Misty Copeland’s visit to the Girls Program
After helping to launch the Girls Program three years ago, Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer of American Ballet Theatre, returned to Kigali to witness and celebrate the growth of MindLeaps Rwanda.
She observed the dance, IT, and academic acceleration courses, as well as one of the new programs launched in 2018: Sexual and Reproductive Health. This program is taught by health educator Leslie Massicotte. Misty observed the program and said it gives the girls an uncommon chance to “really sit down and speak openly and candidly, and not feel ashamed about being a young woman.” She said, that in learning about their bodies, the girls are more confident and comfortable in their own skin.
Watch Misty’s five-day experience in Rwanda, specifically the Girls Program vlog from her second day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H8o_yVAlL8, to gain insight into the effects of the Girls Program:
Days for Girls
As a further extension of the Girls Program, MindLeaps has partnered with Days for Girls (DfG) in order to distribute 40 DfG kits to the girls in Rwanda. DfG, through their partnership with MindLeaps, provides access to menstrual care kits, as well as education for these at-risk youth.
The DfG kits each come with a "POD." Each POD acts like a sanitary napkin kit. A POD has one waterproof shield and two absorbent liners and lasts several years. This solution is so important for girls. As DfG states, “Without a solution to manage her monthly cycle, 1 in 10 girls in Sub-Saharan Africa will miss school this year.”
Education and understanding of their monthly cycles is essential, and we are grateful for this partnership with Days for Girls to keep our girls on a path towards success.
New Community Facilitator: Salaama Numukobwa
The newest staff member joined the MindLeaps team in August 2018: Salaama Numukobwa. After experiencing what MindLeaps did for her two children, Claudine and Francine, Salamaa became the first parent of a MindLeaps child to officially join the core staff.
Salaama’s passion for community work began well before her involvement in MindLeaps. Starting in 2011, Salaama volunteered with We Act for Hope and African Evangelical Enterprise. In 2017, Salaama was elected President of MindLeaps Parents’ Committee, and from there, her involvement skyrocketed. With the generous support of the Arthur & Patricia Hill Foundation, MindLeaps launched a new approach to the Family Strengthening Program in July 2018. Salaama aided in selecting 12 leaders that provide training to 100 parents in Financial Literacy, Basics of Business, Gender-Based Violence, and Good Practices of Parenting. Now, as an official Community Facilitator for MindLeaps, Salaama has inspired fellow parents by demonstrating how her experiences led to permanent employment. We are grateful to Salaama's work in supporting the MindLeaps parents and the larger community.
Days for Girls Kit Distribution
MindLeaps Community Facilitator Salaama Numukobwa