Equity Bank Rwanda Plc has offered paid internships to thirty-four high school graduates to help them acquire skills and knowledge that would facilitate them to easily fit into the labour market. The beneficiaries of the internship speak highly of the benefits they expect from the internship. For Solange Umuhoza, a high school graduate based in Rwamagana District, securing a paid internship at Equity Bank Rwanda means a lot, especially being able to pay school fees for her younger siblings who had dropped out. She has been featuring among the best performers throughout her academic years but at a heavy cost of her mother trying to make the ends meet and afford only her education. Umuhoza is among 34 best performing high school graduates who have been selected from every district where Equity Bank Rwanda Plc has a presence and are set to benefit from a three to four months paid professional internship program in the bank’s branches across the country. ALSO READ: Thirty-two Rwandans get paid internship through Equity Leadership Programme They are enrolled in the 2nd cohort of the Equity Leadership Program (ELP) that seeks to expose scholars to a competitive environment and teach them values of hard work, work ethics, customer service, communication skills, integrity and professionalism for their future careers. The scholars took part in a seven-day boot camp that aimed to empower them with leadership skills and introduce them to bank operations. Umuhoza said: “ELP has equipped me with core values which will help me to comply with rules and regulations of the organization so as to drive a positive change in community and improve the living standards of my family.” Speaking at the enrollment ceremony, Dianah Mukundwa, Head of Strategy, Investment, and Social Impact at Equity Bank Rwanda said that the internees are put in different departments where they get hands-on skills of what is required in work and mentored into future leaders. “We have recognized that a country can never be better than its leaders and the bank has prioritized nurturing leadership skills in the youth who demonstrate a great promise,” she noted. Hannington Namara, Managing Director of Equity Bank Rwanda, told the scholars to uphold the values of being outstanding bestowed in them by their families and the trainers, to be focused and work hard, as well as demonstrating professionalism and integrity. He mentioned that Equity team will be with them throughout their education journey in universities and they will be welcomed back after completion, should they be willing. Nelson Mbarushimana, Director General of Rwanda Basic Education (REB), thanked the lender for the program that is in line with the country’s vision of transforming citizens into skilled human capital for socioeconomic development. “In Rwanda, we cherish innovation and it requires continuous learning research and as young people, it is important to note this as you encounter different responsibilities to which you will be held accountable,” he said. Established in 1998 as a rigorous leadership development programme by Equity Bank Group, ELP is a community of more than 18 200 transformative leaders who work together across borders and various sectors to drive sustainable economic growth and social progress in Africa. Equity Bank operates in at least six countries with operations in at least six countries in East Africa, counting over 14 million customers.