Today I Feel More Free

By: Fortunee Yarambabariye and Jackson Vugayabagabo

December 22, 2017

Jackson Vugayabagabo, Country Director of Mothering Across Continents

Fortunee is one of our scholars, who was fortunate enough to graduate from high school and obtain the opportunity to continue to university. As a fresh university student, I could see her struggling in a lot of areas, including confidence and communicating with me or with other people.

After attending the workshop with Resonate, I saw things had changed, which I fully associate with her being part of that training. We have lots of interventions, but most of that was coming from us, people she was already well familiar with.

I noticed right after the training that she was more engaged. She started working with her colleagues at university and they started a savings group. She took the initiative to start saving every month to start a business in 3 to 5 years. She’s actually the lead of the group, which shows she’s coming out of her comfort zone.

The training gave her the opportunity to discover that she has potential that she was hiding before. It’s actually even enabled us to discover other areas where we should support her. We are now working with her on some of her professional skills, such as writing emails, typing, and practicing English. We really only discovered this after the training because she started speaking out and I can see that she now sees the opportunities for her ahead.

My hope for all of our scholars is that they will be leaders in supporting their communities. Resonate’s training of Storytelling for Leadership and discovering oneself was the foundation of that for Fortunee.

Jackson Vugayabagabo is the Country Director of Mothering Across Continents, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring tomorrow’s leaders.



Fortunee Yarambabariye, Mothering Across Continents

Before attending the Resonate training, I never spoke to others. I was lonely and lived in my own world where no one knew what was going on in my life. My classmates used to invite me to birthday parties and I would refuse to go with them.

I could not share my ideas or problems with others. I would see old people and start thinking about my parents, who would be the same age if they were still alive. I thought that it didn’t matter if I shared my problems because others would not care.

But after the workshop, I realized I gained nothing in all the time I spent alone. I learned how to behave in a group of people as it was my first time attending a workshop. I started feeling confident and willing to talk to others. Now, I participate in class and if we have group work I present at least one section. I started attending birthday parties and if I have to miss one, it makes me sad.

I have even shared storytelling skills with two colleagues. I taught them how to share a story following the structure I learned from Resonate. After teaching them to create a story, I asked them to make their own story and it helped them so much.

Today, I feel more free. If I have a problem, I share it with others and now when I see old people, I see them as my parents. I feel happy and open and I no longer stress about what will happen tomorrow.



Fortunee Yarambabariye is a Mothering Across Continent scholar and a student at Universite Libre de Kigali.

Megan Madeira