Empower women in Africa through higher education!

by These Numbers Have Faces
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Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Empower women in Africa through higher education!
Bridget
Bridget

These Numbers Have Faces believes strongly women are the secret weapon to fighting poverty. Today, young women in Africa are poised to lead the continent to a new era of peace and prosperity. Through access to a university education, Leadership Development Workshops, entrepreneurship opportunities, and our women’s mentorship program, we empower Africa’s brightest young women to cultivate thriving communities. We also recognize that, if we are working to empower strong female leaders in a culture where gender roles remain very traditional, we must also work with the young men to learn how to work well with and alongside strong, empowered women.

Without a doubt, the COVID pandemic created unprecendented challenges for our students. Rwanda shut down in March, 2020, much like in the United States. The universities closed and our students were sent back to their home villages. We had to pause our programs and wait. Then we got word that several of our students and their families were really struggliing with food insecurity. So, we provided 22 families with much-needed food. We also used this time to stay in close contact with our students and their families, supprting their emotional needs as well. We continued to emphasize over and over again for key words: patience, persistence, flexibility, and resilience. Thankfully, the univerisities reopened in October, 2020 and we were able to resume our programs, including our Women's Empowerment Program. When we have not been able to offer our workshops in person, we have learned how to offer them via Zoom. All of the young women in our program successfully completed their courses and exams for the 2019/2020 academic year, which didn't end until February, 2021. All of the young women in our program are now in the middle of the the 2020/2021 academic year and doing well. They have dealt with and overcome so many challenges, including all of the COVID-caused challenges.

We asked several of the young women in our program to share what they've learned during this time of pandemic challenge. Their stories of passionate persistence are truly inspiring. Here is Bridget's story:

My name is Bridget. I’m in my first year of studying finance at the University of Rwanda. I’m passionate about helping and supporting people of different age levels. My long-term goal is to impact people’s lives by employing as many people as I can to help them be successful, too.

I was raised by a single mother. She worked hard to be both mother and father. But sometimes the challenges were just too hard. My mother was often unemployed. There just weren’t many jobs available. Sometimes she couldn’t feed us every day. Sometimes she couldn’t pay my school fees. Life at times was just so bitter and harsh. But my mother always kept fighting for us, fighting to make things better. I saw my Mom’s passionate persistence, which made a big difference in my life. The challenges of my childhood are still stacked in my mind today. My experiences growing up have made passionate persistence very important to me. My passion and persistence push me to make my dreams come true and to help others make their dreams come true as well. I’ve been able to raise funds to pay the school fees for kids who face the same challenges I faced growing up. I’ve also helped them buy school materials and other small daily amenities. Also, during the COVID lockdown when we were all home from school, I managed to be a coach for the primary students in my neighborhood, helping them with their studies and supporting them with Gospel stories and songs. This is my mission. And I just couldn’t stop – not even in this time of COVID. As they say, “quitters never win and winners never quit.” I am passionately persistent about supporting people to help them be their best.

I am so thankful to These Numbers Have Faces. They are making it possible for me to make my dreams a reality. What I am learning in our Leadership Development Workshops I then share with those in my neighborhood. I was already someone who was self-motivated, who loves to set goals and accomplish them. These Numbers Have Faces has only made this even more true. I surely don’t want to quit until I have reached the best result I can dream of!

Bridget's story is just one example of what's been happening in the lives of the young women in our Women's Empowerment Initiative. We are so thankful for their patience, flexibilty, resilience, and especially their passionate persistence! Thank you for helping all of these amazing young women make their dreams a reality!

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Bridget
Bridget

Bridget is one of the 27 new students to join our University Leadership Program this March. Our students, like Bridget, have already overcome so many challenges before they enter our program. We are excited to introduce you to these new students and share their stories of resilience!

Bridget is the third born out of seven children. She was born and raised in Uganda up to age six. She lived there with her parents and siblings until their father died. Life became more challenging and complicated because her mother had no job, which made surviving and obtaining an education difficult. This forced her mother to bring Bridget to Rwanda’s Nyagatare district, where she stayed with her grandparents. They helped pay her school fees, although it was not easy for them. Through her grandparents' help, Bridget managed to finish her primary and high school with good grades.

Bridget grew up in a community with its share of effects from the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the community was still working hard to get back on their feet, building unity and reconciliation. Christianity is the common religion in Rwanda and has helped Rwandan communities by offering counseling in churches. Bridget had an opportunity to attend various boarding schools, and she met lots of people. In her school, they said, "Appreciate diversity and look for how each one has a role to play in society.” Bridget has held various leadership positions, which have instilled in her the ability to manage time well and to coordinate with others.

Bridget’s dream is to become a successful female entrepreneur who will give young people jobs, training and equipping them with the skills that will enable them to become successful entrepreneurs themselves, thereby making her community a better place. She hopes this will be the result of studying Finance at the university.

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Candide
Candide

"My name is Candide. I'm studying Civil Engineering at University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology. My dream is to be a responsible, qualified engineer who serves and impacts my community!"

"Hello! My name is Marie-Patience. I am studying Information Technology at University of Rwanda. My dream is to contribute to the sustainable development of my country’s burgeoning Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) sector. I hope that university studies will equip me with theoretical and practical skills to contribute to my country's sustainable ICT sector development."

 

We want to share the dreams of these 2 women with you to highlight how our program is empowering women to break into male dominated fields like engineering and tech! We are so inspired by their dreams and we hope you are too!

To get to know Candide and Marie-Patience better, check out the links to their pages, which have biography and journey logs. 

We also shared our student's dreams throughout the month of December, so you can scroll through our social media feeds to catch up on those stories and dreams! 

Marie-Patience
Marie-Patience

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Jessica
Jessica

Jessica, one of the brilliant women in our University Leadership Program, took a short video to share her experience working on the frontlines of Rwanda's COVID-19 response team. We are excited to share this video with you. Jessica shares both her personal experience and what she is learning through this pandemic. See the link below to watch her video. We have also shared a link to Jessica's bio and Journey Log while in our program, so you can get to know her better!

By supporting this project, you are partnering with bright young women, like Jessica, as they pursue their education and practice their leadership skills. Your partnership impacts the women in our program, who in turn impact their communities! Thank you so much for your support!

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Lydia
Lydia

For our students in Rwanda, the quarantine has been an abrupt shift from the busyness of university life to boredom and isolation. Many of our students have told us they are eagerly looking forward to the time universities will reopen, classes will resume, and they will be able to be with their friends again! 

Lydia shares in a video in the link below what her experience of quarantine has been. Besides looking forward to being with her friends again, Lydia said she is looking forward to resuming her Community Impact Project. 

While our students are home waiting for restrictions in Rwanda to lift and universities to reopen, we have been hard at work to raise funds to ensure they won't face any further delay due to lack of funding. Your generosity to this project ensures that we are able to provide our students with tuition, room and board, and trainings as soon as their universities reopen. 

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Organization Information

These Numbers Have Faces

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @thesenumbers
Project Leader:
Jim Pressnell
Portland, OR United States
$12,709 raised of $20,000 goal
 
203 donations
$7,291 to go
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