Information Sessions: Akilah Tours Rwanda

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Our next academic year begins in September 2012, and we are looking forward to a very strong class, both in our ongoing Hospitality Management Program and our flagship Entrepreneurship Program. But in order to receive a diverse pool of qualified applicants, we needed to have a thorough recruitment process- thus, Akilah decided to host information sessions around the country! (See more pictures from the info sessions on our Facebook Page>>).

Co-founder Elizabeth Dearborn Davis with students Emmanuella and Ernestine in front of our new Akilah banner

We did not go about this on our own, however; after interviewing many students, we selected four to be our Admissions Associates. Each Associate was assigned a province, and spent two weekends traveling to their respective town to find a suitable venue and do flyering. After much planning, we were finally ready to travel and present on the Akilah admissions process.

Akilah staff and students Emmanuella and Ernestine prep for the first info session in Gisenyi

During the first weekend, we traveled to Gisenyi in the Western Province and Ruhengeri in the Northern Province. Associate Emmanuella Imababazi did a great job selecting the Youth Center as our session location, and Mr. Victor Kayoboke was very kind to host us and spread the word about the event. This was by far our most attended info session; we had over 400 potential Akilah students show up!

Associate Emmanuella presents to a room full of applicants in Gisenyi

The next day we drove to Assemblies of God church in Ruhengeri, where Pastor Vincent Safari kindly welcomed us and assured us he had told every church in the province about the event. As it turns out, he was telling the truth- we had around 350 young women come! We received many great questions about the programs, tuition, but the most inspiring (and most often asked) question was, “Can you open an Akilah campus in our Province?”.

Associates with Pastor Safari; Assemblies of God Church in Ruhengeri

The second weekend we went to Ruhango in the Southern Province and Kayonza in the Eastern Province. In Ruhango, Associate Hope Simwanga had also chosen Assemblies of God Church. When we arrived an hour early, the place was already completely full; we ended up having to give two full sessions that day to accommodate all of the young women who had traveled for miles to come hear about Akilah!

Grace explains the Entrepreneurship Diploma using our Powerpoint presentation; the Associates and Pastor Ntakirutimana pose with their Akilah bracelets

The following day was our final information session, two and a half hours east of Kigali in Kayonza. For our venue Associate Grace Uwantege had selected Trinity Church, which provided a beautiful well-lit space for us to speak to about 150 young ladies. The session went very smoothly and was a great cap to our tour of Rwanda.

Associates Grace and Hope in front of the opening slide of the presentation; Grace speaking to young women in Kayonza

Associates Grace and Hope in front of the opening slide of the presentation; Grace speaking to young women in Kayonza

On the way back to Kigali, we even had time to stop at Lake Muhazi for dinner to treat the Associates for their hard work and celebrate a successful recruitment process. We’ve already started seeing applications come in, and we can’t wait to see the rest!

Communications & Marketing Associate Mary Patton with Grace and Hope on Lake Muhazi

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