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February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

When I heard Elizabeth Davis speak about Rwanda at a small event in St. Petersburg, Florida, I was so impressed by her passion and commitment that I not only followed her as she established her vision of the best way to empower Rwandan women through education, but I was inspired to go to Rwanda to visit the proposed campus.

I continue to be impressed by the progress that Akilah has made not only in the expected curriculum but more importantly is the emphasis on leadership training and value of character development.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I met two of the students in the first class who traveled to the US last fall and I believe everyone who met and heard them speak of their experiences has no doubt as to the tremendous impact and value Akilah delivers. I have worked closely with several staff member and interns and continue to be impressed with the dedication shown by everyone involved with the organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not want to jeopardize it's success.

February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

In the fall 2008 I met the founders of Akilah, Elizabeth and David, in Rwanda as our group began the design for their new campus. Their passion to make a difference in the lives of young Rwandan women is profound, and it is clear that they have inspired all the volunteers, teachers, board members and donors that they have worked with in the past three years.

Although, the organization is young they have already introduced a second class to the curriculum at the Institute and many of their students have secured jobs. This past fall I had the opportunity to meet two students during their visit to the US and listening to their personal stories of growth had assured me that The Akilah Institute is making a difference already and will continue to have an impact for the women of Rwanda for a long time to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

....watching potential students become successful and confident women.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I honestly can't think of one thing. The positive attitude and drive of this entire organization never ceases to impress me.

February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

Akilah holds a very special place in the hearts of our family. We visited Akilah in Kigali and became good friends with one of its founders, Elizabeth Davis who is an inspiration. Often non-profits take on the personalities of their leaders and that is true in many ways of Akilah. To meet Elizabeth Davis is to be caught up in a river of passion over the empowerment of women in a country uniquely dependent on the future success of its women. The realization that something monumental is happening at Akilah not just for its students but for the country permeates the zealous dedication of everyone who works there as well as the students who are privileged to attend Akilah. This is not just an African school that needs funds. This is a game changing institution for an entire generation of women and a country desperate for newly trained leaders and employees.

Our daughters attend a very privileged all-girls school outside of Philadelphia. Elizabeth has come to speak to the entire student body on several occasions, most recently with two Akilah students as part of the school's Metropolitan Safari. Closeness in age is all that young women need to develop an instant bond, but the disparity in life experience takes that bond to a different level that creates a broader perspective of the circumstances of women around the world. Thanks to those visits, a club has been formed at our daughters' school that is currently looking to help create Western internship opportunities for Akilah girls as well as other cross curricular projects that will further enhance the bonds between the two student bodies. So the ripples of Akilah are immense.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our meetings and growing friendship with school leadership and the students. We have also found friends of ours in our community moved and determined to get involved to sponsor students at Akilah, Most importantly, our daughters will be forever changed by their interaction with Akilah and its leadership.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

The Akilah Institute, through the hard work, dedication and commitment of many and leadership of Elizabeth Dearborn Davis, is transforming lives of women not only in Rwanda but throughout the globe. Although the direct impact may be felt by the young women who complete the program in Rwanda, these young women touch the lives of all those they meet. The model that Elizabeth and the team have created and operationalized can be leveraged throughout the world. The program's focus on education, mentoring, leadership and self esteem will continue to drive the personal successes and economic growth in the region. I had the great pleasure and honor of meeting Elizabeth and several members of her team through one of her professors at Vanderbilt. Discovering that she was from Tampa added to the special feeling of contributing through our community. I have since engaged several other colleagues to commit to giving and helping Akilah grow. I am thrilled to help the team with the 2011 Campaign and look forward to another exciting year.
Dr. Mary Kay Vona

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Observed the students during their tour in the US. They were confident, focused and professional and so appreciative of The Akilah Institute and its contributions to their growth and development.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to engage the business community and advance public relations contacts.

February 22, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 22, 2011

I have been a donor from the beginning. It has been so exciting to see Akilah's growth from the beginning to where it is now. Akilah is a perfect example of what happens when people really listen to what is needed to help a community grow and improve. Instead of deciding what Rwanda needed, Akilah has listened, learned & asked questions. Through this process, Akilah realized that women's education & Rwanda's growing tourism industry would be a perfect match. Akilah is providing women with leadership & vocational skills that will enable them to enter the tourism industry & help it to grow. This is an exciting organization, with dedicated leadership, teachers & students.
The stories of the women affected by Akilah are inspiring. The government in Rwanda feels the same way as they have donated a former school & the surrounding property to Akilah to use as a school.
I am excited to see the goals that Akilah will achieve in the future.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've meet w/ some of the leadership. Their love for the students, Rwanda & their goals is infectious! I've also seen 1st hand how effective Akilah is in fundraising & how wisely the funds are spent.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would give them more money & resources to more quickly achieve their goals of renovating the school & thereby reaching more women.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Education for women to better themselves and their community is a passion of mine.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Akilah's goals matches my passion for education for women.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Please donate! Your money will be used wisely!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 19, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 19, 2011

I visited the Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali Rwanda in January 2011 and saw first hand the impact their school has had on the lives of the Akilah students I met. Akilah transforms the lives of these young women who attend by providing practical skills that can greatly increase their income. Akilah teaches them leadership, entrepreneurship, public speaking, self-confidence and hospitality skills in a two or three year educational program to women 18-25 in Rwanda. They are a wonderful organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Kigali, Rwanda

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None suggested

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