Two students from Akilah Institute for Women Cecile Kankunda and Julian Musanase travelled to the US, California to take part in the Akilah Institute for Women’s fourth annual Metropolitan Safari tour.
The tour aimed at supporting the Institute was organized and hosted by Jon O. Freeman, Founder and President of Stonecrest Managers at By-Th’-Bucket Bar & Grill in Santa Clara in this month.
Two Akilah students, Kankunda and Musanase also visited Santa Clara to share their stories.
In her own story, Kankunda, 22, lost her father in the 1994 genocide and struggled to pay school fees for herself and her five siblings.
Today, she works as a journalist and radio host while studying, and uses her salary to fund the education of her younger siblings.
While Musanase, whose family was driven out of a refugee camp in 1994, finally made it back to Rwanda in 1996 after the genocide.
A special cocktail event was hosted on October 1, where more than 40 people attended.
During the event Freeman generously matched donations up to $10,000 expected to support the Institute.
Located in Kigali, Rwanda, the Akilah Institute for Women, is a college for young women offering three-year diploma programs in Entrepreneurship, Hospitality Management, and Information Systems.
It was launched in 2010 to meet the needs of both marginalized rural women and the booming private sector.
According to Elizabeth Dearborn-Hughes, CEO and Co-founder of Akilah, “The institute built a bridge connecting young women to the fastest-growing sectors of the economy.
Hughes said that the program was designed by listening to and incorporating the needs of growing East African markets.”
The curriculum includes English language skills, leadership, ethics, teamwork, public speaking, and entrepreneurial skills.
Akilah’s approach centers on a team-based learning method that mirrors the job site and teaches essential professional and leadership capacities, such as effective communication, problem solving, and critical analysis.
The Metropolitan Safari continues with stops in San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Washington DC, and Tampa.