Imbuto Foundation kick-started yesterday in Kigali, a series of workshops on storytelling for leadership, professional readiness and development, as part of its Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Programme, which since 2007 has been implementing an array of activities on a national scale, to fully engage, educate and empower young people.
Led by Ayla Schlosser and Solange Impanoyimana from Resonate, a Rwanda-based organisation that primarily trains women to build on their strengths and create change in their communities, these workshops designed to empower a total of 650 youth, began yesterday under the theme of ‘Professional Readiness’.
Other themes to be explored over the next days will be ‘Professional Development’ for project coordinators and caregivers, on June 10-11 at the Rwandan Red Cross Society; and ‘Storytelling for leadership’, for female scholars, on June 15-16 in Rwamagana.
This first workshop, entitled ‘Professional readiness’ brought together 180 people, involved with Imbuto Foundation as scholarship recipients, AERG coordinators, toastmasters, and debate trainers.
This day-long workshop was made of a series of interactive sessions with presentations, questions and answers between the trainers and the participants, on what constitutes good leadership and how to successfully represent oneself, in the professional world.
The first activity of the day entitled ‘Find your core values’ required the participants to share some of their values, and explain why those matter to them along with examples of specific actions they took to promote those core values.
Some of the values shared revolved around the importance of creating an empowered community, helping others overcome life challenges, but also developing better communication skills among people.
Through role-play activities, Resonate also taught participants how to prepare for the professional world by planning what to do after graduation; doing their research on their future employer; knowing how to express their values as those will help them connect with other people working in that company or institution; presenting one’s strengths and ability to overcome weaknesses, through concrete examples; but also actively seeking new opportunities and setting goals for their professional development.
While sharing a personal story on being proactive and resourceful when confronted with challenges, Didier, a Toastmaster from Cornerstone, told everyone how from helping two brothers go back to school by paying their school fees, he ended up reaching out to his classmates to raise funds for a total of 70 primary school students, who had also been expelled for not being able to afford those fees.
The activities of the day also included practical tips on how to prepare for tough questions during interviews, drafting attractive resumes and cover letters, and how to network successfully.
Imbuto Foundation, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, has been implementing a holistic approach to uplift the most vulnerable communities through education, health, and socio-economic programmes. The Youth Forum Series which is part of the Foundation’s Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Programme, organises each year events on topics ranging from socio-economic and political awareness, professionalism, entrepreneurship, communication, self-reliance, to unity and reconciliation.
This year, forums have been organised into youth empowerment workshops, targeting young professional and university students, aged 20-29, from all four provinces and the City of Kigali, to address and strengthen Rwandan youth with tangible skills that can be accurately reflected in their everyday lives.
This workshop series also aim to encourage the youth to develop a strong commitment to leadership, with a sense of urgency and action, while providing students with key lessons on how to tell their personal stories of growth, and prepare them for their professional journey after university with development workshops.