Birashoboka Mentorship Hub,’ a mentorship program to equip Rwandan youth with basic leadership skills, has been launched by the Embassy of Israel in Rwanda in partnership with Rwanda We Want, a local organisation that empowers the youth. The first cohort of beneficiaries is of high school students aged between 16 and 20. Skills to be provided under the 8-weeks program include networking, self-awareness, self-confidence, critical thinking, pitching and public speaking, self-management, and teamwork among others. The Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda, Dr. Ron Adam, says that the initiative proceeded from the fact that while performing well in class is a good and important thing, students need also other soft skills to help them unlock their potentials to the fullest. “There are plenty of young people here who have potential and good ideas, but can’t confidently express themselves and pitch their ideas to prospects. As a result, their ideas do not materialise, and this is a loss to them and the community at large. Birashoboka Mentorship Hub comes to provide these kinds of skills to young people, and with time we expect to see a difference,” he says. The programme is set to help young people discover their potential. In addition, Tristan Murenzi, founder and Chairperson of Rwanda We Want said: “We hope that Birashoboka Mentorship Program will impact the lives of young Rwandans because they have a great potential, they just need a push to exploit it and Birashoboka will do that.” Some students who are part of the first cohort, have expressed optimistic views on what they expect from this program. “Usually I am a shy person, and I rarely speak in front of people. I hope that this program will boost my self-esteem and equip me with public speaking skills that will help me both at school and in the life after school,” says Dylan Nizeyimana, a senior four student at Groupe Scolaire Rugando. Jolly Nyirahategekimana, a 17 year-old and senior five student at the same school also added, “Networking always gives me hard time. I find myself only talking to those in my circle. From this program, I expect to learn networking skills that will help me to easily connect with people and eventually learn from them one or two things.” The initiative is being run in collaboration with Resonate Workshops, Bridge2Rwanda, Igire Rwanda Organisation, and iDebate Rwanda.