Tag Archives: Hope Shines

“HOPE SHINES.” Michael Stromme And His Business Supporting Orphans In Rwanda. Movingly Told. Live Music. December 10, 2017. Patricia’s Paris Expat Soirées and Dinners. Sunday 3 December 2017. 19h15. (Paris Expat Soirée Supper Club. Meet New People.)

 

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SUNDAY 10 DECEMBER 2017

“HOPE SHINES.” Michael Stromme And His Business Supporting Orphans In Rwanda.

Our Special Guest Is:
Michael Stromme
Social Entrepreneur. American Expat In Rwanda

Hope Shines:

Hope Shines is an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) through educational and health and hygiene programs. Michael has been affiliated with the group in Rwanda. He is now developing a business aiding orphans there.Visit http://hopeshines.org/who-we-are/

In New York, Michael was “yearning for something more meaningful in my life, and felt called to be somewhere far and exotic, like the south of India.  It was then that I met the founder of Hope Shines” who told him about the volunteer summer camp program. After that experience, ” I knew my life’s trajectory had just flipped a 180.”

“Hope Shines has a new greenhouse outside Kigali where we’re growing red peppers and soon butternut squash to sell at market and hotels.  I’ve been working on a social entrepreneurship of handmade soap which will be targeted to boutique hotels.  These both will help bring revenue streams to the organization, helping to sustain it.  The kids themselves have been learning traditional Rwandan dance, and have gotten so good that they’ve performed at a couple weddings.  They will continue to perform in public, and hopefully the money earned from these events will eventually pay for their school fees.” 

Living In Rwanda (Kagali). Starting A Business To Support Orphans And Being An Expat.

It was a natural organic progression after he had the idea of starting a soap business in Rwanda. Michael originally intended to start the business in NY, with proceeds going to Hope Shines, and then bring it to Rwanda.” Earlier this year , “I knew I had to go to Rwanda to start the business and bring that model back to NY. I knew that ultimately I wanted to be living in Rwanda, as I’d always loved it and the people were so warm and welcoming, not to mention many friends I’d made over the years. “ 

Rwanda is very welcoming to visitors.  There’s a big expat community, which I’m not so much involved with.  They’re here for their jobs, mostly, and will hang out at the expensive restaurants and night clubs.  But people on the street in my area are always friendly, and adults and children alike will greet me with a Hello or Bonjour. 

The political climate is good.  The president just got voted into an historic 3rd term because he had saved the country during the genocide, and people love him here.  He’s not only kept the country safe and peaceful, but it’s now known for its development and progress.  There’s so much infrastructure improvements, and new buildings and hotels are going up all over.  There’s also a beautiful new convention center and shopping malls.  So there are many improvements, yet still so much poverty.” 

About Michael Stromme:

Michael has been an actor, teacher, and massage therapist in Los Angeles, Rome, Paris, and New York.  Having been moved and inspired by a strong purpose and calling in Rwanda, he now finds himself in the world of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship, supporting a group of orphans through an organization for which he volunteers and had served on its board.  That support has led him to start a handmade soap business in Rwanda, with proceeds supporting the organization and the children


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