No matter your differences, you must embrace them and be proud of how you are.” – Jazz Jennings.
The above quote should be applied to everyone regardless; surprisingly, it’s not the case yet! See, although it has been acknowledged that educated women generally make a long-lasting impact on the quality of life of their families and communities, young girls often have to give up the pursuits of their education and career for the welfare of their families. This is true in many countries on the African continent, and Rwanda is not exceptional despite the progress made in the education sector. Generally, girls, especially in rural areas, are left out or denied their rights due to a lack of awareness and guidance, non-availability of local educational institutions, pressure to do household work such as taking care of younger siblings, and later getting married at a younger age. Studies in Rwanda show that even girls who pursue their studies are not aware of the professional and technical courses available to them and cannot afford them – a fact that prevents them from becoming self-reliant. But this can change, and At She Honed for Excellence (SHE), we made it our duty.
The SHE is a non-governmental organisation serving adolescent girls’ best interests. It’s a home for young girls’ capacity building, and it thrives on creating a safe space for girls to acquire essential social and employability skills and ensure their mental health and well-being. A couple of elements we touch on, for instance, include:
For instance, primary students ( Primary 4 -6) are guided to identify their academic interests and skills. With the help of fellow females who mentor them, they are informed about various educational and educational opportunities in their community areas.
Life Skills Guidance:
All members ( participating young girls) are supported in acquiring essential life skills to make informed, vital decisions. These skills include self-confidence, determination, possibilities, and empathy, to mention a few.
Academic performance is crucial. The understanding is that career guidance typically depends on academic achievements; thus, students are motivated to improve their academic performance in several ways:
- They are given financial support – tuition fees are paid, study materials, and books, among others;
- Weekly guidance from skilled mentors on various life and career-related skills.
Networking and connections
At SHE, we understand the power that comes with the ability to network as an individual and on behalf of our girls. Thus, daily, we collaborate with various government departments and schools in and out of the neighbourhood and provide scholarships and placement services.
We do all we do because we understand that girls’ education goes beyond getting girls into schools. It is also about ensuring that they learn and feel safe while in school, complete all levels of education with skills to compete in the labour market effectively, learn the socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to this ever-changing world [especially the world of employment], make the decision about their own lives; and contribute to their communities and the world.