Guest Post: Student Sarah Duhimbaze

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Sarah Duhimbaze is in her final year at the Akilah Institute for Women and will be graduating with her Business Diploma in November.

Sarah and Cecil

Sarah (right) and Cecile, Akilah’s “student journalists.”

I wanted to share my experience of going to New York for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

In addition to being an Akilah student, I am a journalist for Ni Nyampinga. Ni Nyampinga is a magazine and radio show for teen girls sponsored by Girl Hub Rwanda. In March, I traveled to the U.S. as a delegate and Ni Nyampinga reporter for the CSW.

Traveling to New York City to attend the CSW session, which took place at United Nations Headquarters, was something I never imagined doing. It was an incredible opportunity and I had an amazing experience sharing ideas with young women from around the world and learning about the various challenges women are faced with. I improved my public speaking skills and made American friends!

My journey to becoming a Ni Nyampinga journalist began during my first year at Akilah when my fellow classmate, Cecile (pictured above), and I were encouraged to apply for a new girl-focused radio program that was launching through Girl Hub Rwanda—an initiative of the Nike Foundation and the U.K.’s Department for International Development. After going through an extensive interview process, both of us were selected to be a part of the radio show made by girls, for girls. In Akilah classes, we learn good public speaking skills and grow the confidence to speak out loud. We’re able to take that learning and apply it to our work with Ni Nyampinga.

Sarah during her first year at Akilah in 2010.

Sarah during her first year at Akilah in 2010.

I now serve as the voice for other women and girls through the Ni Nyampinga radio show. Akilah provides up to 90% scholarship support for our tuition, but I am able to use my income from working for Ni Nyampinga to help pay for the remaining tuition balance. My life has been impacted in such a positive way! I’m very grateful to Akilah for all they do for young Rwandan women, like me.

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