Mission: Akilah is a college that offers a unique model of market relevant education empowering graduates for success in careers and leadership roles. Akilah aims to build future generations of women leaders and professionals in east africa through the development of a network of campuses. Akilah will graduate 1,000 students by the year 2020.
Programs: Opened in 2010 in rwanda, akilah is an accredited college that offers diplomas in entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and information systems-the three highest-growth sectors of the east african economy. Akilah's market-relevant curriculum, developed in partnership with the private sector, transforms the lives of young women by empowering them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to find meaningful employment and to serve as leaders in their communities. From its initial program in hospitality management, akilah has expanded to include majors in entrepreneurship and information systems, the latter launching in 2013 with a commitment from the clinton global initiative. Growing from an inaugural class of 50 students, akilah has graduated 95 alumnae in two graduating classes and currently serves 355 students across two campuses in east africa. The second campus was opened in neighboring bujumbura, burundi in january 2014 with the help of a clinton global initiative commitment from the segal family foundation. Sixty-eight percent of akilah students are the first women in their families to attend college. Most enter timid and unsure of themselves, but graduate as determined, empowered, confident young women, ready to launch their careers and reinvest in their families and their country. Ninety percent of alumnae find jobs within six months of graduation, where they earn incomes that are five times more than the national average.
Supporting Akilah Institute for Women has been a wonderful experience. I was introduced to this team because of my experience in events that empower women. Akilah Institute made its way to my home in NYC for their U.S. tour. I was very inspired by the story of these young Rwandan women and the work of Elizabeth Dearborn Davis. When I began participating in their NYC event, I was immediately impressed by the persistence, motivation, and organization of the Akilah team. The New York City event went great. It was inspiring meet Elizabeth Dearborn Davis and two of the Akilah Institute students, Gisele and Anita. It brought tears to the eyes to learn about Gisele and Anita's journey to becoming leaders in their community. It was a festive evening with much to celebrate and I thank Akilah Institute for being a model of empowerment for me. I love that the Akilah team has kept in touch. The newsletters on the progress of their students and highlights of the year has been an awesome reminder of things we should think of that are happening in different parts of the world, the impact of education, and the change our support can bring to the world.