Each time I return to Rwanda, the experience feels brand new. Whether I’m seeing the country through the eyes of a new visitor, brainstorming ideas for new programs or introducing my daughter to a whole new world, I continue to be amazed, humbled and taught new lessons on a daily basis. Nothing can ever replace time spent in-country with the Komera scholars, our team and the community. This trip was particularly special as I was able to spend just under two months in Rwanda with my family.

Founding and building up a non-profit is not for the faint of heart. It’s a daily challenge where one is constantly assessing the impact of the work, strategizing ways to make every dollar stretch and thinking about how to build a sustainable organization. This trip was no different except for one other, minor task: I also had to wrangle a one year old, probably one of the hardest jobs!

Our two months were packed with visits to some of our community based social entrepreneurship projects, school visits, parent meetings and the Komera Empowerment Summit. I am so fortunate to have a great team in Rwanda and to be surround by the incredible support of people around the world. Together we have been able to build a non-profit that is focused, impactful and thoughtful. We are changing the lives not only of Komera scholars but also their families and their communities. The ripple effect of Komera has gone far and wide and it’s a true honor to be able to be part of this journey.


Walking Mom to work is a whole new experience … never mind the cows we just passed along the way.


During our second week in Rwanda we hosted the Komera Empowerment Summit. It was four great days with the scholars where I was able to meet the new scholars and get to know them even better. This is Claudine. She is a new 2013 scholar and scored the highest grades in her class last year! I love her smile.


As the scholars went back to school we were able to check in on some of the community based social entrepreneurship projects. I was inspired to hear these women talk about how their craft-making project had changed their lives not only financially but emotionally as well.


Working with the Komera parents is an essential part of our work. We recognize that in order to affect true change we have to go beyond the girl and think about her family, school and community. Our parents provide phenomenal support to our work.


As a year end celebration we headed to Kigali to check out the big city and visit some post-secondary institutions. I loved riding in the bus with this crazy crew as not a moment went by without outbursts of laughter and song.


This is Esther, the Komera social worker. Over the last two months she and I worked hand in hand on our programs and drove through some of the most incredible dust storms I’ve ever seen


A hike through the hills slowly confirms for baby Mabel her that she is no longer in Boston.


I feel incredibly fortunate to spend time with this group of young women; they are our first big group of Komera Scholar graduates. We began this journey with the hope of helping young women get through secondary school and this group made me realize that we had done just that. I can’t wait to see what they go on to do next!