(828) 333-4960


Sara Stender

Sara Stender

Founder and Executive Director

Sara Stender is the Founder and Executive Director of  Africa Healing Exchange.  Since she was age 22, the women of Rwanda have been helping her to heal and it wasn’t until 2009 that she met many of them in person. She felt at home for the first time in her life. Sara lived in Kigali, working to provide vocational training to young adults who had lost their families in the genocide.  As she built relationships with many Rwandans, she was witness to the deep suffering that often manifests as depression, anxiety, stress, addiction and substance abuse, and physical pain related to trauma.  Sara was, and continues to be, in awe of the high level of resiliency, strength, and courage that permeates daily life in Rwanda.  When she moved back to the U.S., she knew that there was a great partnership and exchange to be had between Americans and Rwandans, in order to work together to help end the global crisis of generational transfer of trauma.  Sara is inspired by solutions-based, positive psychology, and has experienced personal growth through adversity.  She holds a Master of Science degree in  Organizational Management, with a concentration in Leadership and Change. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Simmons College where she majored in Business Management and French. She is passionate about entrepreneurship as a catalyst for sustainable change and self-empowerment and enjoys leading the business development trainings in Western North Carolina and rural Rwanda.  Sara is Mama Hope’s newest Executive Fellow, and is based in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.  For more on AHE’s founder check out her article in WNC Woman, Social Entrepreneur to Change the World.  To support her fundraising efforts take a look at her personal page and listen to her 2 minute “Why Africa Healing Exchange” on our YouTube channel.

2017 Interns

Sophie Roth

AHE Intern Summer & Fall 2017

Daniel Nsabimana

AHE Intern Summer 2017


Mary Lynn Barrett

Master Trainer, Restoring Resiliency Model

Anna Ferguson

Master Trainer, Restoring Resiliency Model

Sara Stender

Entrepreneurship Training Program

Naima Dido

Trainer, Cultural Preparedness

Stephen Nsengiyumva

Trainer, Cultural Preparedness

RRGO Community Partner Trainers

Field Contractors

Alex Niyonsaba

Naickey Ijembere

Salama Uwimana

Internship Graduates