Embarking on Their Dreams

The Gashora Girls are some of the most incredible young women I have ever been lucky enough to meet. Here is Celeste, Enatha, Yvonne, Jocelyn and Merveille, embarking on their dreams. I am so proud of, and inspired by all of them.

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Rwanda Girls Update

Here is Celeste, one of the students from the Gashora Girls Academy, rockin’ it at the United Nations for the summit on International Girl Empowerment. I would have loved to hear her speech. What an inspiration she is.

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And here’s a great compilation of photos from some of the students from the Gashora Girls Academy at their respective colleges around the globe. You go girls!10599250_10152650194720539_5182486934905369152_n

A Gashora Student Who is Rockin’ It

Celeste Dushime
Celeste Dushime. Photograph: UN Foundation

Celeste, a student of the Gashora Girls Academy where I worked in Rwanda, has an article on The Guardian! Although I didn’t get the pleasure of teaching a class of hers frequently, I did teach one class in particular that she was in and I was absolutely blown away by her intellect and voice for women’s rights. She really stood out to me: while we were having a discussion in class about health care reform in Rwanda she said some very astute and intelligent comments about how women are treated differently in Rwandan culture and how she believes this needs to change. And here she is on The Guardian now, speaking out! You go girl! Click on the link below for the brief article.

Torn Between Worlds

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I’m torn between worlds. I now have two true loves: Missoula Montana and Kigali/Gashora Rwanda. It is hard being in love with two different places. The countdown for returning to the states is 2 nights. One arm is being pulled back into America where I live in the mountains and walk out my door to hiking trails and a comfortable life and friends. The other arm is pulling me to Rwanda where adventure waits around every corner and bright African students anxiously absorb their education. One arm offers a comfortable lifestyle, relaxed and at ease. The other offers challenges needing to be overcome, but an enveloping, ever-present sense of purpose. I don’t know how I’m going to feel when I get back to the States. I honestly didn’t think it would happen but I really am a very different person now than when I left. I have molded like clay; obtained insight and wisdom. But I also feel as though I have aged several years and the weight of the human experience has made my load heavier. With each step I take getting closer and closer to the states I feel my heart ache for both places at the same time. But what I should really be looking at is, “wow, look at what I have accomplished.” So instead of gazing starry eyed or fearful-eyed into the future I’m just going to say, “Wow. This has been an amazing 5 months.”

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Rwanda Girls Initiative

rwanda_girlsRwanda Girls Initiative is a nonprofit organization that assists in Rwanda’s growth and development in three ways: Educating girls in Rwanda, building sustainable schools and forming strong partnerships. Their school, The Gashora Girls Academy for Science and Technology is an upper-secondary boarding school that prepares young girls to be a part of their country’s social and economic development by teaching them the skills necessary to thrive and strengthen their communities.

1.) If you’d like to learn more, visit their website http://rwandagirlsinitiative.org/home/index 

2.) Or watch their inspirational video


 

(The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the writer and creator.)