City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Building Up Nations

South Denver Group Helps Rwandans Build Self-Sustaining Businesses and Schools

Article by Roger Ballard

Photography by Roger Ballard Photography

Originally published in Parker City Lifestyle

“Life is not about how much money you make and the stuff you have. It is about the impact you can have on other’s lives and the opportunities you can create for them.” –Andrew Clough

What does it take to change a nation? To give people a tangible hope that the future can actually be better? It takes vision. It takes a plan. It starts with the people who are in need of work. It partners with a government that is motivated to make life better for its people. That is what our group of business leaders from Colorado went to Kigali, Rwanda, to do: start putting that plan into action.

As we drove through the growing capital city of Kigali, we saw everything from skyscrapers to slums. Andrew Clough and Steve Gerber own successful roofing businesses in Colorado. They have a vision to change the nations, and they are starting in Rwanda.

“Life is not about how much money you make and the stuff you have. It is about the impact you can have on other’s lives and the opportunities you can create for them,” Andrew says.

So, instead of handing out food or clothing, Andrew and Steve started Kingdom Building International to create jobs, build affordable housing, teach people about business, build schools and share with the people that Jesus cares about them. 

“We know how to do business. We’ve built successful businesses here in Colorado. We don’t need to make money in Rwanda, but we want to provide opportunity and help them learn how to support themselves,” Andrew says.

The vision is to use the business savvy they’ve learned in the United States and start businesses in Rwanda. Though these businesses will turn a profit, all of the profits will be reinvested back into new projects in Rwanda. KBI is already employing people and will soon be providing jobs as they start more projects.

In Nyagatare Province, we met with Bishop Mary, who operates private schools. We bumped our way down long dirt roads—even getting our van stuck in the mud once—to arrive at the schools. As we exited the van, the sounds of a beating drum and children singing filled the air. The excitement in the air was palpable. We walked into the large room, and it became difficult to talk because the beautiful singing was so loud. It was so energizing to be there and see the excitement of these children to learn.

“It is easier to raise up children than it is to repair man,” Bishop Mary says.

Her goal is to provide quality education to as many children as possible. Not only that, but she wants to provide them the tools to be successful in life. Many parents opt to send their children to private schools. The challenge has become building facilities. The tuition the parents can afford to pay is enough to pay for teachers, materials and maintaining facilities, but building new facilities is quite challenging.

Rwanda is hungry for growth, and the business leaders of Rwanda are eager to build up their nation. Who knows what may come of all this. Perhaps others will catch this vision and we will see an explosion of growth across the world because business leaders decide to use their gifts and resources for more than their own gain.

To find out more about the programs being started, or to get involved with a project, visit Kingdom Building International’s sister company’s website, FloodGates.Life.

  • Sitting atop a hill, the central part of the city of Kigali, Rwanda
  • Two construction workers helping to build low-income housing
  • A carpenter working on the interior design of a low-income housing project
  • Land pictured is the future site of new low-income housing.
  • Elementary school in Nyagatare, Rwanda. The schools are crowded. Students are in need of more facilities. Currently, three to four students share a desk.
  • Stuck in the mud on the way to visit schools
  • Stuck in the mud on the way to visit schools
  • Workers making bricks to rebuild a church building that was blown down in wind storm
  • Brick makers in Gashora, Rwanda. These bricks are more durable than the mud bricks people usually use to build their homes.
  • Attendees of a business leader training
  • Pastor Alpha sharing about his experience fleeing for his life during the genocide. The buildings in the background are houses built by the government for the s
  • Andrew and Steve talking with Pastor Alpha about using land near his childhood home agriculture projects
  • Fertile ground outside Huye, Rwanda
  • Boy who lives in government housing. He and his family will benefit from agricultural projects planned near his home.
  • Children who live in government housing built for families of survivors of the genocide.