Letters To Our Fawe Sisters
What is Letters To Our Fawe Sisters?
LTOFS will serve as an affirmative pen pal system between Rwandese students from Fawe All Girls Secondary School in Gahini, Rwanda and African-American girls and women in the United States.
Why did I create Letters To Our Fawe Sisters?
Serving as an English Teacher at Fawe has shown me that the girls are undeniably sharp, however many of them lack emotional support. I think reading words of affirmation from girls and women who look like them would help provide that extra push.
Additionally, this pen pal system creates a space for Rwandese and African –Americans girls and women to build a cross-cultural relationship.
How will this be done?
African-American participants will submit a short letter to a Fawe student virtually. All letters can be submitted to the designated email (firstname.lastname@example.org) between March 6th -March 31st , 2017 with the subject line “LTOFS”. I will be responsible for printing off the letters and distributing them to Fawe students.
Some letters may be duplicated to ensure that the majority of students receive letters.
How old are the students at Fawe?
The students at Fawe range between the ages of 13-20 years old.
Is there an age limit for African-American participants?
No. If you can write/type you may submit a letter.
What is the time frame for LTOFS?
March 6, 2017- March 31, 2017
African-American participants can submit letters to the designated email: email@example.com
April 2017 Letters distributed to Fawe students
May 2017 Fawe students will write a response letter to African-American participants
May 2017 Fawe response letters sent to African-American participants via email
June 2017 African-American participants write their final letter
What is the letter format & criteria?
You have the freedom to write using your own style. Just be sure to follow the guidelines below:
- Microsoft Word
- 200 words or less
- 1-2 paragraphs only
- Include small photo of yourself in the left -hand corner above the date
- Paste your photo
- Include the date
- Address the letter “Dear Fawe Sister”
- Introduce yourself
- Describe what you currently do
- Do you work? Are you a volunteer? Are you in school? Are you a parent?
- Talk about your family and/or interests
- Share your favorite quote, explain why it inspires you, and how it can inspire her
- Affirm the student in her beauty
- Ask a response question
- Sign your first name only
This is to protect your identity and safety
- Do not include your last name in your letter
- Do not include your email address yet (this will be given in your final letter if you choose to do so)
- Do not include your social media handles
- Do not promise to provide money or sponsorship to the student
- Do not imply that you will bring the student to America
- Do not imply that you will visit the student in the near future
- Do not provide explicit details about your personal life (i.e. your mailing address, phone number, or income)
Why are the letters so short?
Good question. Printing happens to be very expensive in Rwanda so making the letters shorter means that I can put more than one letter on each page. Additionally, English is a second language for my students so reading longer letters may present unexpected challenges.
Recommendations for writing a Fawe Letter:
- Stray away from using slang
- Use your own writing style
- Imagine this is your sister or mentee
- Keep in mind that English is her 2nd language
Instructions for submitting group letters:
- The organizational leader should submit all of the letters on behalf of the group from her designated email to Shemiah Curry
- The organizational leader should proofread and check the guidelines for all letters
- The organizational leader should place all of the letters in one word document that can be several pages long
- The organizational leader should include in the body of her email how many letters she is attaching
- The subject line of the email should read LTOFS
Instructions for submitting individual letters:
- You should proofread and check the guidelines before submitting to Shemiah Curry
- Your letter should be typed in a word document
- The subject line of your email should read LTOFS
What’s the best way to contact you if I have questions?
Through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or FB messenger (Shemiah Curry). For an immediate response please use FB messenger.
Sample Letter 1- The College Student/Young Adult
March 6th, 2017
Dear Fawe Sister,
Hi, my name is Shemiah. I am so happy that I get to write to you. I am currently studying elementary education at Bennett College in North Carolina. I have two younger sisters. My dream career is to be a teacher one day because I love teaching.
One of my favorite inspirational quotes that I want to share with you is from the famous poet Maya Angelou. She says “But still, like air, I’ll rise”. It reminds me that no matter what happens, I can always rise. I hope you also know that no matter what is going on in your life, you can also rise. I hope you are doing well with your studies. Continue to work very hard and I am sure it will pay off very soon. I know you are very intelligent and beautiful! So tell me, what do you like to do in your free time? Can’t wait to hear from you.
Sample Letter 2- The Parent/ Adult
March 6th, 2017
Dear Fawe Sister,
Hi, my name is Shemiah. I am so happy that I get to write to you. I currently live in Chicago, Illinois and I am a teacher. I have two daughters and I am married. I teach students with learning disabilities and I love my job. In my free time I like to watch movies and read books. My favorite author is Toni Morrison.
One of my favorite inspirational quotes that I want to share with you is from the famous poet Maya Angelou. She says “But still, like air, I’ll rise”. It reminds me that no matter what happens, I can always rise. I hope you also know that no matter what is going on in your life, you can also rise. I hope you are doing well with your studies. Continue to work very hard and I am sure it will pay off very soon. I know you are very intelligent and beautiful! So tell me, what do you like to do in your free time? Sending blessings your way.
Sample Letter 3- The Pre-Teen/Teenager
March 6th, 2017
Dear Fawe Sister,
Hi, my name is Shemiah. It is very nice to meet you. I am 13 years old and I live Fort Worth, Texas with my mother, father, and two brothers. I am in the 6th grade at Rudy Bridges Elementary School. I love math and science. When I grow up, I want to be a scientist who can make a cure for cancer. This is because cancer kills a lot of people.
One of my favorite inspirational quotes that I want to share with you is from a song in the movie “Honey”. It says “ If you want to be somebody/ If you want to go somewhere/ You better wake up and pay attention.” I like this quote because it encourages me to become that scientist I dream about. It also reminds me to work very hard and pay attention in school. I hope this quote encourages you to work very hard in school too and be whatever you want to be. I know you are very smart and beautiful like me! So, what do you like to do on the weekends? Please write back.