These Numbers Have Faces

Africa is rising. We invest in students to lead and empower their countries. Every day we hear terrible statistics that document the harsh reality of our world. We chart war, calculate disease, analyze famine, and graph slavery. Africa is often at the heart of these calculations as we've all seen the numbers about Africa that paint a negative picture of the continent. Our name expresses a world changing idea. We don't see Africa as hopeless, we see it full of life and color, light, and opportunity. While figures and data are important tools for measuring complex social issues, we believe that there are people behind the statistics. A number is difficult to connect with, but when we see thos...
Aug 13, 2014

Who run the world? Girls

Dermalogica
Dermalogica

In a crime-riddled Johannesburg neighborhood, a young girl found security in words.

The words of her mother – a single parent working to support her family, a woman who has always been quick to offer encouragement and raise up leaders in her community.

From her mother’s example, Jaime’-Lee knew she wanted to be an advocate for other women struggling to succeed in the male-dominated society of South Africa.

As a These Numbers Have Faces scholar in her final year at University of Western Cape, Jaime’-Lee is on her way to doing just that – the first in her family to graduate from college, majoring in law with plans to become a human rights attorney.

In July, Jaime’-Lee and Busisiwe, a These Numbers Have Faces alumna, were able to share their stories with a group of outstanding female leaders at an event by Dermalogica, a women-owned, internationally acclaimed skin care company with business in South Africa.

Dermalogica’s mission goes far beyond physical beauty. Their foundation, FITE, Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship, is all about empowering girls through education as a means to fight poverty and strengthen communities.

FITE recently joined forces with These Numbers Have Faces to provide financial support and mentorship to several of our students in South Africa. They even raised $11,000 for These Numbers Haves Faces during the inaugural Kaya FM 67km Relay in honor of Nelson Mandela!

These Numbers Have Face and Dermalogica’s FITE are kindred-spirits. We believe girls in Africa are worth fighting for – for the education of those like Jaime’-Lee, for their limitless potential, which we believe will transform their communities.

And because, well, Beyoncé put it best: “Who run the world? Girls.”

During a recent interview with Dermalogica, Jaime’-Lee spoke about the importance of women’s empowerment in South Africa.

“When you’re successful, that energy should be projected. It should bounce off other people and then they are inspired, and they are happy, and they can reach their goals. That’s how we become one.”

Jaime’-Lee has the kind of energy we want to be around.

 Agree?

Join with These Numbers Have Faces to empower students like Jaime’-Lee.

Together, our support shows that we believe in them. We believe in the future of Africa.

May 1, 2014

Meet Alice, The Newest Face in our Family

Alice Outside Her Home in a Ugandan Slum
Alice Outside Her Home in a Ugandan Slum

In February, I had the pleasure of meeting Alice, an intelligent, persevering and extremely inspiring young woman. Alice exemplifies the passion and dedication of our students. We are thrilled to welcome her into our family.

We walked down the dusty, narrow, winding spaces between each shack. We passed clothing lying out on bushes to dry; dishes waiting to be washed in dirty water; and children staring wide-eyed at us. We followed closely behind Alice as she smiled and shouted greetings to her neighbors, who smiled and shouted right back.

Finally, we arrived at a one-room hut, the size of a typical bedroom in the United States.

"This is it. Please, come in. You are welcome here."

Alice ushered us into the home she shares with seven others, none of which are her parents. Brought together because of loss, these distant relatives make up their own, unique family unit. There was a makeshift clothesline attached to the walls that served as a closet, draping each family member's few outfits. There was hardly room to walk; the bed and piles of belongings took up most of the floor, but we squeezed in to explain why we had come to this Ugandan slum in the first place: to accept Alice as a These Numbers Have Faces scholar.

Alice is the sole provider for the seven other members of her family. However, even with these hardships, she's studying accounting at the best university in East Africa in the evenings and spends her days (eight hours each day, seven days each week) balancing the finances at a local bar to pay for rent, food, and her siblings' school fees. Without money for transportation, she spends over two hours walking from home, to university, to her job each day. And with a large family, she's the first to sacrifice her dinner when there isn't quite enough.

Alice's love and selflessness is overwhelming. In the short time we spent with her, we realized she personifies exactly what These Numbers Have Faces stands for, including the potential to be an inspiring leader in her family and community. As we told Alice and her auntie about These Numbers Have Faces - that 75% of Alice's tuition would be covered, that she would receive top-of-the-line professional development training, and that she was part of a community that believed in her, her auntie pulled each of us onto her lap, hugging us and laughing and shouting thanks.

Alice remained fairly quiet during our visit. But as we got ready to leave and started our goodbye hugs, she turned to us and said, "I will not let you down." And we won't let Alice down either. To give to Alice's tuition, transportation, or food stipend, please consider giving to These Numbers Have Faces today. You can give Alice and her family the boost they need to escape poverty.

Alice and her Auntie
Alice and her Auntie

Links:

Jan 30, 2014

Busi Breaks Into the Workforce

Busi, a These Numbers Have Faces graduate.
Busi, a These Numbers Have Faces graduate.

South Africa Has a New Business Intern

After graduating just weeks ago, Busisiwe has landed her first job as a business intern! Representing the first cohort of These Numbers Have Faces graduates, Busi is setting the bar high and we couldn't be more proud.

Graduating with a degree in Accounting just weeks ago, Busisiwe was determined to find a job that would put her business skills to work and provide a valuable, real-world experience. After three interviews and a lot of hard work, we are thrilled to announce that Busi is now working as a business intern for Fetola, a social enterprise and development company located in Cape Town, South Africa.

Fetola exists to make a positive difference in South Africa by stimulating the growth of the small business sector. Seeing sustainable empowerment of people as their primary goal, Fetola helps larger companies and government organizations plan projects and intiatives that empower community-based projects and NGOs.

For the next 3-6 months, Busi will be working alongside the Project Manager to assist with projects and particpate in strategy sessions. Additionally, Busi will be writing proposals, doing research, performing business tasks associated with upcoming deadlines and preparing presentations for the board.

Recognizing what a incredible opportunity this is to begin her career, Busi is already strategizing how she can leverage this experience to reach her goal of starting her own consulting business to benefit female entrepreneurs. This is just the beginning for Busi, and we are confident about the incredible direction of her future!

A Word From Busisiwe

"Thank you so much to everyone at These Numbers Have Faces, even all of those I have yet to meet I thank you a million times. Your support, love and belief in my abilities and the potential you see in me keeps me motivated to face another day with a positive attitude. I am both nervous and excited for my new job, but to know that I have people backing me up all the way makes it easier for me."

Check out this video to learn more about Busi's story! Stay tuned for more updates on Busi and the upcoming launch of her new business website. Busi's success wouldn't be possible without supporters like you. Thank you for providing a hopeful future for our students, so that they - like Busi - can achieve their goals.

Busi is interning at Fetola in South Africa.
Busi is interning at Fetola in South Africa.
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