6 girls, 6 degrees: 2020.

It started with Divine & Yazina; two young women that impacted my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2011-2013.

In finishing my service late 2013, I was determined to continue to be an advocate for girls’ education. Of the many issues of the world that can pull heartstrings, this was the one for me, and teaching in Ruramira revealed that over and over again. It was the girls who had educated me on life, cooking, new conceptions of woman-hood, family, and rural living in Rwanda. Their lives exuded both joy – even in the midst of hardship. Without them, I am confident my service as a teacher would have been greatly, greatly different. I know, without a doubt, God placed these group of women in my life for a reason – I see that more as the years go by. IMG_2716


More than teaching, they simply demonstrated what it means to live simply and to do so with both great humility and strength.

Yazina has gone on to study physics & chemistry at a “school of excellence” in the northeastern corner of the country (upon visiting I was amazed at the plethora of labs with microscopes!) and Divine is studying history while pursuing her religious interest with peers at school. I’ve visited both, and I’ve been pleased to see that their school environments are significantly more positive than what is offered at our home, in the village.

As supporters came, so did the ability to grow this cause. Because of my own continued professional opportunities in Rwanda, I have had the unique chance to stay in touch with not only Divine and Yazina, but also Eugenie, Maisara, Zahara, and Donatha, Divine’s sister. 

Eugenie and her deep love for reading.
Eugenie and her deep love for reading.

Each girl is from Eastern Rwanda and each girl has visions for their future. With increased funds, I felt led to expand the offering to the girls listed above. Maisara is studying in a school tucked away out West (studying math & chemistry); Zahara is in training to be a nursery school teacher; and Donatha is new to the Secondary School scene – having started this year.

These girls became my friends 4 years ago; now they are like sisters. I’m happy to share this donation opportunity again. For those that have helped been a part of this dream – I, and the girls, are forever thankful and full of gratitude. They have shed tears in thinking of the generosity they have seen. They tell me, “this is the great blessing in their life.”

See the link below for further opportunities to contribute – the last $800 that I am fundraising for will cover the finishing expenses to get these girls all completed in secondary by 2020. Amazing. Praise God and that this may glorify His good work in this country – and in them.

Educate “The Girls”

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Heather Newell Oglesby

Hi! I'm Heather. I am a writer and counselor in-training. I share stories so we can keep the magic of being human alive. I spend a great deal of time going on long walks with my wife, rollerblading, learning, and traveling to find new adventures. By day, I work as an Education and Employment Specialist for Jefferson Center for Mental Health, working with adolescents who have experienced their first episode of psychosis. A Colorado native, I love dark-roasted coffee, sunshine, and succulents. Enthusiasm, passion, and possibility: that's me at my best.

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