This summer The Safi Life Foundation team members and a film crew went to Rwanda to begin filming our documentary about the progress made since the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. Our piece is mainly focused on hope for the future, and the ways in which leadership, education, and female advancement in Rwanda have aided in the process of reconciliation and progress.
We were surprised at the airport by all of our 2013 scholarship recipients: Safi herself, Bam, Jeanne, Jeannette, Fredine, and Assumpta. They brought us flowers and jewelry and many tears were exchanged. They remained with us through much of the trip, and we even got to tour Kigali Independent University where Bam and Fredine attend school! It was lovely to see our donor's dollars put to work, and how much a college education means to these incredible young women and their families.
In Rwanda the annual income is $750USD per year, and many universities cost up to $900. Therefore it is nearly impossible for many parents, espeically with multiple children, to afford college. Some we met had to sell their entire farm, or their cow, which is a priceless commodity in Rwanda, in order to get their child into college. Education is a top priority there, as we learned from our lunch with President Kagame on the final day.
The most heart wrenching fact of all, however, is many people don't have parents, or much of a family at all, due to the genocide. So anyone who might have been able to help these young adults attend college has passed away. That's why we are here, and that's why we do what we do. The Safi Life Foundation is honored to now be sponsoring ten girls who were genocide survivors and lost one or both parents in the atrocities. In the future, our focus will be shifting to orphans who are socially and intellectually qualified and deserving of a university education.
We cannot thank you enough for your continued love for these amazing young women. They are the future of Rwanda, the future of Africa. Their hearts are strong and so are they, and we will continue to do whatever we can to support them.
Until next time...
Hello friends of Safi Life!
Well, the time is fast approaching! Members of The Safi Life Foundation and a team of filmmakers are heading to Rwanda on June 12, 2014, to create a documentary film. We are also planning to create a new media campaign to entice more people like you to learn about Rwanda and to give to the students we sponsor!
On June 16th we will be interviewing H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda. We will be honoring him on his life's work thus far, and also asking him about his plans for the future of Rwanda as a leader in Africa. We already know that President Kagame is strategically focused on education, and will therefore be a great role model for other leaders to invest in education for their people, and of course work as a centerpiece for our documentary.
In addition to this incredible opportunity to interview President Kagame, we will be speaking with orphans from the Mwanankabandi Orphan Centre, run by Safi Life's very own KABERA Alphonse. Hopefully we will meet some promising young students to focus our scholarship fundraising on in the coming years!
Lastly, we will interview Board Members of The Safi Life Foundation, our incredible current students, and Rwandan people who have amazing stories to share. We know that the genocide against Tutsi in 1994 will be a tragic and unfortunate aspect of our documentary, but more importantly we will bring to light all of the incredible things that Rwanda is currently doing to become a social, cultural, and economic leader in Africa. From tragedy to hope, forgiveness and inspiration, Rwanda is certainly a 'town on a hill'. We can't wait to share the footage with you all -- please check the Safi Life Foundation Facebook page for updates on our progress.
If you would like to donate to our filmmaking efforts please do so through the Safi Life Foundation website and leave us a note that you would like proceeds to go to the film. Otherwise, 100% of all donations we receive will go to the girls' scholarships.
Many, many thanks!!
The SLF Team
We at The Safi Life Foundation are so grateful and humbled by the donations received through GlobalGiving. We cannot thank you enough for your generous support and belief in us!
The past few months have been a whirlwind of excitement. Our students are doing well in school and are pursuing other interests on the side, such as small business startups! All of the girls remain very busy between school work, tests, and extracurricular activities.
Our very own Board leader and inspiration, MUKUNDWA Safi, has decided to pursue her Master's Degree! She has been accepted into Mount Kenya University and will be studying business there. The Safi Life Foundation is sponsoring her education and cannot wait until she is one of the foremost female leaders in Rwanda.
SLF held an electronic Board Meeting between California and Rwanda on January 30, 2014. Executive Director Devon Ogden discussed the upcoming documentary project with the Board in Rwanda, and everyone is on the same page. Sharing Rwanda's history, current political happenings, and very hopeful future with Americans is our primary goal. We also want to demonstrate Rwanda's incredible policy of forgiveness in light of the 1994 genocide, and all of the ways in which education will bring about a brighter future for their great nation.
The documentary filming is set to take place in June 2014. We are already working with President Kagame's staff to set up an interview with him! Additionally, we are hoping to interview the Minister of Education, multiple genocide survivors, and the beautiful students of Safi Life.
Thank you for your continued interest in making dreams come true, and allowing for women to be educated in Rwanda. The future looks very, very bright.
Things have been very busy for The Safi Life Foundation since The GlobalGiving September Challenge! Thanks to your incredibly generous support, and some BONUS gifts from the kind folks at GlobalGiving, The Safi Life Foundation raised $7,902.15! That's almost enough for our four current university scholarship recipients (Bam Devothe, Jeanne Mukandayisaba, Janet Uwimababzi, and Fredine Umutoni) to be fully sponsored for the next two years. We cannot thank you enough.
The girls have been studying hard since the start of the school year in August, and SLF receives weekly personal emails about their progress, testing, extracurricular activities, and even social life. We love hearing what they're up to; they're turning out to be quite accomplished young women! Not only are they excelling in school, they are enrolled in campus activities such as The Conference to Transform Africa, social media campaigns, building their own websites and small companies, and performing with local dance troupes. Our student Bam Devothe has even been chosen to meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame as a representative for her university! In addition to all of this, our recipients are still holding strong to the belief that they are role models, and are working with the younger generation of girls in their communities to inspire and motivate them as well.
We are so excited by the prospect of growth and change for women in Africa that we aren't stopping here. It is such an honor to have four girls already enrolled full time in universities and changing their communities for the better - but what might the impact be if we could sponsor 20? Or 100? Our dreams are so bright. This summer, thanks to an angel sponsor, key figures from The Safi Life Foundation will be traveling back to Rwanda to make a documentary film on the girls, their stories, and the incredible country of Rwanda itself. Right now we are looking to secure distribution for the film, so more people can hear about the foundation and be able to help just as you already have and may continue to do so. Thank you again, you are appreciated more than you know. We hope you have a warm and wonderful holiday season.
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