Posted in: Events — Friday, May 13, 2011
Friends of Rwanda Girls Initiative gathered on May 13th in Seattle to reflect upon and celebrate the incredible progress of the past year as we moved the vision of providing a high quality secondary school education to the girls of Rwanda from a dream to a reality.
Co-founders, Shalisan Foster and Suzanne Sinegal McGill, spoke to guests of the many milestone moments in the journey to launch the Gashora Girls Academy and the many people who stepped forward to be partners, sharing their passion and commitment to girls’ education.
Throughout the evening our goal was to provide guests with a glimpse into life at the school. Through videos we were able to introduce guests to some of our students and allow them to hear, in their own words, the impact the opportunity to pursue their education is having on their lives and their hopes and dreams for the future. We were especially honored to have Solange, a current GGA student, with us in person that evening!
Solange eloquently spoke to the heart of our mission. One of eight children in her family, Solange is the first to attend secondary school. She shared how she cried after taking her national exam because “my mom told me that even if I pass I will not be able to go to school because she does not have the money.” A scholarship from Rwanda Girls Initiative is allowing her to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. She told the crowd, “If all of the girls from my school could be here right now they would want me to tell you thank you for giving them this beautiful place to learn and for believing in them.”
With all the focus of the last few years centered on building the school and the community center, we realize that where we find ourselves is truly at the beginning of a journey. As Soozi reflected, “We’re now really at the starting line with these girls and that all the challenges, learning, laughter, and I won’t lie, a few tears, have brought us to where we are, really the beginning. We now have the exciting privilege and opportunity of helping to support these girls as they achieve their dreams and become leaders in their country.”
In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of the last year, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests; the event raised over $400,000 to support our mission and commitment to the school!