Next Generation of Student Leaders are sworn in at Akilah


Students come to Akilah expecting an extraordinary education. Our career preparation, English-only campus, integration of computers and technology, and individualized attention combine for a unique academic experience among schools in East Africa. The nurturing environment builds confidence and self-esteem, and young women feel safe to take initiative and find their voice. Akilah’s student government, known locally as the Student Guild, is a perfect example of how we develop young women into leaders: by turning concepts into practice.

From campaigning to inauguration to running cabinet meetings, students who participate in the Student Guild gain hands-on experience in decision-making, public speaking, and persuasive communication. All this translates into excellent preparation for the working world.

The student government at Akilah serves as the bridge between students and the administration. Through the efforts of their student government, Akilah’s young women now have sports teams, organized entertainment and, for the first time in the history of Akilah, a constitution. This living document, reviewed every year and subject to editing every two years, encourages each student at Akilah to take ownership and responsibility for her experience on campus.

On Friday, November 28, the Akilah community gathered under the large tent on our campus grounds to inaugurate the new student government. The outgoing cabinet ministers from the Class of 2015 looked radiant in their umushananas, the traditional Rwandan ceremonial dress, while incoming ministers wore formal black.

Three Masters of Ceremonies represented each current class year. They welcomed students, faculty, and staff to the ceremony and thanked the outgoing cabinet members for their commitment and year of service.

Elyse Igihozo, Hospitality Management Class of 2017, took the oath as President of the Student Guild. As head of the Akilah student body, she is now one step closer to her goal of becoming a Member of Parliament in Rwanda. Here’s what she had to say about her plans for the 2014-2015 school year:

My agenda for this year is to find ways to increase confidence levels among Akilah girls. We will work hand-in-hand on this with the administration by encouraging and promoting debate on and off campus, hosting spelling bees and thinking of new opportunities to improve our public speaking.

One of the ideas that I would like to introduce is an Akilah magazine where students will write about campus life, daily challenges, and inspirational stories.

Rwanda Country Director Aline Kabanda swore in the new cabinet and awarded badges that designate their new responsibilities. In her remarks to students, Aline emphasized the ministers’ responsibility to represent student needs to the Akilah administration and to serve as a conduit between students and staff. She also urged Akilah women to hold their elected leaders accountable to the promises made during elections.

The ceremony concluded with performances from the students, including traditional dancing and a rendition of “You Raise Me Up” that brought the house, or should we say tent, down.

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 Student Guild!

Guild President: Elyse Igihozo

Deputy Guild President: Marie Aime Umuhoza

Health Minister: Carolyne Umutesi

Justice and Holistic Affairs: Joselyn Musengimana

Information and Communication Minister: Jackilne Murungi

Guild Speaker: Samanta Uwamariya

Entertainment Minister: Fredine Umutoni

Deputy Entertainment Minister: Lydie Uwamwiza

Sports Minister: Sandrine Uwiduhaye

Deputy Sports Minister: Prisca Niyirora

Minister of Finance: Sakina Usengimana

Education Minister: Cecile Dusabe Isimbi

Deputy Education Minister: Claudine Uwamahoro

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