About Our Response

Our Response is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization with the purpose of igniting a community-wide financial response to global poverty, disease, and suffering. Our Response desires to unite all of East Central Minnesota in the process of making a difference in the lives of those in need.


World Vision Partnership

To carry out this purpose in East Central Minnesota, Our Response has partnered with World Vision to bring transformation to Kivuruga, Rwanda. When searching for potential partners, Our Response’s founders recognized that World Vision has a proven track record of development success and financial accountability, pursues development in a manner that leads to self-sustainability, understands the root causes of poverty, and views its partnerships as relationships rather than as simply transactions. (More information about World Vision can be found here.)


Fundraising Totals

The goals of Our Response include financing at least $1 million of World Vision’s work in Kivuruga over the first ten years of Our Response’s existence (2009-2019), leading to a celebration of Kivuruga’s self-sustainability by the year 2025. Our Response’s financial results are well ahead of schedule, fueled primarily by the number of children in Kivuruga that have been sponsored through Our Response’s efforts. Below are the cumulative results as of the end of each year since 2010:

  • 2010:   81 sponsorships and $39,000 in direct support
  • 2011: 288 sponsorships and $131,000 in direct support
  • 2012: 542 sponsorships and $361,000 in direct support



Boy carrying sticks in Kivuruga

World Vision has been facilitating child sponsorship for more than fifty years. Children who are eligible for sponsorship are carefully selected by World Vision staff. The standard sponsorship of $35 a month provides many necessities such as clean water, nutritious food, health care (including HIV/AIDS prevention and counseling), care for sick or dying parents, educational opportunities, and spiritual support. Child sponsorships are tax-deductible. (More information about sponsoring a child in Kivuruga through World Vision can be found in the How You Can Help section of this website.)


Rwanda and Kivuruga

Kivuruga, Rwanda country

Rwanda is a small country in eastern Africa with about 11 million residents. Rwanda is perhaps best known for the 1994 genocide that left nearly 1 million Rwandans dead and another 1.2 million Rwandans as refugees. Rwanda has made great strides in restoring peace and achieving reconciliation following the genocide.

Kivuruga is a 75-square mile area located in the mountainous northern region of Rwanda known as the Gakenke District. The beauty of Kivuruga is only surpassed by the joy and generosity of its residents. World Vision has established an Area Development Program (ADP) in Kivuruga that serves as the base for World Vision’s development activity in the community.


The Blog and Its Contributors

 Director Steve Fredlund               Janie Pearson

Director Steve Fredlund              Janie Pearson

Steve Fredlund, the Director of Our Response, and Janie Pearson, manager of the Our Response blog, plan to make regular posts to help you stay connected with what Our Response is doing. Upcoming events will always get top billing. But because inspiration can be just as important as information, the blog will also feature everything from books and magazine articles about global conditions and needs, to local stories of people right here in East Central Minnesota who are making their own personal efforts to end extreme poverty. You might be the star of the next post, or perhaps you’ll be asked to be a guest blogger! Follow along as we continue our unique partnership with World Vision, and together do our part to make a difference in Kivuruga, Rwanda.