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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Relief, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations

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.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have a personal connection to Rwanda and a fondness for this country that went through one of the most brutal events in the history of humankind, the 1994 genocide. I literally "stumbled" upon The Akilah project and was awed by its mission and authentic commitment to improving the lives of young women by investing in them instead of providing hands out or further 'victimizing' them. I admire the vision of the founders and the tenacity of Akilah Team to ensure young women in Rwanda are in a position to build a better future for themselves and for their country. Akilah should stay focused on this mission. Too many projects in emerging economies and less developed countries expand once they do well and take on too much. The learning environment created by Akilah in Rwanda not only imparts education but, most importantly, teaches young women to be proud of what they accomplish and who they are. This is about dignity and self esteem, attributes that go a long way in promoting the rights of women. Another important achievement of Akilah is its capacity to bridge cultural gaps and bring the people of the US closer to the reality of Rwanda. I helped out during their recent "Urban Safari" across the US to raise money for student scholarships and was moved by the impact this project is having on helping American re-frame the post genocide narrative of Rwanda. it is important to let people know what is good that is coming out of this country now and what the young generation is doing to move on. I commend Akilah for its vision, focus and commitment to the young women of Rwanda.

Review from Guidestar