These Numbers Have Faces is excited to announce that we are officially partnering with Africa New Life to provide educational opportunities for women in Rwanda.
In 1994, the swiftest genocide in history took place in Rwanda, killing nearly a million people in 90 days. This horrific year became the central story of Rwanda to the rest of the world.
At the end of the genocide, there was only one university left standing. Militias had especially targeted educated professionals, leaving Rwanda without an entire generation of university educated accountants, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and business owners.
The tremendous shortfall of trained professionals provided an impasse to the recovery and development of Rwanda. There is a critical need for opportunities for the next generation to be education and step forward into leadership.
Today there are 14 universities in Rwanda, and Higher Education has become a top priority for the country in an effort to fill the generational gaps left by the genocide.
A Story of Hope
Today we celebrate a story of new beginnings. We celebrate the next generation of young people in Rwanda stepping forward as leaders, proud of their country, and prepared to transform Rwanda from the inside out. Today we hold two stories: a story of remembrance and a story of celebration for what is to come.
Thank you for your continued support!
Thank you all for your end of the year support! December was a extremely successful fundraising month for These Numbers Have Faces (TNHF), which allows me to share this exciting news. Because of the support of people like you, TNHF is expanding its Women's Empowerment Campaign to Rwanda! We have established the Rwanda Education Initiative (REI), which will provide the opportunity for four young women to participate in the Esther Home holistic scholarship program in Kigali, Rwanda. Recipients of the scholarship are given a four-year college scholarship, college housing, food, transportation, health care, books and supplies.
Our South Africa program will continue to grow alongside our new program in Rwanda. For the 2012 school year, we have added four new students--two women and two men. In combination with the four women in Rwanda, the Women's Empowerment Campaign supports a total of fifteen women (we also support seven men through our general campaigns). As participants of the TNHF scholarship and community impact program, our students are empowered to become leaders, reduce poverty and change their countries from the inside out.
Please see the link below to view a new video we've created documenting the impact of your support on the life of TNHF scholar, Alutho.
Thank you again for your continued support,
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.
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