Resonate partners with Imbuto Foundation

By: Benigne Mugwaneza

June 20, 2016

y dream was to become an engineer even though I knew it was going to be a big challenge for two reasons: taking many hours of sciences, and lack of support from my classmates and friends. It seemed to me it was almost a given that sciences aren’t female subjects, and that as a girl even if I attempted I would not perform as well as a boy would. I demonstrated the opposite, I was able to graduate from engineering school and now my goal is to inspire other girls to believe in themselves and never let others make decisions for them.

Throughout my university studies I was involved in different programs that empower girls, such as Ni Nyampinga. Recently, I joined Resonate to continue my contribution to help girls be leaders in their lives and communities. Resonate is a great way to enable me to support a large number of women and girls and my first week of my work was a confirmation of that. I am honored that I get to work with girls like Sophie who is taking initiative to make changes in her life.

Sophie, who lost her father at young age, does not feel held back by her past. At the end of a workshop Resonate did she said, “My name is Sophie, I am 22. Today I have learned that I am leader.” Sophie didn’t give up on her own dream of becoming an engineer. She has instead worked hard at school because she wants to be among the best preforming. As a result of her hard work, Sophie got a scholarship from Imbuto Foundation to study in one of the best high school for girls in Rwanda, Gashora Girls Academy, and today she is a third year Civil Engineering student at the University of Rwanda.

Within two days of our Storytelling for Leadership workshop, Sophie was able to tell her story; she realized how powerful she is by looking back in her everyday life and identifying her values. At Resonate we believe that being a leader is not only about having a grand title, but rather being able to take action in the face of a challenge. Given this new definition of leadership, Sophie sees her self as a leader She said, “I want to live in a community where everyone works hard for their dreams and never gives up, my contribution today will be to inspire others by sharing my story.”

Sophie’s story is just one example in more than 550 stories of the youth from different programs involved with Imbuto Foundation that Resonate was honored to train in a series of three workshops during the past two weeks. As described in a recent New Times article about our partnership, “Imbuto Foundation, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, has been implementing a holistic approach to uplift the most vulnerable communities through education, health, and socio-economic programmes.”

Hearing so many impressive stories about how much these youth care about their communities made us imagine what the future could be like if all young people had the same love and commitment to improve their communities.

We cannot always build a future for our youth but we can always build our youth for the future. Resonate’s practice of leadership is a tool that will support youth in their strong determination of building a better community. Work with us. Let us all be part of this movement of preparing a better tomorrow by empowering young people.

Megan Madeira