EDUCATE "THE GIRLS"

$4,135 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 63 months
6 girls - 6 degrees by 2020. 

Two years ago, I began this fundraiser as a way to suppor two young women in their pursuit for completing their secondary levels of education : Yazina & Divine. Home in 2013 from two years of living, teaching, and working in Rwanda, I had grown to love these girls as sisters, and it was on my heart to share their story with others. 

Their story has been shared and the dream is happening! Two years after starting this, SIX girls are being supported: Divine, Yazina, Eugenie, Maisara, Zahara, & Donatha. In my continued and ongoing connection to Rwanda (now working for the Women's Bakery) I have maintained strong and communicative ties with these young women. Zahara is enrolled in teacher training school (training to teach nursery students); Divine is leading religious groups at her school; Maisara is capatain-ing her school's women's football team;  Eugenie is in the top 10% of her class; Yazina is growing to love science; and Donatha is just beginnning her experience in secondary school at Senior 1.

The stories (successes, challenges, and obstacles) are real, and in efforts to see this project to completion, I am looking to wrap up the complete fundraising efforts listed below. 

I maintain reports, budgeting, and site visit reports as I have visited them in their new education environments. I am overall well-pleased with what I see; the girls are committed, improving, and honored to have a chance to finish their secondary education. 

Maisara, Divine, Eugenie, and Yazina will FINISH at the end of 2016. Zahara will finish at the end of 2017. Finally, Donatha will complete her studies in 2020. 6 girls; 6 completed degrees. 

THAT'S CHANGE I CAN BELIEVE IN.

I put each amount in both US DOLLARS *USD* and RWANDAN FRANCS *RWF*. To get a basic conversion you can know that 1 USD = 650 RWF.

1 TERM
Tuition: $130 USD (85,000 RWF)
Uniform: $19 USD (12,000 RWF)
School Card: $1 (500 RWF)
School Sweater: $15 (10,000 RWF)
Books and supplies: $15 (10,000 RWF)
Sport Fee: $1 (500 RWF)

1st TERM TUITION TOTALS: $181 USD (118,000 RWF)
TRAVEL TO AND FROM SCHOOL: $8 USD (5000 RWF)

TUITION + TRAVEL for 1 term for 1 girl = $189 USD (123,000 RWF)

Each girl will take three terms per year. It means per year, each girl needs: $567 (368, 550 RWF).

And because we are looking to sponsor two girls it breaks down like this:

$567 x 2 girls = $1134 per year (for two girls)

$1134 x 3 years = $3402

I have budgeted for travel and tuition fees to cost around the amount above.

However, I am looking for a little extra money to support any incidental costs (extra transport, computer courses, phone credit to call the girls and organize their administrative needs, etc.) I have budgeted $400 for incidentals regarding their educational needs.

I also will be wiring this money to Rwanda by way of Western Union which will require additional money. It will be $10 for each transaction and I will be sending money THREE times per year for each girl, for a total of $60 per year (a grand total of $180).


TOTAL REQUESTED: $3402 + $400 + 180 = $3982
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The following videos are a couple of years old, but I recently dug them up and found spots of THE GIRLS in them!

So cool, beautiful...and warms my heart. I wanted to share. These were filmed with "The Girl Effect" to present The Girl Declaration to the UN in 2013.

Our GLOW group is in the first one; Divine has a special spot in the second. So sweet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO7yZjK8Dus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf2LATy2c-A
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Friends & Family,

For the past two years, we've gotten closer and closer to making education completion a reality for 6 young women.

Originally starting with two, we have grown to include fellow ladies striving for their secondary degrees.

Our goal? 6 girls, 6 degrees, all by 2020.

We have under $800 left! Almost there!

Will you consider donating & contributing today?

God bless you all.
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Happy 2015!

What a year 2014 was for the girls. I had the amazing opportunity to see the schools for Maisara, Yazina, and Divine upon my return to Rwanda and was thrilled with their educational progress. There are still a great deal of challenges, issues, and difficulties as they focus on their lives as students, but they are some of the most resilient girls I know, and I believe firmly in their ability to persevere. Some of the issues they faced this year?

Lack of water, death in the family, sick parents, drought, illness, difficult exams, and a destruction of homes following a nasty wind storm. Yet, goodness and hope persists. I can hear it in their voices during our conversations on the phone.

*
BIG NEWS! As of about 2 months ago, I have discerned that it was necessary to commit the funds to help two additional girls. I knew I would need to contribute more of my own commitment, but I knew it was worth it. The new girls that are being sponsored are:

Eugenie & Donatha.

Eugenie is a former student of mine who is actually did the best out of all of the girls on the Senior 3 National Exam. Upon visiting her home in July, I decided she should be a part of our program. She is excelling in her science courses and lives in a family with an extraordinary mother who simply cannot afford to continue to send her and her three sisters to school. Her mother prayed hard and long with me and we decided we could make it happen. She is funny, gracious, and without fail, can make anyone smile. Her father doesn't support this move; he believes having 4 girls is a curse in their family and I hope her excelling marks will prove otherwise.

Donatha. The younger sister of Divine, she is a bit shyer than her older sister, but has every bit of spunk. Donatha is entering her second year of secondary school and even though Divine's mother was able to support her education up to this point, her mother has recently taken in a new child into her immediate family. The mother, her daughter in law, has died suddenly and needs a family. In Rwanda, family is everything, and her mother is responding to this need in great proportions. Her commitment is unwavering, and yet her extra income is being reallocated to feeding the young child. After lengthy conversations with Divine on this issue, I decided to front the funds needed for her educational needs this year. Willing and able, this is what seeing a commitment through looks like.

ZAHARA SUCCEEDED THE NATIONAL EXAM! Zahara, who was one of the original girls a part of the sponsorship (originally funded through my dad) has been accepted into a teacher-training school for her next three years of secondary education. This is huge. Zahara is a natural-born teacher and we are thrilled for this news! Her family has been celebrating for weeks and now her AND Maisara are a step closer to completing their secondary education.

The other girls: Divine, Yazina, and Maisara are all entering SENIOR 5. That means two more years of secondary education. Phew. All, we are helping to make this happen and they are such positive, empowering, and incredible examples of how education and support can change lives.

*
To continue this growth and support please consider donating whatever you find feasible in your budget. I understand the pulls of financial commitments, so if nothing else, please tell a friend and have them tell a friend!

Education is possible. It SHOULD be possible for everyone. I believe in this passionately, and so do the girls.

Thank you for supporting this but more importantly, for witnessing and celebrating the fruit that is grown from seeds long ago.

The girls, more than a lot of other things, remind me that the world, unlike the news depicts, is full of positivity and love.

Let's love, y'all.

Thank you for everything.

Heather
Maisara, Eugenie's mama, Eugenie, and I
Yazina in her school uniform. So cute.
family laughter. of course.
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Happy summer everybody! I am happy to report that I have spent the weekend visiting Divine's family and getting caught up on what she has been doing for the last 6 months since I was last in Rwanda.

I spent about 5 hours at her school this past Friday; most of this time was spent at her schools' KWIBUKA (Genocide Memorial Ceremony). Prior to this programming, I spoke with the headmaster for about an hour about the school, about their academic programs, and how the school was established. Divine showed me around and I was overall quite pleased with how well she is doing. Below are her marks for the 1st term from this last year. She's fourth in her class, which is fantastic. Students repeatedly ask her if she is from Uganda because her English levels are so strong - YES! This is the kind of stuff I love to hear.

That being said, I don't think she is currently at a school strong enough to take her to the next level in English. Other students aren't as motivated to speak the language, and I think it would be more advantageous to place her in a school that was English-heavy. Additionally, the school frequently has water shortages and power outages. I understand that it is Rwanda, but it's been affecting her study time a little too much. To try and study with light, Divine has been waking up at 3:00 am to revise, when light is a bit more reliable. This of course affects her sleeping patterns and so we decided that she will finish her school year at this school and that we can start researching other places in the meantime.

I will be working on an official report for each girl, but this information is to provide some rough data that shows Divine's baseline performance for this term.

While a 71% isn't necessarily considered high by American standards, grading works quite a bit differently in Rwanda. To get above 90% is not very common and the 70-80% range is considered quite good. She's the top girl in her class which is also very exciting.

Thanks for all of your continued support! Divine fully recognizes how wide and big this really is and it's quite moving for her. She repeatedly emphasized to show all those who have contributed her 'thanks' and that she fully believes in her future because of the way others have believed in her. That's a really beautiful thing.

Her marks were as follows:

History : term points (49.5/70) exam (46/70) = 95.5/140

Economics: term points (48/70) exam (52/70) = 100/140

Geography: term points (49.5/70) exam (38/70) = 87.5/140

Entrep.: term points (57.5/70) exam (57/70) = 114.5/140

General Paper: term points (13/20) exam (4/20) = 17/40

French: term points (19/20) exam (15/20) = 34/40

Computer Science: term points (14/20) exam (15/20) = 29/40

Religion: term points (18/20) exam (19/20) = 37/40

TOTAL: 514.5 /720 = 71.5% (number 4 student out of 31 total students)
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$4,135 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 63 months
Created December 22, 2013
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