• Debera O’Leary; Public Relations Manager

Debi is the most recent addition to the Lift up Their Hearts team. Although she knew little about Rwanda aside from news reports of the genocide of the Tutsis in 1994 she felt drawn into the organization after hearing Lift up Their Hearts co-founder Kristina Worm speak. She was intrigued by Rwanda's determination to leave the genocide in the past and move forward. While speaking Kristina mentioned that she loved taking people to Rwanda to experience the beauty of the country and its people. Always interested in travel and never having visited Africa, Debi decided to travel with team Rwanda 2011 to see how this little country was mending itself.

While in Rwanda she witnessed the poverty and enormous level of need there but was impressed by the goals of the government and its people to bring prosperity to this country. Lift up Their Hearts started small, with no celebrity spokesperson or big sponsor. It recognized that providing an orphan with a pair of shoes means she can attend school and providing widows with simple garden tools or a goat will help them earn enough income to live free of dependence on charity. And now Lift up Their Hearts will help transform 150 underprivileged young adults into skilled employment for the ICT industry in Rwanda.

A strong partnership with key individuals in Rwanda helping to identify needs and oversee operations there assures that Lift up Their Hearts money is used responsibly. All individuals volunteer their time and resources. Debi is firmjly committed to helping Lift up Their Hearts pursue its mission in Rwanda.

Debi has a Bachelor'g Degree in Business and Communications and has work experience in corporate communications. She and her husband Scott live in Plymouth, Minnesota and are the parents of two children.  

You and Lift Up Their Hearts can help Rwanda end the cycle of poverty in East Africa.
The Genocide of the Tutsis of 1994 devastated the population of Rwanda both physically and psycologically. It left the country financially bankrupt and destroyed it's primitive infrastructure.

But right now Rwanda is on the path to a brighter future. The people of Rwanda have turned away from the resentment and hatred that caused the violence of the past. The country is politically stable and it's borders are secure. And Rwanda has embarked on an ambitious campaign to become the center of Information and Communications Technology in Africa. This would mean unlimited opportunities for financial growth and stability in East Africa. The income generated by the ICT business in Rwanda could provide better education, employment and income for Rwanda and its border countries.

However, Rwanda struggles to repair the emotional and physical injuries caused by the Genocide of the Tutsis. Today many older adults, witnesses to the genocide, have impaired physical and mental health. Their already meager income is threatened by their inablility to cope with daily struggles. The violence they witnessed and the grief of losing so many loved ones hampers their efforts to think clearly. Lift Up Their Hearts helps these survivors recover economically by providing them with small business opportunities and by improving their living conditions we give them hope for a better future.

Unfortunately the genocide also left many children vulnerable.  Survivors who as children witnessed  the genocide and its harrowing aftermath have been impacted by this history of violence.  AIDS, the loss of their parents and many caring adults and Rwanda’s economic devastation have all taken their toll on Rwanda's young population.  Lift up Their Hearts helps these orphans by assisting in their education, improving their living conditions and by providing a means of income for young adults. .
Lift  Up Their Hearts works to aid in the recovery and stability of the nation. Our hope is that Rwanda becomes a leader in good governance and economic progress in Africa.
In 2012 Lift Up Their Hearts will begin construction of a school dedicated to teaching computer skills and  English language to young adults.  Rwanda is fast becoming a leader in Africa in communications technology.  They need citizens with computer skills and English knowledge to accomplish this goal. The internet is an important communications tool which can connect them with innovative ideas in the outside world and knowledge of the English language allows them to confer with a host of ICT experts from all over the world.

Contact Us
email us at: liftuptheirhearts@yahoo.com

Lift Up Their Hearts
P.O. Box 101
St Bonifacius, Mn. 55375