Wow. It has been an incredible year. We have grown so much in 2011 and it is thrilling to see the growth and impact of the These Numbers Have Faces (TNHF) women's empowerment program in South Africa.
First year Law Student, Alutho Mtati had this to say about being a TNHF Scholar:
“The program has given me an opportunity to grow as a person. Through this program I know the power that I have to make my life better, as well as to better my community. TNHF is a community in itself, because in the program we are not just numbers, we have faces. The personal touch in the program is amazing because we know that we always have someone in our corner.” –Alutho Mtati
2012 is going to be a great year. We are adding four more students to the South Africa program and because of our success, we are looking to expand our program into other countries in 2012. Our education program is changing lives and we feel inspired to provide the same opportunities for young women around the world.
Our focus will most likely begin in Southeast Asia, move to another country in Africa, and then onto Latin America. By expanding the These Numbers Have Faces program, our hope and vision is to empower young women around the world to be leaders of community transformation.
Thank you for your continued support!
I want to take this opportunity to share with you an email we received from one of our scholars, Shakeelah.
Shakeelah is studying biotechnology at the University of Western Cape. Like all of our students, Shakeelah's life has not been without heartache and challenges.
At a very young age Shakeelah was introduced to a disease that would become a reoccurring part of her story when both her great-grandmother and aunt suffered and died from cancer. A few years later, Shakeelah herself was diagnosed with Chairi Malformation One--a cancer where the brain is too big for the skull, causing pressure on the spinal cord. Doctors explained that without surgery, there would be severe consequences for her life. The family decided to go through with the surgery and the operation was able to save Shakeelah’s life.
In 2008, Shakeelah and her family were shocked when her grandmother suddenly died from breast cancer.
By then, life events had ignited a passion in Shakeelah to pursue a career in Biotechnology. “Her death inspired me to set goals for myself and not waste time.” Shakeelah’s first goal was to work hard so that she could go to college.
In 2010, Shakeelah began feeling abdominal pains that were discovered to be the first stages of pancreatic cancer. Though upset that she was diagnosed during her pursuit of college, Shakeelah found strength in her mother’s courageous example. “She told me that God would never put a burden too much on me that is too heavy to handle.”
Shakeelah is now a freshman at the University of Western Cape and recovering well from her cancer treatments.
I give you this background, so that you can understand the wonderful significance of the email we received:
“…Monday we did a presentation on the different types of cancer. The cancer assigned to my group was testicular cancer. I think doing the project is definitely one of the highlights of my life. The presentation went really well. We were assessed by three lecturers, which was a bit intimidating, but at the end they were all very impressed by our group.
I also decided to do a presentation on the Cancer Association South Africa (CANSA) and the Relay for Life, which I belong to. In my presentation, I spoke about the CANSA and the things they do to help the fight against cancer. My main goal was to raise awareness and encourage my classmates and lecturers to contribute in which ever way possible, but I was not prepared for what was to come... Half of the lecture hall including my lecturer was in tears! That was something I definitely did not expect.
Through my presentation I certainly achieved my goal, as we are starting our own teams and will be participating in the Relay for Life event on 1 October. With the help of my team members, I have managed to get the campus radio and various university organizations on board and they are assisting us with our fund-raiser which will be held on 28 September. We will be having a shave-a-thon and cake sale on campus and all money will be going as a donation towards the CANSA…We are starting out small but we do hope that our small contribution can make a difference. I can't explain how I am feeling as have never felt this overwhelmed with joy before because I can now help other as I've been helped.. Please pray that our fundraisers will be a success. Hope you and the team are doing well. Thank you for all that you have done.”
Because of your support, stories like Shakeelah's are possible. Thank you so much.
The TNHF scholars are back in classes after their summer break. After spending the first semester adjusting to college life and classes, our brilliant scholars are looking forward to their new classes and activities. TNHF is hard at work to raise money to provide ongoing tutoring, as classes have proved difficult for the majority of our scholars. Nevertheless, their spirits are high and they are dedicated to excel not only in their classroom, but in their community as well.
Recently, our scholars took a group of orphans from their communities to Cape Point as part of their community service. For most of those who attended, this is the first time they have visited this world-renowned landmark. Next month, our scholars will visit a retirement home and spend time with older members of the community.
Thank you again for your ongoing support the TNHF Women’s Empowerment Campaign. It is because of supporters like you, that TNHF is able to provide young women an opportunity they never thought possible.
TNHF staff and contractors recently arrived back home from South Africa. Executive Director, Justin was accompanied by videographer Matt Gromley and photographer Jered Scott. The goal of the trip was to meet the new scholars, visit their colleges and homes, and gather new media necessary for garnering scholarship donations.
Needless to say, the trip was a huge success. TNHF USA staff had the opportunity to spend three weeks bonding with the scholars and their families. Scholars reported that getting to know the USA staff motivated them even more work hard in their classes and serve in their communities. Justin Zoradi also spent ample time working with the Cape Town staff on program initiatives, local fundraising campaigns and general operations.
Attached below are a few pictures of the trip and a link to a blog about TNHF scholar, Myomena.
TNHF scholars are busy with classes and participating in the community impact model. Scholars are studying at the following universities:
Scholars are majoring in medicine, law, business, hospitality, engineering and accounting . Despite studying such difficult subjects, we are proud to report that all of our scholars passed their most recent exam with high marks.
This past weekend, all fourteen scholars attended a two day long retreat where they took guided hikes in the Table Mountain wilderness, attended financial literacy and leadership seminars hosted by Operation Hope, worked through reconciliation discussions, and had a family braii on the beach. Food for the weekend was generously donated by Woolworths South Africa.
TNHF recently opened our Programme Centre where students receive tutoring, mentoring and access computers for internet research and word processing. Computers and office hardware was generously donated by Old Mutual Bank.
USA staff is visiting students in South Africa mid-May, so please look for updated pictures and media.
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