Joella was born on October 21, 2006 in Kigali, Rwanda. She is the only girl and the fourth of four children in a very stable and loving family.
In this first photo of Joella that we have, she is almost two years old and sitting on the lap of her mother Immaculate. Her brothers (L-R: Jonathan, Josiah, and Joshua) are also in the photo. Joshua is the oldest child in the family, followed by Jonathan, Josiah, and finally Joella.Joella’s mother teaches P1 (First Grade) at Wellspring Academy, which is a good Primary school in Kagali and one of the schools where we send some of our sponsored primary students. In fact, all of Joella’s older brothers attend Wellspring Academy. To give an idea of both the quality of the school and this family’s focus on education, in 2011 Joshua took the national examination that is administered to all students who are graduating from P6 (6th grade) and eligible to enter the first year of Secondary school (S1 or 7th grade). Joshua’s score on that national examination ranked him among the top 50 students in the country.Joella’s father is Charles Magezi, who happens also to be the older brother of Emmie Asaba. Charles is another person with an amazing amount of outward focus. He currently works at a management level within the African Evangelical Enterprise (AEE), which is a humanitarian group that was established in Uganda in the 1970’s. Charles’ particular focus is to get street kids (children who were orphaned during the genocide or have been abandoned for one reason or another) off the streets and into programs that provide food, shelter, and schooling.
Joella was ready and excited to start pre-school in 2011, and The Transpo Group, a transportation engineering/planning company headquartered in the Seattle, WA area (you can visit their website here) were kind enough to start sponsoring her education. Joella was excited to be going to school like her older brothers. During a visit to Rwanda in September of that year, Joella had her first opportunity to try her hand at watercolors; the photos below show what she came up with.
During that same trip, we made a short video of Joella, saying ‘hello’ to her cousin Ivan Mutabazi, who is another one of the KCF sponsored students and who had just come to the United States to begin his freshman year of college in Global Business at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. Joella doesn’t say much more than “Hi Ivan!” and “Bye, Ivan!” and there are family members and others standing outside of camera view who speak, but it’s still good to hear and see Joella in a video.
Today, Joella is about the begin P1 (First Grade), having received top marks in her kindergarten class last year. Thanks very much to The Transpo Group for their continuing support of Joella. It will be exciting to see how the opportunity to attend good schools influences her in the coming years.