With Father’s Day fast approaching, we thought we would reach out to one of our favorite dads and the man who keeps everything running smoothly in Rwanda, In-Country Director, Simon Dufitumukiza. He keeps so many plates spinning at the cooperative and is a father of two. Please welcome Simon!
Q: Simon, thank you for talking to us. Tell us how long you have worked for Handspun Hope?
A: I have worked for Handspun Hope for over nine years. Originally, I came on as a Project Officer.
Q: You do so much for Handspun Hope. What does a regular workday look like for you?
A: When I don’t have other appointments out of the office, I get to work before 7:30am. From 7:30 – 8:15, I participate in morning devotions and address the women and staff. Then I spend time orienting and giving instructions to office staff and ladies’ supervisors, work on urgent office paperwork, and supervise and visit working units until lunch. At 12:30 I have break time and usually take that at the office. As soon as the ladies resume their work at 1:15, I start responding to any individual problems, read e-mails and update online reports. I also respond to different online messages, coordinate production meetings and check on the ladies’ work to take notes and photographs. Our office work closes at 4:30 for the ladies and 5:00 for the office staff, but I usually spend some extra time getting computer work done. I usually get home around 7:00pm My daily schedule does not look the same every day as it depends on what is a priority at the office or out of the office.
Q: Tell us about your family? How old are your children?
A: I have been married to Louise for 8yrs now. We have 2 children: Grace is seven and Colin is four.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a father?
A: I love answering the curious questions of my children and to help them learn and discover new things.
Q: What do you hope for your children’s futures?
A: It’s a hard question, but I hope they are educated, self reliant and responsible … for themselves and for society.
Q: Tell us something about Rwanda that our readers in America may be surprised to hear.
A: In Rwanda, every last Saturday of the month is a community work day for cleaning, assisting some people in need, and to physically help in reconstructing and repairing some public infrastructure such as schools, roads and bridges. The activity is called “Umuganda” and it is a very special time for Rwandans to put their physical strengths together for community development.
Q: What is something you see - in your own life or your community - that gives you hope?
A: All of God’s blessings to me and to the entire country give me hope.
Thank you, Simon! You are such a gift to the ministry and we are so grateful that you share your talents with us. We thought, in the spirit of Father’s Day, it might be fun to ask Simon’s children what they appreciate about their dad. So, we asked Grace and Collin the same question:
Q: Grace and Collin, what do you love most about your dad?
A: Grace (age 8 ) - “The thing I like about my Dad is when he is teaching me things from school.”
A: Collin (age 4) - “I like it when I am playing with Dad outside and then we lay down to rest out there.”
To all of the fathers…and father figures…out there who give so much so selflessly, thank you.
Happy Father's Day!