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Stories Of Change - Build A Woman's Future

Supporting women is the most effective investment a developing country can make. Over the last 14 years, Davis College and Akilah have offered transformational education to more than 5,000 alumni. Akilah delivers a unique model of market-relevant education that enables young women to secure meaningful jobs and achieve economic independence. 88% of Akilah alumnae launch careers within six months of graduation and earn 12x the national median income.

As empowered women, Akilah graduates give back to their families and communities, ensuring the prosperity of future generations.


What attracted me most to the Akilah Institute, was the leadership opportunities that are available for women. Now, in my second year at Akilah, I am preparing to graduate with the ability to solve problems in the community by using the skills I have obtained in my coursework. The clubs that the Akilah Institute offer strengthen our skills in marketing and communications, as well as provide us with the confidence needed to speak to the public and grab the audience’s attention. I think these skills will take me far as I pursue a career in Hospitality Management or with an organisation that advocates for the rights of women.

 Build A Woman's Future | ESSEN


I decided to attend the Akilah Institute because it was the only school in Rwanda that offered a women’s only campus and has courses intended to provide leadership skills to women. I am truly inspired by the women that have come before me in their studies and have gone on to be successful in business and entrepreneurship. I am making a difference in the world just by being a student at Akilah. I recently participated in a community service project intended to reduce poverty for the youth population in Rwanda. I hope to continue to make a difference upon graduation when I am the owner of my own business.

 Build A Woman's Future | ESSEN


A quote which has resonated with me was one taught to me by a former Akilah student. They said, “If not me, who? if not today, when?”. This message continues to motivate me through my academic journey. I have realised that it is my responsibility to take the steps needed in life to achieve my goals. And I must start today. I applied to Akilah because I have dreams of becoming an IT professional and to strengthen my skills as a communicator. I would love to continue with my studies and obtain a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. I am very excited about the opportunities that this program will prepare me for, once I have graduated.

 Build A Woman's Future | ESSEN


With the Akilah Institute, I now have a stronger sense of responsibility for myself, my family, and future students of this program. This program has allowed me to become a leader - by being a representative for my class I had the opportunity to show the future generation of Akilah students how to prioritise their studies and become leaders themselves. The highlight of my time at Akilah has been the opportunities that I have had to give back to the community. I was able to research methods that would best solve issues concerning malnutrition of children under the age of five in the Gitega community. We were able to connect with partner organisations that were raising awareness about the issues, providing services and conducting follow-up visits with families. I am looking forward to continuing to do work that improves the lives of children.

 Build A Woman's Future | ESSEN


On my first day of school, I was nervous. I never thought I would get this far, but now I cannot imagine myself at any other school. My experience at the Akilah Institute has changed my life and has provided me with a sisterhood of women that continue to motivate and inspire me each year as I work towards my goal of becoming a humanitarian. Now in my second year at Akilah, I have taken on the responsibility of becoming President of the Straight Talk club. My responsibilities in this club have strengthened my leadership skills and have allowed me to coordinate the efforts of large groups of people. I have also learned that even though we are all very different, we are still students at Akilah and we are working towards the same goal.

 Build A Woman's Future | ESSEN


I was born and raised in eastern part of Rwanda. My mother was a teacher and farmer. I had been looking for a university that provides academic knowledge as well as opportunities, especially about creating impact and providing employment to youth. Having had an experience with Davis College students and instructors, I realized how Davis College would benefit me and the business I was launching. "Davis College provided the skills I needed to launch and grow my business (Bookly Africa)." My dream is not to have billions of dollars on my account but to see Bookly Africa becoming an African platform that provides tourism and hospitality services across the continent, this will be hand in hand with leveraging and providing online presence and visibility to local operators across Africa to scale their business on a global scale and generate more revenues.

 Build A Woman's Future | ESSEN


I am Antoinette Niyigena. I graduated in hospitality management. I was in secondary school when students from Akilah used to visit different secondary schools encouraging young women to improve their lives and prepare their best future. I was so happy to join Akilah and I enjoyed all courses as they all improved my life. Joining Akilah my goal was to learn all about hotels and tourism management but Akilah went beyond that. We had other subjects we didn’t expect like effective communication, leadership and public speaking. Honestly, I enjoyed these subjects rather than my domain as an HTM student. Public speaking impacted my life most as I come from village. "Before joining Akilah I couldn’t speak in front of others because of fear and lack of confidence, but today I am a confident public speaker and servant leader who believes that nothing is impossible through teamwork and hard work."

Build A Woman's Future | ESSEN

Empowered women empower women, so in celebration of International Women's Day we are doubling our donation from $2 to $4 over the 8th to the 10th of March in support of a women’s charity of your choice. 

ESSEN shop for change - international women's day