My name is Naomi and I’m a 25 year old American from the Jersey shore. I graduated TCNJ in 2013 with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Developmental Psychology. After graduation, I joined the 2013 Teach for America corps and moved to New Mexico to teach 2nd grade for two years. While I LOVED LOVED LOVED being a second grade teacher, I decided to move on after my two year commitment to TFA had been completed.
Currently, I am participating in the JDC’s Entwine Jewish Service Corps. As a JSC Fellow, I will be living and working in the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda. ASYV is a residential community in the Eastern Province of Rwanda that serves approximately 530 orphaned and vulnerable youth. Students live on campus full time, and participate in formal and informal programming in order to recover from traumatic backgrounds and prepare for successful futures as socially responsible citizens.
This blog is intended to share my personal experiences with the students and staff in the Village, as well as keep my friends and family up to date on my most recent adventures throughout Rwanda and East Africa. I serve as the English Teaching Fellow in ASYV and I’m responsible for developing and implementing English enrichment programming for our 14-22 year old high school students. I manage our three Libraries and I advise the ASYV Student Government. I’m also attached to a family of 18 second-year students, which is why you’ll often see posts where I refer to myself as ‘Cousin’. My girls refer to each other as sisters, they have a Mama who lives with them in their family house, and we have an intern – a recent graduate – who serves as their Big Sister. Big Sister and I live in staff housing, but we check in on our girls often throughout the day, and join them every night after dinner for family time. All of my stories and photos are being shared with the permission of the student(s) involved.
Want to learn more about the JDC or the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village? Check out these links!
Please note that all postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee or the Agahozo- Shalom Youth Village.