About Us

Mission

We work with Rwandan families, helping them create a path to a better life through income opportunities and education.

Our Approach

What makes Rwanda-one4one unique is a combination of special factors:

  • 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.

Board

Nancy Zeller

Founder and Executive Director
Westmoreland, NH

Jennie Norman

Board Chair
Goodland, FL
Harrisville, NH

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Jennie is a retired senior executive with experience in marketing, operations, finance, general management and strategy. Her twenty-year career at MARKEM Corporation in Keene, NH included roles as Executive Vice President of the Corporation and Division President.

Jennie is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Tauck Inc. in Wilton, CT where she also serves as Chair of the Human Capital Committee and as a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee. Ms. Norman also serves as Board Chair for United Electric Supply Company in New Castle, DE and on the board of Cakebread Cellars in Rutherford, CA.

In addition to her professional experience, Jennie has served in leadership positions on non-profit boards in New Hampshire for over 30 years. Her board service includes Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Cheshire Medical Center, Monadnock United Way, Monadnock Community Foundation, Society for the Protection of NH Forests, and the Monadnock Conservancy, among others. She is a recipient of the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” award and Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow award.

Jennie graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1983 with a BA in Biology. She is also a graduate of the Executive Management Programme at INSEAD in Fontainbleau, France and has participated in executive education courses at the Tuck School, Stanford and Wharton.

Jennie lives with her husband in Goodland, Florida and Harrisville, New Hampshire.

Olivia Dunnigan

Olivia Dunnigan

Treasurer
Alstead, NH

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Olivia Dunnigan graduated from Fall Mountain Regional High School in 2020 with honors. During her time at Fall Mountain, she was a varsity athlete and captain, as well as a member of Interact, the Spanish club, and assisted with the unified basketball team. In Olivia’s junior year she received the highest recognition for achievement in calculus and was also awarded the Saint Michael’s Book Award for academic excellence and social conscience. Olivia is currently a student at Bentley University, majoring in Accounting, and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She serves on the Investment group at Bentley and is a member of the investment banking club. Olivia is involved with Habitat for Humanity and is also involved with the ski and snowboard club, Alpha Phi.

Olivia enjoys outdoor activities and spending with family and friends.

Katherine M. Richardson

Secretary
Surry, NH

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Katherine currently serves as Director of Development and Community Relations at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, New Hampshire. Prior to this, she was Campaign Manager at Monadnock United Way, overseeing many aspects of their annual $2 million campaign. Before United Way, her career focused primarily on marketing, having worked as Marketing and Admissions Coordinator at Antioch University New England and in New York City where she began her career with a Fortune 500 company. Katherine and her husband, Patrick, moved to Surry, New Hampshire in 1990, where she was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. During this time, she helped her husband establish and manage Richardson Home Inspection Service.

Katherine is active in the Keene community with a number of non-profit organizations. She is currently a Board member with MoCo Arts and is a member of Keene Elm City Rotary. She has also volunteered at the Keene YMCA and the Monadnock United Way. Her most rewarding volunteer role is with Big Brothers Big Sisters where she was a Big Sister for five years.

Katherine attended Virginia Intermont College and received an A.A. degree as a dance major. She is a member of the Association of Hospital Philanthropy as well as the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).

If Katherine had all the time in the world, she would definitely devote far more time to her garden as well as reading, kayaking, hiking, and traveling the world.

Emma Pantesco

Westmoreland, NH

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Emma is a life-long resident of New Hampshire. She attended schools in the Monadnock Region and went on to earn a BA in Sociology from Keene State College, Keene, NH. She also earned a LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant) certification. In 2011, she made a shift from pursuing a medical career to customer service, and is employed with United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) as a Customer Care Specialist. She is a skilled verbal communicator, proficient in Excel, CorelDRAW, Photoshop, Word, and graphic design work.

Emma’s personal passion is a love for animals. She is a shepherdess at Long Ridge Farm, Westmoreland, NH, supports animal rights and rescue, and is owned by 3 handsome cats.

Keely Fillo

Social Media Coordinator
Keene, NH

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Keely has a B.S. in Marketing and Advertising Communications from Johnson & Wales University and loves using those skills to help people. She is currently a Sales Enablement Specialist at Redesign. co, a digital marketing agency. In her free time, Keely enjoys staying active, cooking new recipes, practicing graphic design, researching medieval history, and staying informed on social, economic, and political issues.

Jennifer Paone

Keene, NH

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Jennifer was born and raised in Cheshire County, NH. She attended Keene State College, where she received a BA in Film Production in 2001 and has continued to live and work in the area as a long-time employee of several local nonprofits.  In addition, Jennifer owns The Production House, a video production company located in Keene, NH.  Much of her work as a video producer is focused on supporting local nonprofits and sharing their stories through film. Her hobbies include photography, roller derby, volunteering, and jewelry making.  Jennifer has a deep passion for community, art and visual storytelling!

Munezero Grace

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Holding a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Good Governance, Munezero Grace has been managing a business company for 3 years. Since my heart sought for the development of my community, with the support of my previous manager we shifted in social project with a wilingness of improving the community development starting from the early childhood development as a foundation of the society.
I am passionate about helping disadvantaged families in my hometown Musanze, both my passion and educational background made a natural fit for the director position in Arc en Ciel project with the vision of quality education for sustainable development. Being a mother of three children herself, she deeply empathizes with the pain of a mother when leaving her young child alone at home during a long working day. Seeing how many women in her community struggle to feed and raise their children and how many children live on the street in precarious condition made her seek out for opportunities to actively intervene. I strongly believe that early childhood education is the foundation of our lifelong learning journey. When the idea was born to start a pre-school targeting disadvantages families, she was excited and offered to devote all her energy and time to support the young children and listen to young mothers in the motherhood peer learning program of the nursery.

Advisors

Gina Goff

Sharon, NH

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Gina Goff retired after a 20-year senior-level career in corporate citizenship, philanthropy, and community involvement. Her work included directing monetary and in-kind contributions to a portfolio of high-impact nonprofit organizations (national, international, and local), mobilizing charitable support in the wake of disasters, and developing programs to foster employee engagement.

She has held multiple volunteer leadership positions including with the Monadnock Conservancy, Monadnock Humane Society, and Giving Monadnock. In addition to her commitment to Rwanda –one4one, she currently serves as a National Advisor to First Book, champions multiple causes, and is an active volunteer in her town.

Gina earned a B.A. in Communications from Simmons College in Boston. She is a graduate of the

Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

Founder

Nancy Zeller is the Founder 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 natural dyeing 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 at their botanical gardens.

Founded in 2005 by Nancy Zeller, Long Ridge Natural Dyes is located on the East Coast at Long Ridge Farm, a New England hillside farm in the Monadnock Region of the Connecticut River Valley, New Hampshire. She has a studio/shop at the farm, and hosts workshops and events that attract textile artists worldwide. For more information about Long Ridge Natural Dyes, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

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 choose 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.

Support

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.