Devon Ogden, Executive Director
Devon is the founder of Safi Life, whose heart was touched after a 2007 summer visit to Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. She has worked with The Mwanankabandi Orphan Center in Kigali, Rwanda over the years, fundraising for them through the Small Voices Foundation in Atlanta, GA. She now oversees all of Safi Life's activities and acts as the primary catalyst to its evolution. Devon is moved by organizations such as the AVEGA, the Association of the Widows of Rwanda, whose women are able to thrive despite all odds; the microfinance organization FINCA, which has had tremendous success in recent years; and The Girl Effect movement, which encourages all of us to consider the impact of a woman.
Dana Floyd, Board Chair
Dana Floyd has served as Director of Giver Services with the National Christian Foundation (NCF) since 2005 and has a background in business and accounting. Her heart was first touched by the beautiful people of Africa when she was a host home in 2006 for a group of orphaned children from Uganda. The following year, she made her first trip there, and her love for Africa was forever formed in her heart. Dana was introduced to the Safi Life team in 2014 and was immediately moved by the mission and vision of the organization. She began serving in an advisory role and in March 2015 was asked to join the Board of Directors. She is so honored and humbled to be a part of all of the amazing work that Safi Life is doing to help impact lives for change in Rwanda through education.
Jessica Davis, Outreach Coordinator
Jessica is the Outreach Coordinator for the Safi Life Foundation. On her first trip to Rwanda, she met the Safi Life Foundation recipients and her heart was captured by the pure joy, deep love, and incredible intelligence that each of these beautiful young women possessed. She was inspired to see the strength of the Rwandan people, and the determination they have to better themselves and their country. She returned home to the Unites States eager to be involved in making a difference in Rwanda. She has a passion for connecting people and creating meaningful relationships, and is honored to be a part of this foundation which gives women the opportunity to thrive and make an impact in their community.
RWANDAN ADVISORY BOARD
Jean-Pierre (J.P.) is The Safi Life Foundation Creative Director. He is one of the pioneers of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village and he served for 5 years as the Director of the Informal Education in that village which helps 500 orphans from all regions of Rwanda and graduates 125 of them every year.
J.P. worked with the government in many projects enhancing the life conditions of vulnerable people and he is the co-founder of AERG (Genocide Survivors Student Association) which helps the genocide survivor students to cope with post-genocide’s challenges. J.P. was also the National Coordinator for the “Uyisenga N'Manzi organization”, a local African NGO founded in 2003 with the mission of restoring the rhythm of life to vulnerable orphans of genocide and HIV/AIDS heads of household.
J.P. was awarded in 2010 the CYRWA (Celebrating the Young Rwandan Achievers) by Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda and President of Imbuto Foundation. J.P. is today working with Florida International University (FIU) representative office in Rwanda.
Alphonse is the head of his own nonprofit organization, the Mwanankabandi Orphan Center (MOC) in Kigali, Rwanda, which he has led since childhood. Initially, many of the orphans were genocide survivors who found one another after the atrocities of 1994. Since 2012, Alphonse has also been helping women in Bujumbura Burundi through an organization called FBUSL BU. BURUNDIAN WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS AND FIGHTING AGAINST IT. He served as the Head of Finance since 2012 and joined the Board in 2014.
Kanyesigye Merarry Kabarisa
Merarry currently serves as a Senior Tourism Consultant at Songa Africa the Tourism Company. Prior to that, he was a reservation officer at Governors Camp Rwanda. He is passionate in Tourism and has been in the industry for the past seven years. He is also passionate about conservation and sustainable tourism. Merarry has hosted and networked with high profile clientele and celebrities. He is honored to be part of this initiative for healing Rwanda and changing the world into a better place for living.
Safi Umukundwa, County Director - Rwanda
Safi is a brave and passionate young woman who survived the Rwandan genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda when she was only 8 years old. She has grown up to be a shining example of what women can achieve even amidst difficult lives. Safi put herself through secondary school, was awarded funding for a university education, and has now attained a successful career in Kigali, Rwanda. Therefore, we have named our foundation in her honor, and she will work with the young woman as they progress.
Kasey Henderson, Development Intern
Kasey Henderson is a senior at USC studying in the Price School of Public Policy with a focus on nonprofits and social innovation. Kasey's passion for social change was sparked after spending a summer volunteering in Zanzibar, Tanzania. She has since returned to sub-saharan Africa to continue her volunteer work, looking for ways to promote social change both in Los Angeles and the global community. After multiple experiences working abroad, Kasey realized how important education is to the success of any community or individual. Kasey is excited to be a part of an organization that is promoting women's education and is inspired by the incredible individuals involved in the Safi Life.