Flynn in Rwanda


I woke up to this note from one of our partners, and wanted to share it here, as it’s what Malena is all about. It’s why we do what we do.

Christi, a member of a partner organization of ours I work very closely with, wrote me that they had just had such a sweet surprise moment at their headquarters.  She told me that Florida, a weaver whose family I spent time with in Rwanda, and whose beautiful face is on our website, had stopped by their office for a surprise visit. At the office, they had actually just been on our website, so they pulled it up to show Florida that they had just been looking at her photo. They ended up looking all through the website and films, and Florida was so tickled and proud.

Then, putting her arm around Florida and laughing, another member of the staff at the head office, Venantie, relayed that Florida’s “dream is to have running water at her house. Because now she has everything- furniture, a cement floor, and what she dreams is to have running water.” And how did she achieve these things?  “When I get an order [for Azizi Life products], I save my money. I work together with my husband to achieve everything.”

Florida has so far used her savings to purchase a fuel efficient stove and solar lamp through their no-interest financing of these environmentally-friendly and healthy energy alternatives as well.

It’s waking up to beautiful moments like these that mean everything. It’s having tears in my eyes as I picture Florida and her family, our friends and partners, realizing their dreams, and seeing it all unfold. It’s seeing Florida’s beautiful smiling face, proud and excited about her work, her future, and the future of her children and community.

It’s why we do what we do.

They also sent me the photo below, which I’ll cherish forever.

Learn more about Florida and her incredible cooperative here.

We also have some exciting news to share with you soon about our plans to take the next step in supporting and communities worldwide in realizing their dreams! Stay tuned for the latest by signing up for our newsletter.