- Size. We’re small — and intend to stay that way — we’re mighty, and we’re nimble too.
- Structure. We’re all volunteers.
- Solutions. We have an unwavering commitment to creating long-term relationships with the families we serve. We offer a hand up. And, we offer a piece of our hearts.
Board and Advisors
The Board of Directors and Advisory Council of Rwanda- one4one bring commitment, compassion and leadership to the organization.
Deb Coffin, Chair
Jo Ann LaBarre, Treasurer Westmoreland, NH
Emma Pantesco, Secretary Westmoreland, NH
Beverly Army Williams Granby, CT
Nancy Zeller, Founder and President Westmoreland, NH
Jennie Norman Goodland, FL
Katherine M. Richardson Surry, NH
Pat Colony Harrisville, NH
Gina Goff Sharon, NH and Chatham, MA
Keely Fillo, Social Media Coordinator Keene, NH
Nancy Zeller is the Founder and President of Rwanda-one4one.
Nancy Zeller is a humanitarian, philanthropist, artist, natural dyer and shepherdess.
Her first trip to Africa was in 2013 when she assisted a group of 35 Rwandan genocide widows expand their color line of handspun, naturally dyed yarns. On that trip she instantly was taken with the country of Rwanda and especially with its people. Their resiliency, creativity and deep optimism for a better future inspired her to start Rwanda-one4one, a non-profit 501(c)(3). She travels to Rwanda at least once a year.
Nancy holds a double major in BA in Art and Psychology. Her study of fiber arts has taken her around the world including the US, France, and Australia. In 2015 she conducted a research project to determine dye color properties of indigenous plants in Rwanda conducted through INES-Ruhengeri University in Rwanda.
Nancy is celebrating nearly twenty years of operating Long Ridge Farm, located in a peaceful New England hillside town. There she raises Romeldale/CVM sheep, an endangered breed of sheep (www.livestockconservancy.org) in the United States today. She has a studio at the farm, and hosts workshops and events that attract textile artists worldwide. For more information on Long Ridge Farm, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Rwanda-one4one have paid staff?
The organization is all-volunteer.
How does my purchase of Umva items make an impact?
When you buy a lovely Umva scarf or wrap, you’re causing a positive ripple effect. Umva trains, employs and empowers women and that in turn strengthens the family, the community, and the local economy.
With so many people needing a hand up, how does Rwanda-one4one chose the families?
There is no easy answer to this question as the way we select families is not scientific. We use a combination of our hearts and heads…and factor in qualities and values that we believe are important for success in working with us – honesty, drive, commitment and fiscal responsibility.
How does Rwanda-one4one pay the costs of medical care and education for the families it helps?
First, we learn there is an issue, then we seek medical advice and get a cost estimate. The family provides receipts after care/surgery and Rwanda-one4one will reimburse them. For the children’s school fees, it’s the same, Rwanda-one4one provides reimbursement upon proof of payment.
What are the plans for Rwanda-one4one in the future?
Our short-term plans for the organization are to increase donated and earned revenue with the aim of serving more families, and lifting them up and out of poverty through education and employment whether through the Umva project, starting their own business or through other options. Long-term we plan to build relationships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the country and to explore how to collaborate.
What does the word Umva mean?
Umva [oom-vah] means “listen” in Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda.
How can I give online?
Make a donation to Rwanda-one4one via PayPal on our secure portal. You don’t need a Pay Pal account.
How can I give a gift by check?
To make a gift by check, please mail it to Rwandaone4-one, 116 Paine Road, Westmoreland, NH 03467. Please make your check payable to Rwanda-one4one.
Are donations to Rwanda-one4one tax deductible?
Yes. Rwanda-one4one is a 501 (c) 3 organization, and donations made by US residents are tax deductible. Acknowledgements are mailed annually in January for donations made via any method.
Does Rwanda-one4one share donors’ information?
We will not sell, rent or trade our donors’ names, postal addresses, email addresses or phone numbers with any other entity.
Can I donate clothing or other items for the families served by Rwanda-one4one?
Sorry, but we cannot accept in-kind donations.
What else can I do to help?
We love this question, and have several ideas:
- If you’re traveling to Kigali in Rwanda, we would be grateful if you could pack some fabric (silk or wool) in your suitcase for the Umva project.
- Spread the word, including on social media, about our work to your family and friends.
- Buy beautiful Umva wraps and scarves! These one-of-a-kind items make great gifts and are a source of earned revenue for our Rwandan families.
- Please designate Rwanda-one4one on AmazonSmile when making purchases.
- Donate air miles through Delta/KLM or United/Air France.