial facility in Kigali that would consist of businesses and homes. Revenue generated from the rental would be allocated toward:
Planting theologically healthy churches
Forming new clergy and leadership
Educating the poor from preschool through secondary school
Preventing severe cases of malnutrition in small children
Providing life-changing adult training for farming, health, and disciples.
Once completed, the projected net cash flow would be almost three times what the Anglican Church in North America is currently giving to Rwanda. This would put the Anglican Church of Rwanda well on the road to financial independence.
Here are the updates and highlights from the Walk with Rwanda campaign that we helped support. In 2016 we:
1. Established an investment company in Rwanda called Rwandan Anglican Capital Investments Ltd. (R.A.C.I.) with an all-star Board of top lawyers, architects and other professionals including the CEO of Equity Bank Rwanda, and John Wilson, the former CEO of Southern Industrial in Raleigh.
2. Welcomed to R.A.C.I. and Kigali, Executive Director, John Craig, who holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina and brings 30 years of executive experience in Fortune 500 companies and his own consulting firms.
3. Expanded our team, welcoming Lisa Puckett as Director of US Operations. Lisa joins us with extensive experience in consulting non-profits and small businesses.
4. Raised capital and now have $325,000 cash on hand and $250,000 from two large donor pledges. Smaller pledges are coming in all the time. This has increased the total assets of the province by more than 70%.
5. Are planning to begin construction on the commercial building in Kigali in January 2017 and to begin operation in early 2018.
As members of our R.A.C.I. Board of Directors reviewed the architectural plans for the commercial building in Kigali, they decided to redesign the building to reduce costs and decrease the need for borrowing. This will decrease the risk of the project while still maximizing the plot of land. The team still expects to begin construction in early 2017.
In order to begin construction, we are securing a local loan at 16% for 10 years. As we raise more money, monthly payments for this flexible loan will decrease. Even without additional funds, the investment will be cash positive in the first year. The more money we raise, the higher our return on investment, and the more income will be generated to support the church.
In Rwanda they say, ‘If you want to travel quickly, travel alone. If you want to walk far, travel together.’ Thank you for being our companion on this journey toward financial sustainability.
In the months to come, check out the website to see the latest news on the progress: www.WalkWithRwanda.com.