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...
Feb 13, 2013

Awesome Leadership Training in Rwanda

These Numbers Have Faces Scholars in Rwanda recently completed the final training session of their 3-part leadership training program. Training sessions covered: Entrepreneurship 101, Financial Literacy and Leadership Development & Goal Setting. The trainings were dynamic and required the students to actively participate in the session discussions and exercises.

The students’ first training module covered Entrepreneurship. They learned the basics for developing a successful business idea. Through their group exercises, they identified business opportunities; including a saloon (hair stylist/barber shop) and a public transportation company as both of these business are limited in the area of their homes. Their trainer stated:

“At the end of a two hour session, I could see their zeal and passion to start their businesses right away!”

The second training session covered Financial Literacy. After discussing the basics of how to choose a bank and open an account, much time was dedicated to the necessity of creating a budget and the importance of saving. The students received templates to create their own budget and were encouraged to prioritize saving for emergencies and future dreams. They were challenged with an exercise: keep track of everything they spent on for a week, in order to discover what are necessity items and how to help avoid impulse purchases.

The final training was on Leadership and Goal Setting. The students were taught: “Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation.” They were guided on how to set goals in the areas of: education, career, finances and family. Their training provided key suggestions on how to choose goals that are measurable, attainable and relevant!

All training sessions were conducted through a partnership with our new friend John Gasangwa of Inkomoko. John’s statement about thetraining:

“I personally enjoyed challenging the girls to 'think out of the box' and be creative and innovative.”

The students enjoyed these sessions so much that they asked John to return again soon to train them on project planning and business plan development.

They’ve been empowered and they’re ready to be leaders! Watch out Rwanda!

John Teaching
John Teaching
Nov 29, 2012

Students graduate, get jobs and reinvest!

Zinthathu at her college graduation ceremony
Zinthathu at her college graduation ceremony

These Numbers Have Faces university scholars have been having a fantastic semester.  In South Africa, they are currently taking final exams. They have each been studying hard throughout this semester and they are determined to perform well in their exams.  Through the Community Impact Model, our scholars are learning the value of giving back to their local communities.  Each student has been balancing their college work with community service projects.  

These Numbers Have Faces Scholar Zimkhita volunteers at a Children's Home in Khayelitsha, a township severely penetrated by gangsterism, crime and violence.  She tutors the older children in their school work and spends valuable time playing with the younger ones.  Zimkhita loves spending time with the children and is focused on making an impact in her local community.

The most exciting news to report is the success story of These Numbers Have Faces Scholar Zinthathu.  This past June, Zinthathu graduated from Northlink College with a degree in Marketing.  It was a beautiful celebration with her family, friends and These Numbers Have Faces South African Staff.  

Even more exciting... two short months after her graduation, she was offered her dream job working for the largest provider of medical plans in South Africa.  In her own words:
"I've got a new job, I'm so happy!  Thanks to God, this is my dream job now I got it. Yahoo!  I love my new life!  I've never been this happy.  Thanks to These Numbers Have Faces and all the people who have helped me get this far."

Zinthatu has been working at her new job for 4 months and has begun her financial reinvestment into the These Numbers Have Faces Scholarship Program.  

In Rwanda, These Numbers Have Faces Rwandan women scholars are also achieving their dreams to be great leaders for their communities. Lydia, Lillian, Margaret, and Jackie each strongly agree that education is the key to success and the foundation for their future. They have great hopes to make a huge impact in their communities and change Rwanda from the inside out.

A recent NY Times Article reported that women hold 56% of all heads-of-state parliament seats in Rwanda.  This presence of female leadership is a great step forward to the region expressing diversity and promoting equality and justice.

Here are some of their words on what it means to them personally to have leadership in Rwanda that understand the importance of women leaders:

“It really encourages me to have such leadership that considers and values women. It shows me that there is equality in our country. As a woman,  there is something I can contribute to my country basing on the abilities that God gave me.” - Lydia

“The leadership in Rwanda gives me hope to become a leader in the future. It is very encouraging to me as it gives me assurance of being as equally important in my society. Tt also gives chance for our families to prosper since they are largely made up of women.” - Jackie


2012 has been a fabulous year and 2013 looks even brighter with expansion to additional countries in East and Central Africa!!

Zimkhita and kids at the Children
Zimkhita and kids at the Children's Home
Zimkhita playing with the kids
Zimkhita playing with the kids
Zinthathu & Edwin with TNHF Alumni Certificate
Zinthathu & Edwin with TNHF Alumni Certificate
Zinthathu & Family at College Graduation
Zinthathu & Family at College Graduation
Aug 28, 2012

GlobalGiving's Visit to These Numbers Have Faces

These Numbers Scholars and Family
These Numbers Scholars and Family

Hi, my name is Alexis. I am a Senior Program Associate on GlobalGiving’s Project Team. On July 28, 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting These Numbers Have Faces in Cape Town, South Africa and participating in one of These Numbers’ student meetings. In attendance at the event were 14 scholarship recipients and their parents, guardians, or representatives from their families.

I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to These Numbers’ programs in South Africa! I had the opportunity to mingle with some of the students and their families and learn more about the program from Edwin and Beata, These Numbers’ staff members in Cape Town.

Let me share some of my take-aways from the event:

These Numbers is more than a scholarship program. If nothing else, this Saturday meeting showed me that These Numbers is interested in more than providing the money needed to pay for a college education. The organization aims to provide holistic support to help students achieve their full potential. The program pays for text books, pairs students up with tutors, and even works to find alternative housing options for students living in difficult circumstances.

These Numbers requires students to get involved in their communities through community service. In order to continue receiving funding from the program, students must complete a certain number of community service hours per year. As a result, students are volunteering at soup kitchens, running clothes collection drives, and tutoring younger students in their neighborhoods. This means that in addition to developing academically, students are taking on leadership roles in their own communities. These Numbers is not just investing in a small group of promising students, they’re investing in an entire community in the greater Cape Town area!

These Numbers is facilitating financial re-investment into the program. I was very excited to learn about the organization’s financial reinvestment model, which requires students to reinvest 25% of the cost of their schooling back into the program over the course of several years after graduation. Not only is this a great way to ensure the program’s sustainability, it is also a way for alumni to stay committed to the program’s future success. In addition, Edwin and Beata are already prepping students to become mentors for future students, including requesting their referrals and recommendations for future scholarship applicants.

What was even more exciting than the re-investment model itself, was the response the proposal received from the students and parents! The general consensus at the meeting was that it was important for current students to reinvest into the program after they had graduated and secured jobs. As one guardian explained, these students are fortunate to have received the opportunity to go to university; it is up to them to help ensure that other students are afforded the same opportunity.

These Numbers incorporates student and parent feedback into their programs. During the meeting, Edwin and Beata spent a lot of time reviewing various aspects of the program, including the re-investment model, for the students and their parents. But beyond telling students about the program, they also asked the students and their parents for their feedback and suggestions! I was thrilled to see the meeting attendees engaging with Edwin and Beata in conversation about the challenges facing the students and the role that These Numbers plays in their education.

Thank you, These Numbers, for inviting me to spend the day with you! I had a great time and look forward to my next visit to Cape Town.

Edwin explains the financial reinvestment model
Edwin explains the financial reinvestment model
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