A total of 100 girls aged between 12 and 18 from 20 secondary schools across the country are currently in a camp at University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health in Kigali for a one–week intensive leadership and mentorship summit.
The summit, entitled “100 women Who Will Impact Rwanda (100 WWW-IR)”, was organised by Patricie Uwase Mavubi, a MasterCard Foundation Graduate and the organiser of 100 WWW-IR to help participants interact with world-renowned women parliamentarians. The training is under the Women’s Mentoring Camp programme.
The summit has been running since July 31 and will be closed on August 7.
It is aimed at creating an opportunity for renowned women leaders to connect, mentor and inspire the young generation, so as to keep the momentum of women’s participation in peace-building and development in Rwanda.
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, Uwase said that the mentoring camp is held to create an inspiring environment where more accomplished women leaders mentor younger women to prepare them as future leaders and successful entrepreneurs.
“Rwanda is known for promoting women leaders. Rwandan women have been the highlight of the story of Rwanda’s recovery from the destruction caused by the Genocide,” she said.
Women hold 64 per cent of seats in Rwanda’s Lower House, the highest in the world.
“Currently, there is a lack of interaction between women leaders and the emerging young women leaders.
Growing up in Rwanda, I personally felt disconnected from the older generation of women leaders, as much as they were doing an amazing job. This is where the mentoring camp becomes relevant to bridge this gap. Through the camp, women will be equipped to build intra and inter-generational solidarity,” Uwase added.
Selection of students
The students were selected based on their performance in school.
“Through interviews, we selected the girls who are good at expressing themselves, creative and innovative, according to the answers they provided. We want them to use their skills in building the country. At the camp, we group them in small life-groups of 10 people each together with a lead mentor. In the group, they discuss various issues regarding their opportunities beyond the school, among others,” Uwase explained.
The students on Monday visited Parliament.
Uwase said the big number of women in Parliament was inspiring for the young women.
Rebecca Mpinganzima, a Senior Six student at IFAK Kimihurura in Gasabo District, said she appreciates mentorship as it shapes her to think productively.
“I have learnt how to profit from available opportunities. Mentorship will help me develop any idea I come up with.
Sometimes, we have new ideas, but fail to implement them because we do not meet experienced people to advise us. We are interacting with experienced mentors and I expect them to be my role models,” Mpinganzima said.
Francoise Iradukunda, a student at ETO Gatumba in Ngororero District, finds the mentorship camp a good platform for brainstorming.
“We learn different things from the camp. The lectures we get will inspire the girls. We are learning how to manage different situations we face in life. So, the programme opens up our minds to seek solutions for our problems,” Iradukunda said.
Brenda Mporerusaro, a student from Ecole Notre Dame de la Providence Karubanda in Huye District, said the programme is an opportunity for the young women to network.
The lectures at the camp include; Rwandan history, the Ndi Umunyarwanda initiative, discussions around various topics like the power of our dreams, character of a good leader and peaceful leadership, among others.
The summit involves local mentors and speakers from government ministries, NGOs, educational institutions and the business community.