Happy In Burundi

Akilah Has a Music Video?

At the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative, Akilah made a commitment to open a campus in Burundi, a small country in East Africa. Akilah Burundi successfully opened in January!

To celebrate, we’ve released our first-ever music video, #HappyInBurundi, based on Pharrell Williams’ hit song, “Happy”.

Burundi is the fourth poorest country in the world. Their decade-long civil war only ended in 2005. More than 90% of women work in subsistence agriculture and live on less than $2 per day.

Akilah opened a campus in Burundi because we deeply believe in a bright future for this beautiful country.

Our campus opened in January 2014 with a group of 75 bright and ambitious young women from across the country. They are passionate about launching their professional careers and starting new ventures.


Take, for example, the story of Bernadette Niyoyitungira, 21, who was shot in the war and had her leg amputated. Undeterred, Bernadette has big dreams of managing an international hotel and raising the status of women in Burundi:

Many Burundian women think that it is proper to serve men and even when the women are intelligent and think big, they are not able to do anything because they underestimate themselves. Many grow up close to their parents and learn everything they know from them. But I wanted more.

Or read about Chloe Irambona, 21, who writes:

When I was a little girl, my dream was to appear on TV, where everybody would be talking about me as a successful woman. I dreamed of leading other girls, who then would grow up to be role models for others.

You can support the students of Akilah Burundi by making a contribution to the Burundi scholarship fund.

Thank you to the Segal Family foundation and the Kristin Linnea Skvarla Foundation for making it possible to open Akilah Burundi!

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