Caritas: Farmer, Tailor, Leader

December 04, 2015

It was a Monday, October 10, 2015 when I left Kigali for Nyaruguru. It started as a sunny and bright beautiful morning. It was a five hours drive, and by the time we arrived in Nyaruguru some rain drops had started falling down which was absolutely thrilling to every resident in the area based on their agricultural season expectations.

I was on my way back to a community where we’d first done a workshop in February to do follow-up with our participants to assess Resonate’s impact. The follow- up facilitates our continuous connection with our participants, and helps us learn what we are doing well and what are the areas where we need to improve. The combination of both enables us to make our programs better to get better results for the women we serve. Lastly, it is an opportunity for us to hear amazing stories of the accomplishments of those women.

Caritas, 51, is from Nyaruguru in Rwanda’s Northern Province. She is a farmer, a tailor and president of the local beekeeper co-operative. She was trained by Resonate through our partnership with Women for Women International. Caritas mentioned that she was very happy for the changes that she noticed a couple of months after our “Storytelling for Leadership” Training.

“I learned how to prepare and deliver a speech as well as making meeting preparations.
An example is that in July, we had leadership posts available in our community. There was a need for 7 community Mediators. There were 24 candidates contesting for the elections: 3 women and 4 men won the elections and I was among the women who won the election with my colleague who we were trained together by Resonate. I was able to convince people due to confidence and public speaking skills, and this persuaded the audience that I was the ideal candidate and that is how I won the elections.” Caritas is now a mediator in her community. She mediates with people who have disputes and she maintains justice and integrity in judging.

Among other skills that she gained is how to plan and manager her time. She mentioned that she always takes time to make a meeting agenda with a clear purpose and plan of what the group will discuss which has led to much more productive results than before.

Caritas added that she has also now taken on a role as a decision maker; she makes wise decisions for her own life and her family. She also gives advice to her friends and has new found confidence about how to live and fit in the community.

At the end of our conversation, Caritas said that she now uses her own story as inspiration to encourage others.

Caritas is just one of 10,000 women that we will reach in the next 3 years. We are moved by the triumph of our participants, because their success is our success. Caritas inspires those in her community, but she also inspires us to do more and to move forward, one day at a time, toward closing the confidence gap

Megan Madeira