Resonate partners with groups focused on women’s skill building and education, and complements their programs by offering a leadership training program rooted in personal storytelling. One of our first partner organizations was the Akilah Institute, a college that offers a unique model of market-relevant education empowering graduates for success in careers and leadership roles.

Nida and Darlene are students at the Akilah Institute who participated in Resonate’s Storytelling for Leadership course in March of 2014. The post below is a testament to the impact of Resonate’s Storytelling for Leadership workshop, and an introduction to the Storytelling Club that they created on the Akilah campus in Kigali, Rwanda. In 2015 Resonate hopes to create a network of women leaders who can support and learn from each other, just as these women are doing.

Akilah student telling story of self. Photo Credit: Resonate
Akilah student telling story of self.
Photo Credit: Resonate

Storytelling Club on Akilah Campus

By Laure Darlene Karamutsa and Nida Gisele Iraguha
Akilah Institute for Women students

Last year my colleague Nida and I, along with the rest of our class, had the opportunity to meet Solange and Ayla from Resonate who shared their personal stories with us and taught us how to write and tell our own stories. At the end of the training we were able to tell our own stories that were so wonderful, we thought that such skills can be shared with our colleagues at school.

Throughout the process, we are all learning from everyone’s story in the group when we are together, writing stories and correcting each other grammatically. We’ve found that we have improved our English and our stories are much more interesting. We then came up with an idea of forming a storytelling club on campus so that we don’t exclude anyone from the opportunity of telling her own story. We meet once per week with club members to discuss and improve how we can communicate using stories. At school everyone is required to write a profile and the skills gained from storytelling helped us to write a profile that demonstrates our values and allows us to connect with our audience. Another idea is to have a small book of everyone’s story, as we have found that most of us have interesting and inspiring life stories.

In storytelling club we realized that sharing the stories brings back the memories of our past, and helps us understand the present and visualize the future. By doing this we are helping each one of us to live well because your story is your life, and when it’s not told it can go unrecognized. By telling our stories, we discover our weaknesses, our strengths and what we value most in life.

Our purpose is to provide a space where every student can share the stories because we believe everyone has a story that can inspire others.

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